Funeral vs. Memorial Service

Private Family VS Funeral Services | Eternally Loved

A funeral or memorial service are typically very similar in nature, but a traditional funeral service has certain aspects that make it more rooted in tradition. For example, a funeral typically involves a burial where sometimes the actual body is present. There are times when a family wants to spread a loved one’s ashes or cremated remains.

Both traditional funeral services and memorial services have structure, and both bring the community together in remembrance and support. In our modern society, the whole attitude towards death care rituals are changing. We now have the ability to arrange a simple, direct cremation to manage the disposition, and then be at liberty to perform your own memorialization.

What is a funeral service?

When you hear the word “funeral” you have an image in your mind within microseconds, of what a funeral looks like. This mental image comes from many sources: the culture, geographical place and society in which we live; our life experience and our faith.

A funeral service refers to a funeral service conducted in a chapel where the cremation is later performed, or a traditional graveside burial service. A funeral service is usually performed within a week of the death of a loved one.

Traditional funerals

No matter where you hold it, a traditional funeral service is a structured ceremony, with a beginning, middle and end. It is intended to engage the living guests in activities in which we transform their status within the community, all while providing mourners with a collective grieving space, and celebrate the life lived of the dearly departed. 

What is a memorial service?

Unlike a traditional funeral, a memorial service is a ceremony that memorializes and honors the deceased after a direct cremation or burial. A memorial service has the same meaning of any other type of funeral service; honor and pay tribute to the deceased.  Many memorial services take place weeks or even months after a traditional funeral service.

A memorial service has some structure, but it still allows you the flexibility to make the memorial service ceremony unique and personalized to fit the individual being honored. Also the mood generally lies somewhere in the middle of being celebratory or completely somber.

Memorial service ideas

A memorial service takes place at many different places including a funeral home, community hall, or a place of importance to the loved one’s grieving family. To make things simpler you can host your own memorial service at your own home, favorite restaurant or recreation hall.

You can create a memorial service however you would like; a personalized memorial service suits the best interest of you and the deceased. You can start by displaying photographs, favorite sports team jerseys, their favorite flower, or other things that display your loved one’s passions.

For some people memorial services serve as the perfect compromise between a traditional funeral service and celebration of life. 

What is the difference between funeral and memorial services?

Do you Need a Funeral Director? | Eternally Loved

Memorial services and funerals have a lot in common and serve the same function, yet they often appear very different. Each is a ceremony; a gathering of people who share a common loss. It is just that one is more rooted in tradition, while the other is the result of recent changes in social values. But both serve to do three things:

  1. Move the deceased from one social status to another
  2. Support the grieving family by surrounding them with caring friends, co-workers, and neighbors
  3. Help the bereaved family, and their community, publicly acknowledge the death of one of their own

Our experience has shown us that many of today’s families want more than a traditional funeral. This can include memorial services or a celebration of life, which we discuss below.

Should I hold a memorial service after traditional funeral services?

When deciding whether to have a memorial vs a private funeral service, here are some questions that many families ponder:

  • Was your loved one spiritual?
  • What did your loved one like to do?
  • Was he or she proud of their cultural or ethnic heritage
  • What was he or she like as an individual?
  • What was their profession, personal accomplishments and how did that shape their life?

These questions will help guide you and determine what type of service is best suited for your loved one. You can host a funeral and hold a memorial service, or just have a memorial service. Lots of people opt for a funeral and a memorial service, but it is up to you.

What is a celebration of life?

A celebration of life service is much like a memorial service; a ceremony after end-of-life where people come together and celebrate together the precious life of a deceased person that you have lost. It is usually held after physical remains have been cared for through cremation or burial. Celebration of Life events are one of the best ways to shed light and love during a difficult time.

A celebration of life memorial service at Eternally Loved

When we love someone and they pass, we want to celebrate who they were and their life fully. Eternally Loved specializes in creating memorial events that focus on the life that was lived so you can celebrate the way you remember them.

We are here to help. Whether you choose a big energetic celebration or an intimate service, the options are endless. We will help you choose all the vendors and venues and memorable details. Each service is personalized to create the celebration you envision.

Eternally Loved offers a favorable and stress-free event planning process. Our satisfied clients are relieved to find that, not only do we shoulder the responsibility of seamless execution of events, but we save a significant amount of time and money with our event planning services. We operate within the budget and use our expertise to put on an event that makes your guests feel valued. Contact us for more information on celebration of life or memorial service ideas.