Are you trying to figure out the difference between a memorial service and funeral service? It can be a difficult task creating a service that will accommodate all affected by the loss of a loved one and different services can add to that pressure.

To help you out with all of the decision making we have come up with a few similarities and differences between a memorial service and a funeral service.

Memorial Service v. Funeral Service

Memorial services and funeral services both celebrate the life of those who have passed on. However, we totally understand how confusing it is deciphering the differences between the two. Below we list some of the common differences between the two.

The deceased’s body is not present at a memorial service, whereas a funeral includes the body of the loved one. This can mean the body is cremated or buried before the service takes place.

Memorial services have less structure to them than a funeral service typically does. They don’t need to involve a funeral home, church or scripture readings if that’s not your cup of tea.

They can take place in any setting and does not have to be held in a church or event centre such as a funeral. It can be held at their favourite beach, garden or café. It is a way to feel more connected and relaxed about saying goodbye.

Memorial services can occur weeks, months or even a year after the death. Holding a service after the initial grief has worn off allows you to focus on your loved one’s life and saying goodbye. It is also helpful for family and friends who live out of town to come and say their goodbyes.

A memorial service is a much more personalised approach to a funeral service centred around your loved one and things that brought them joy. It is a time for family and friends from everywhere to get together to say one final loving, goodbye.

Memorial Service or Funeral Service? Where to next?

Taking your time to plan and organise a service will make it all the more special and allow family and friends from out of town to come and say their final goodbyes. If you chose to host a memorial service, make sure to include all that your loved one enjoyed doing. It can be as personal and intimate as you would like, and a funeral celebrant would be able to help you with the hosting. We invite you to view our celebrant directory to choose a local celebrant who can assist you further with your chosen service.