When planning a memorial service, one of the most important decisions you need to make is who is going to conduct the service. Unlike with weddings, there are no rules on who can lead memorial services. Families can choose anyone they like to conduct the service, as long as that person is comfortable and confident about doing so.
If you’re pre-planning your own memorial service or making plans for a loved one, here are some options you may want to consider.
Priests, reverends, imams, rabbis, and other religious leaders are often willing to lead memorial services. Of course, these individuals offer services in their own houses of worship, but many are also willing to lead memorial services in alternative locations. While some provide these services for free, others may charge a small fee for their time.
This can be a great option for people who are religious. If family members are from multiple faith backgrounds, you may want to ask two or more religious leaders to collaborate together on the memorial service.
A funeral celebrant is typically a non-denominational person who has experience leading memorial services. Working with a funeral celebrant is similar to having a Justice of the Peace or a lay person perform a wedding ceremony. Depending on your wishes and the celebrant you select, this individual may take a religious or secular approach to the service. Talk with the celebrant about your wishes and the type of services they provide so you know what to expect.
Friends or Family Members
You may even want to have a friend or family member lead the memorial service. If you take this route, remember that a deep personal connection with the deceased can make it hard to lead the service. However, if you or another friend or family member wants to take this role, you can certainly do that.
This option works best for relatively simple memorial services or reception-style memorial services. In these situations, the friend or family member can simply help to guide the service along by asking for people to share memories, offer eulogies, or sing songs. They don’t necessarily need to lead a formal service.
The Right Choice
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer. When making your choice, keep your loved one’s last wishes in mind. For instance, if your loved one is religious or secular, you should honor that even if the rest of your family does not hold the same beliefs. If you are pre-planning your own memorial service, you may want to think about what might be most comforting for your loved ones.
If you need help planning a memorial service, we can contact your last house of worship and talk with the religious leaders there, or we can arrange a funeral celebrant for you. To learn more about our services, contact Boston Cremation today. We offer simple cremations, open casket funerals with cremation to follow, and simple cremation with a memorial service.