Memorial services are generally considered to be those without a casket present, following cremation. As we discussed earlier, we often see cremation as an element of what we consider very traditional funeral services so we tend to view memorial services as those which stray a little further from the traditional in some regards. In particular those which are created to take advantage of the flexibility offered by cremation.
Delayed services are a good example. Once cremation is carried out the time factors that influence the care of the body are eliminated. There is no longer the level of urgency to complete the process. In our very mobile world where families can easily be separated by continents, not just miles, and where casual travel to far flung corners of the world is both easy and common, the ability to delay services days, or even weeks, can allow all of those who should be present to gather and participate with family and loved ones.
Optional venues are becoming more common choices for many who may prefer a setting that they find more personal, more comfortable or more convenient to gather and remember. From golf clubs, to banquet rooms, to outdoor venues and even theatres, your funeral director can tell you more about the choices some have made and the costs and benefits of doing so. Some of these settings would not accommodate a casket easily. An urn can go virtually anywhere.
Alternative services like those we talked about in the section on celebrants, may benefit from fewer constraints on both time and place, offering more time to plan and prepare a meaningful event that might be led by a celebrant but involve family and friends in various roles. With the rapid advancements in technology, we can often also involve those who can’t be present and take full advantage of music, images, video and more to enhance the experience. And, again, with an urn we can go to some experiences that may not be able to come to us.
Memorial services are typically still a form of ritual with some structure – still a service – but they can take place most anytime and, if you wish, most anywhere. Our directors are learning more everyday as they work with families creatively building unique and meaningful memorial experiences. Why not talk to us to learn more. We’re looking forward to seeing what you can teach us.
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