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Decide on Music
Many memorial services open and close with music. Some options include playing the deceased’s favorite song. Also, you can solicit a performance from local musicians, or lead guests in a hymn. The universal language of music can be calming, healing, or unifying as people gather. Whether played by community musicians or made available on CD. In this age of personalization, anything goes— jazz, a Bach organ concerto, a New Age harp. Attendees are even likely to be forgiving of a grandchild’s imperfect flute rendition of “O Danny Boy” when it’s offered with love.
Collect Photographs or Memorabilia
Put together a table or space to display photos or favorite objects. Things that exemplify and reflect the deceased’s personality. Some people put together memory books or videos with contributions from family and friends. Also, provide a reflection book for guests to write down favorite memories. Display an Urn with a recent photo may also on this table or on a separate table with flowers.
Decide on Readings
Part of the service often includes readings and/or prayer. Family or friends may wish to write something special to read. If you belong to a faith group, consult a clergy person or prayer book. Others may choose to use special poems or passages from favorite books. Words chosen should be soothing to the audience and help with the healing process.
Decide on Memorial Gifts
Memorial gifts are a way for guests to remember the deceased. They may be as simple as potted plants used in the ceremony. Also, a photo of the deceased attached to their favorite quote, or the program from the memorial. If the deceased had a favorite charity, providing the name and address will make it easier for guests to make a memorial gift. Charitable organizations often have pre-addressed donation envelopes. They would be happy to make available to have on hand at the service. Some families plant a tree as part of the memorial.
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