Funerals are an important part of processing the grief of a family member or friend passing away. Not only do they give us a chance to mourn the life that has been lost, but also to celebrate the life that was lived.
Families who find themselves in a position to plan funeral services are seeking ways to make them not just memorable, but also meaningful. To do this, they often turn to personalization. This could mean custom memory boards with special photos, special music, or other items that had special meaning to their departed loved one. Personalization has been on the rise when it comes to funeral services.
Personalizing the service for your loved one can be a great way to add special touches that reflect the spirit of the person, and give a chance for your family to tell the story of their life. As you plan for the service, use these personalization ideas as a way to honor and celebrate the life of your beloved and create a lasting memorial.
1. Select an Unique Casket or Vault
Caskets can be found both in physical stores and online, with designs that reflect the life of the deceased. Made from many materials such as wood and metal, they can be inscribed with the name of the person being remembered. Interior panels may be decorated with photographs or paintings that were special to your cherished one.
2. Incorporate Favorite Clothing
A straightforward approach to individualize a service is by means of garments. If the service is open casket, make sure to carefully pick out your grandmother's beloved dress, or your father's most adored baseball cap. It is important that you clothe your loved one in apparel that is significant to his or her life. Moreover, it will bring back recollections for participants who recall seeing your beloved one in his or her favored article of clothing.
3. Choose a Meaningful Flower Arrangement
To give a personal touch to a funeral service, it can be symbolic to include flowers of the deceased's liking. If the deceased had a fondness for daffodils or hydrangeas, then you can use these flowers to create arrangements for the service. Each flower you choose can also be representative of specific sentiments that the deceased felt in life.
4. Arrange for Military Honors
If one of your loved ones served in the United States Armed Forces, inquire with the funeral home about military honors. With the proper documentation, the funeral home can provide many unique observances, such as a gun salute, a color guard, flag representation, and much more. In this way, a personalized experience can be created to commemorate the service and heroism of your hero.
5. Involve a Certified Celebrant
If you don't already have an officiant in mind for the funeral, Certified Celebrants can help you create a personalized commemoration. Trinity Funeral Chapel has trained its celebrants to attentively listen to families and honor their wishes by incorporating meaningful components into the service that pay tribute to the life and legacy of your cherished one.
6. Display Personal Belongings
To make the funeral more personal, consider including personal belongings that are important to your loved one. What hobbies and passions did they have? Did they have a favorite sports team or a favorite season? By including personal items that are meaningful to them, it helps those in attendance understand more about the importance of what your loved one valued in life.
7. Show a Tribute Video
In the process of planning the services, communicate with the funeral home about their audio and video technology capacity. As you evaluate your personalization choices, you might determine to convey your beloved's life story with a celebratory video or photo slideshow that you can present to others.
8. Design a Memorial Card
When searching for ways to customize a funeral service, a memorial card is a great starting point. Cards with images, declarations, verses, and readings are an enduring reminder of your beloved's life. It can also be used as a souvenir for those who attend the funeral to take home afterwards, as well as a guide during the service.
9. Play Music
Was your loved one a musician or did they have any favorite bands? Music is a great way to make services personal. If the funeral home has speakers available, playing a custom-made playlist of your loved one's favorite music before, during, or after services could be a great way of honoring their memory. You can also ask someone to sing or play an instrument in their memory, as music has a way of providing comfort and healing for your soul.
10. Include Readings
Inviting close friends to speak a few words about the person who has sadly passed away adds an intimate element to the funeral service. For example, you could read out a special quote or verse in tribute to your beloved one. Furthermore, if someone feels compelled to present a eulogy, you should allow them to do so.
11. Showcase Organizations
Whether it be a charity, nonprofit organization, or any other form of community, these entities are often an invaluable part of a person's life. Serve as a reminder to those in attendance of your loved one's involvement by incorporating colors, emblems, or logos of their associated communities into the service decor. Alternatively, you may even consider asking those in attendance to make a donation to the charity or organization in lieu of flowers.
12. Light Candles
The connection between smell and memory is widely recognized. Consider lighting a few candles with a fragrance that reminds your family of your loved one, like your mother's apple pie, to create a comforting ambience at the service.
13. Offer a Memorial Stone Station
If your beloved person was passionate about gardening, you could arrange a station with small stones so that visitors can write their name and a few words. Afterward, your family can choose whether to keep the stones or place them in the garden. Alternatively, they can scatter them somewhere special to the deceased.
14. Incorporate Their Favorite Holiday Decor
What was your dearest's favorite holiday? If they took pleasure in decorating with pumpkins or trees, be sure to include their treasured decoration in the service as a reminder of all the happy times your family spent together with him or her during the holidays.
15. Rethink the Traditional Guestbook
Normally, guest books are used to record the names of those in attendance at a funeral, but often times the list is hardly looked at. Instead of sticking with the traditional guestbook, why not invite guests to write a heartfelt note on a signature picture frame that holds a photo of your loved one? This can be a wonderful reminder of your loved one and a keepsake for your family.
16. Encourage an Unplugged Service
To make sure everyone can enjoy the moment and be fully present, consider an unplugged service. Invite your guests to put away their phones and cameras and take in the beauty and joy of the service you’ve planned.
17. Take a Moment of Silence
As you plan services, it is atypical that family members find time to reflect on everything that comes with the death. Take a moment of pause during the funeral to contemplate your thoughts and sentiments. Use this period to link with your cherished one in a way that is satisfactory to you.
18. Give Out Living Memorials
Living memorials are becoming increasingly popular as a way to remember and honour a person's life rather than their death. This type of memorial service is meant to shift the focus away from a somber remembrance of the death, and instead to a celebration of their life as it continues in the memories of their friends and family. A creative way to extend this idea out to funeral guests is by handing out small plants or sapling for them to plant in remembrance of the deceased.
19. Offer Their Favorite Food or Beverage
These days, people often have a go-to restaurant and a dish they order every time, or a recipe that they're famous for cooking. Regardless, consider including their favorite meal or beverage in the luncheon. It's a small gesture, but it will mean a lot and honor the memory of your loved one.
20. Showcase a Photo Memorial Board
We all know the phrase “Pictures are worth 1,000 words”; it is so true and a beautiful way to remember a loved one is to create a memory board. Collect photos from different stages of their life, their biggest moments and those special moments spent with each family member. Seeing these photos together, displayed in one place, will be a great way for family members to reminisce and remember all the happy times shared.
21. Light Up the Sky with Lanterns
Celebrating the passing of a loved one after services can be done in many ways, but none can be more beautiful than lighting lanterns. To make the moment even more meaningful, consider taking the time to decorate the lanterns with drawings or messages, especially if there are children involved. As the lanterns float up into the sky, they will be carrying a message of love and remembrance to the heavens.
Preplan Funeral Services to Document Preferences for Personalization
What personalization elements do you want to include in your own funeral service? Preplanning gives you the opportunity to document all of your desired personalization items ahead of time. If you would like to learn more about the emotional and financial benefits of preplanning your funeral, contact us at 305-603-7454.