Easy Ways To Personalize A Funeral
By Dan Francis
There are many ways to personalize the funeral
arrangement for your loved one. The person you loved and
have now lost was unique, and the funeral you plan to
honor that person can be unique too.
One way to make the funeral feel more personal for the
attendees is to provide them all with name tags. Since
the people attending the funeral will come from several
different areas of the life of the deceased, so it is
likely that many will not know each other. A table can
be set up where the attendees can fill out their name
tags. It would be a good idea to provide a space on the
name tag for the attendee to fill out 'How I knew John.'
This can then become a talking point for the attendees
when they mingle after the service. For example, one
might say, 'You knew John from the painting class he
held. I went to an exhibition of his paintings.'
Do not forget to have a guest book in your funeral
arrangement checklist. The book should contain photos of
the deceased and a space not only for the attendee's
name, but for them to then write their memories of the
departed. They could include a word or two about the
life led by the deceased and how they knew him or her.
This is a much more valuable keepsake for the family
than simply a book of names, some of whom may even be
unknown to the family.
Remembrance cards can be distributed to the attendees on
the day of the funeral. At a suitable point during the
service, perhaps between eulogies, attendees should be
encouraged to fill out these small cards, recording a
special memory of the deceased. The cards may then be
collected and used on holidays or on the anniversary of
the birthday of the deceased, or at any time the family
wants to remember them. The cards can be handed down the
generations and can provide a valuable link to
generations gone by.
A memory table is a beautiful way to personalize a
funeral arrangement. Anything representing significant
parts of the life of the deceased can be placed on the
table. Perhaps the departed one was an artist. If so,
examples of his art work or maybe catalogues of an
exhibition in which his art was displayed can be placed
on the table. Maybe the deceased spent his life at sea.
If so, his uniform, log books or his instruments of
navigation can be placed there. A simple thing like two
cups of milky tea, signifying time spent in conversation
with another person can be used to great effect.
The location of the funeral can greatly personalize it.
It may be held in a church or at a funeral home, but it
can equally be held at a beach location, in an outdoor
garden area or in a national park. You may invite
attendees to bring a plant to plant in a memorial
garden, you may release doves or butterflies during the
service, or hold it at sunrise or sunset.
Music can be chosen to suit the character of the
deceased. Classical music may be chosen, or the music of
a flute, a guitar, a piano or a harp.
For the wake, there are many options for the food that
you can offer. You may provide cheese and fruit,
pastries and cake or have a personal chef cook the food
for the meal.
Finally, for something that can be both rewarding and
therapeutic, ask the attendees to write a letter to the
departed and bring it to the funeral. These letters can
then be collected and placed in the casket, or if there
is a cremation, they can be included and placed in the
Make the funeral arrangement for your loved one unique,
and in so doing, honor them for the unique individual
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