How To Create a Meaningful Memorial Service

When we lose someone, the days following can often be a whirlwind of difficult emotion. In some cases people decide to delay a memorial service until more time has passed, allowing them space to process their grief and plan with a clearer mind. Having a memorial service at a later date also allows relatives and friends who live further away to make travel arrangements. You may be wondering how to create a meaningful memorial service. Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Funeral Home is here to offer some ideas to assist in your planning of a service, in celebration of your loved one.

How To Create a Meaningful Memorial Service

Bring Your Loved One’s Passion to Life

Everyone has something that they love, whether related to sports, art, music, collectables, or food. If you’re wanting to personalize a memorial, we suggest celebrating the passions of the person who has passed away. That way, you are honoring what they loved by experiencing it in their honor. For instance: if your loved one adored a particular sport or sports team, you could decorate in the team’s colors or bring particular accent pieces such as trophies and/or photos. One popular way to honor a loved one is to encourage people to dress in their “signature” style, such as a favorite pattern or colorful article of clothing.

Create a Memorial Video

You don’t have to be a whiz in the editing room to create a simple and touching memorial tribute. In fact, you can simply use your phone. Many smartphones can organize photos through facial recognition in albums. You may also go through your camera roll and ‘favorite’ photos, create a dedicated folder of them. Add some music, and you’re all set. If your photos are on a computer, many laptops are equipped with user-friendly editing software. When in doubt, hire a professional. Just remember, the video doesn’t have to be perfect. It should just be a personal tribute in your loved one’s honor.

Let People Share

One way to celebrate a life lived is to allow those who have gathered to share their memories of the person who has passed. There are many different ways to achieve this. For more somber or quiet affairs, pieces of paper and writing utensils might be placed on tables at the memorial with attendees invited to write down their favorite memories, jokes, or moments shared with your loved one. If the occasion calls for it, and you’re in a group of perhaps more gregarious people, consider having a live microphone so that people can share their thoughts out loud if they feel moved to do so. Sharing doesn’t have to be mandatory — no one wants to feel put on the spot. Giving people an opportunity and safe space to express their love in remembrance is a powerful shared experience.

Choose Music That Makes Your Heart Sing

For more traditional funeral services, hymns and other more contemplative music is often preferred. However, memorial services can sometimes be more celebratory and uplifting than a funeral service. Feel free to play music that they loved, even if it’s outside of the ‘usual’ sound typically associated with end-of-life events. If they were particular fans of a style of music, for example jazz, hip-hop or musicals, curate a playlist that explores their favorite tracks. If you really want to lean into a party atmosphere, perhaps set up a karaoke station where people can sing songs that coincide with a specific memory they shared with the departed. Remember: there’s no ‘right’ way to grieve. Play music that you think is appropriate to the situation, the attendees and the person who has passed on.

Invest in a Memorial That Will Live On

There are many ways to continue to remember and celebrate somebody, long after their memorial service. You might plant a memorial tree in their honor or commission a bench on a beautiful spot with their name engraved on it. You could start a foundation based on a cause they loved, or even have people donate to charities in their name. Simply the act of storytelling can keep a loved-one’s memory alive. Even singing along in the car when you hear your loved-one’s favorite song can be a sign of gratitude for them and the lasting effect they may have had on your life. Allow yourself moments to live in honor of their memory.

Memorial services are not only for the person who has passed on. They are also for those who remain, to celebrate the life lived. We hope that this list of ideas for how to create a meaningful memorial service offers some support. Hollywood Forever Cemetery and Funeral Home is here for you.

We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.


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