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Planning a Service

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Funeral director consulting with a couple

Planning a Service

There are endless options and opportunities when planning a service for your loved one, whether you decide to plan a service that takes place at your church, funeral home or other location of your choice. Regardless of where the service is held, it should reflect the life of your loved one and the impact they had on the lives of others. It should also address the needs of surviving family and friends as they begin the process of accepting the death and grieving.

There are many choices and many things to think about as you plan. Throughout the process, it is important to ask yourself two questions: 

1. Would my loved one be honored to be remembered in this way?
2. Will the plans I am making help me and other loved ones as we begin the grieving process?

Often a person will indicate he or she does not want a funeral or service of any kind, usually because he or she does not want anyone to "make a fuss." While it is important to honor the wishes of your loved one, it is also important to recognize the needs of his or her surviving loved ones as they begin the grief journey. A funeral or memorial service can play a valuable role in helping them do that by providing family and friends with the opportunity to honor the life of the person they loved through conversation, stories and shared grief.

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a funeral or memorial service. Your funeral director will assist you in planning all aspects: 
  • Venue
  • Photos and videos
  • Music
  • Officiant/celebrant
  • Programs
  • Memorial cards
  • Order of service
  • Refreshments/catering
  • Transportation to cemetery (if applicable)
Early in the process, your funeral director will give you a general price list, which clearly outlines the costs of a variety of products and services offered by the funeral home. Funeral directors understand families have a budget. Discuss your budget up front and your funeral director will work with you to create a memorable service that will not strain your finances. A service does not have to cost a lot to be meaningful.