Like a funeral, a memorial service is a ceremony of remembrance, only without the body present. It may be held at the funeral home, a place of worship or other location chosen by the family. Regardless of where the ceremony is held, your funeral director can assist in planning and organizing as well as providing additional staff as needed.
An urn may be present for the memorial service, as a casket would be for a funeral. It may be placed on a stand and attractively arranged with flowers and/or special items. Sometimes photographs of the person or meaningful memorabilia are displayed.
The family may choose to hold a visitation or reception at the funeral home with or without the presence of the body. Frequently, the body will be in a casket during this time for viewing and then cremated before the memorial service. If the cremation is to take place immediately following death, it is often possible to arrange a brief private viewing prior to the memorial service. For many people this has important psychological value, allowing them a time to “say good-bye.”
Depending on where the death occurred, laws may require that a waiting period elapse before cremation can take place. Your funeral director can advise you on the regulations in your area that may affect your options.