Many families are moving away from formal funeral traditions and embracing memorial services with a range of different styles. In particular, after a loved one’s passing, some people opt to do a reception-style memorial service. This can take many forms depending on the family’s wishes.
Understanding Reception-Style Memorial Services
Typically, a reception-style memorial service doesn’t have a member of the clergy or an officiant leading the service. Rather, people gather as if they are at a reception. Someone may facilitate the memorial by asking loved ones to share memories in front of the guests, or guests may just mill around telling stories and sharing memories of their lost loved one.
Setting Up a Reception-Style Memorial Service
To set up a memorial service that has a reception feel, you need a space where guests can gather. That can be a reception area in a funeral home, a room at a church, a community center, a VFW hall, or even a rented space at a hotel or restaurant.
Some people opt to play soft music in the background, and they often set up tributes to their loved one such as photo boards or some of their favorite objects. For example, at one reception-style memorial service, the family displayed their grandmother’s figurine collection, and at the end of the gathering, the grandchildren each chose a figurine to keep.
Generally, as it’s a reception, there is usually food and beverages available for guests. Some families have a small gathering in a home with finger foods. Others set up long banquet tables and serve a full lunch or dinner.
Bringing Everyone Together
To give focus to the event, some people like to do something that brings family and friends together, and again, this can take all kinds of forms. You may want to put out a notebook or a journal where people can write memories of their loved one to give to the closest relative. Some people opt to do a symbolic dove release, and others have this type of service after scattering their loved one’s ashes.
Choosing a Celebration of Life
In many cases, a reception-style service is a celebration of life rather than a somber affair. People often turn to this style of service for elders who have passed or for people who have lived a long and rich life, but you can also opt for this type of memorial for people who have died at all ages and in all situations. Getting together, sharing stories through tears and remembering happy memories can be extremely comforting.
At Boston Cremation, we can help you set up a memorial service for your loved one. We know how difficult this time can be and we seek to make cremation services and final planning as simple as possible for our clients. Contact us today at (781) 322-0909.