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What Should be on my Checklist when Planning a Funeral or Memorial Service?

Published: January 21, 2021

Organizing a funeral or memorial service has many components; a lot of them being time sensitive. Even if you plan to utilize a knowledgeable funeral director to guide you through the process, it is helpful to have a checklist on hand, so you are prepared to ask questions, fill in answers that you can provide to other family members or friends, and to keep things organized as you work towards orchestrating the ceremony.

You can work on this on your own if you are pre-planning your own funeral, but if this is for a friend or family member it is recommended you work with other family members or close friends so that everyone feels included. These guidelines can be used towards pre-planning your own funeral, or that of a loved one. We’ve compiled some of the fundamentals in guiding you towards a successful, low-stress ceremony. Keep in mind that it’s in your best interest to reach out to your local funeral director, who is there to help you in every step of the planning process. There is no cost or obligation to do so.

1. What method of disposition would you prefer? Typically, you can choose cremation, burial or above the ground entombment. Regardless of the method of disposition that you choose, you can still have full funeral services prior if you wish.

2. What type of service would you like? Funeral services vary greatly today. They can be religious, led by a clergyman at the funeral home or in a place of worship. Or non-religious, led by a lay person or celebrant, a family member or a friend, a member of a service organization or fraternal group, or by a member of the military for those that have served our country.

3. You will also want to determine if you’d like to have an open casket visitation.

4. Think about how you’d like to personalize your service. This is where you can ensure that your service is reminiscent of the way you’d like to be celebrated and remembered.

5. You’ll want to consider selecting memorial cards, casket or urn so that you know your taste is portrayed and family won’t have to make these difficult decisions at an emotional time.

6. Do you want specific music played, prayers, poems and/or readings shared during the service and would you want family and/or friends to participate? Will anyone eulogize?

7. Would you like the services to be open to the public or would you prefer a more intimate, private gathering? You may even want to consider if you would like there to be a reception or repass after the ceremony; where it will be and who would be invited.

We hope these suggestions will guide you towards planning a funeral you can feel satisfied with. Of course, you are more than welcome to go about things in your own way, after all, you knew your loved one best!

Here at Raynor and D’Andrea Funeral Homes we can help you come up with everything you need for a special ceremony. We invite you to download our Pre-Planning Brochure for more ideas and inspiration.

If you would like to initiate a discussion about pre-planning your funeral, or if you simply have questions about the process you’d like answered - please reach out to us! You can call us at 1-800-737-0017. Or you can drop us a message here.

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