Differences Between a Funeral Service and a Memorial

By: Anderson Funeral Home
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Differences Between a Funeral Service and a Memorial

When someone passes, there are many plans to be made. From flowers to announcements it can be a busy time. One of the first decisions to make is whether you’ll have funeral services or a memorial, and knowing the difference between the two can help make the decision easier.

Funeral Services Have a Body

The most pronounced and the easiest way to distinguish between the two options is the presence or absence of a body. A funeral is a service held in the presence of the deceased’s body. The body is usually in a casket, which may be open or closed, and available for mourners to view, talk to, and pray for.

A memorial service, on the other hand, is held without a body. This can happen for many reasons. Perhaps the body was cremated. In this case a memorial service would be held instead of funeral services. If the body was buried before services could be arranged, then a memorial service would be held.

They Have the Same Purpose

Ultimately both types of services have the same purpose– to mourn for and honor the person who has died. It’s an opportunity to remember a loved one and to gather with other friends and loved ones to share your thoughts and emotions. For most, a funeral can help the grieving process, and begin the path of healing.

Choosing Between Funeral Services and a Memorial

Funeral services are often held in a church. They can also be held graveside if the person is being buried. If the person is being cremated, a funeral can be held before that step. A memorial service can be held anywhere. It can be held in a church. It can also be held in a park, while the cremated remains are scattered, or anywhere that is important to the family or the deceased.

Traditions, the wishes of the deceased, and personal preferences will help you decide between the two choices. The bottom line is whether you choose funeral services or a memorial, the passing of a loved one is a difficult time. Work with your family and loved ones to make the best decision for everyone.

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