There are two parts to a funeral service :
- a cremation or burial, which is disposal of the body
- a ceremonial element, often called a Memorial Service (or Celebration of Life)
There are many reasons for holding two separate events.
When a death is unexpected or particularly tragic, some families prefer a very small, intimate cremation or burial by a larger memorial service. Or it can be a straight matter of convenience – if family and friends are scattered geographically, it takes time to get everyone together and in these cases separating the disposal and the ceremonial parts removes the time pressure.
Without the coffin present, the focal point of the any ceremony to photographs, flowers and special memorabilia that reminds us of the person who has died. A thoughtful memorial table really brings the them into the room.
Having some of their handwriting on the table is incredibly evocative. A favourite cardigan, their old tool box, even their favourite old chair. Perhaps a handwritten book of recipes, a treasured collection of Bonsais or their well-worn hat.
As we talk with families about what things they might choose for the memorabilia table, there is almost always a warm breeze of optimism at the realisation that whilst their person has gone, they really ARE still surrounded by so many special memories.
Even though their physical being is no longer amongst us, their spirit and their memory and all that they were will always remain, and these few special things symbolise more than words can say.
Acknowledging the transition from their physical being is the most important aspect of the memorial service.
Honouring the departed can be done in many different ways and even though we cannot physically feel their touch nor see them, we know their magnificent spirit lives on forever in those they loved.
Every person is unique. Every family is different.
With us, every Funeral is Individual.
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