Planning a cremation memorial is much the same as planning a traditional funeral with a casket, though the departed is present in a cremation urn instead of in the flesh. Sometimes your loved one isn’t there at all, as their remains have already been scattered in their favourite place. In other cases, they will be there because the funeral will be held prior to the cremation process.
If your loved one has decided to be cremated in their will but hasn’t left further details as to how to be remembered, what do you do? How do you choose the best way to memorialise the departed?
The all female staff at Lady Anne Funerals have compiled the list of questions below to assist you in planning a cremation service for your loved one — and celebrating their life in the best way possible.
Step 1 - Who is the service for?
When planning a cremation memorial, it’s important to consider whether the service is being held as it was important to the deceased, or whether it is for the family and friends who remain. Consider old Uncle Frank for instance; you might have held a matter of fact funeral service out of respect to him, and his wife Aunt Maggie would want no fuss, but the attendees would expect a service portraying the warmth she put on everyone’s lives.
Include appropriate songs, readings, verses or poems and photos that will suit the attendees who are left to mourn their loss. Thinking these things through can help to plan when you have been left with limited guidance from the departed.
Step 2 - When to be cremated?
There are four options as to when the body of your loved one is to be cremated:
- After a funeral service. Often the body is in the casket and present at the funeral and then a curtain is closed or the casket is removed from the service and sent to the crematorium.
- Before the memorial service and present for the ceremony in a special cremation urn
- Before the memorial service and not present due to already resting.
- Attend the cremation itself. This service is only available at some crematories and only to family members.
Step 3 - How will the ceremony occur?
There are varying priorities for families when it comes to planning a cremation memorial. Often the audience of mourners, the personality of the deceased and the budget for the service come into play when considering which style of memorialisation is the best fit.
You might decide to have a full scale traditional funeral, in which the body is present and the ceremony is more formal. Because it’s seen as a more major ‘event’, a funeral can help provide closure for family members and loved ones. The cost of this style of service is typically higher because it incorporates the cost of both a funeral service and cremation.
It’s also common to host a more casual memorial, with attendees bringing their favourite photos, songs, memories and stories in lieu of flowers. These services can be held with the departed’s remains present in a cremation urn, or after scattering the ashes in a special location.
Alternatively, your family might prefer the more private approach; having the body cremated, collecting the remains and simply saying a few words in a special place to scatter the ashes, or resting them in a memorial garden or mausoleum.
Step 4 - Where will the body be housed?
After the cremation process has occurred and the remains are collected, you are faced with the decision of where to house the remains of your loved one. Some people choose to have the ashes placed in a cremation urn and kept in their home, while others will have a special place the ashes will be scattered as a fond place of memorial. Some families have pre organised places in mausoleums or memorial gardens to be kept together in burial. There are even opportunities to have your loved ones remains creatively utilised in a special piece of art, immortalised in a diamond or placed in an artificial reef.
Remember that there are no right or wrong ways to memorialise your loved one. The lady funeral directors at Lady Anne Funerals can help to plan your memorial ceremony in line with your wishes and cultural preferences is our great honour. For more information regarding any style of cremation service, help choosing a cremation urn, or any other questions you may have regarding burial or cremation services, contact our ladies on 1300 74 00 74.