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Organising a Memorial Service

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Memorial memorial Service celebration

Today it can be very hard for all of the family and friends of a deceased person to gather together in time for a funeral not to mention work mates from past jobs, old school friends and acquaintances with whom the rest of the family may not be all that familiar. To give everyone who loved the deceased person the chance to celebrate his or her life, many families and friends choose to organise a memorial service to be held after the funeral.

Date and Place
The first step in organising a memorial service is to decide when and where it will be held. Memorial services are almost always held on a date after the funeral, some even a year or more after that date. Memorial services may also be held on a specific date, such as the deceased’s birthday or the anniversary of his or her death. Memorial services may be held anywhere, though they are often held in family homes, school or church halls, local community centres, or even in natural settings that were favoured by the deceased such as a beach or park. Be sure to check with authorities if you would like to hold a memorial service in a public or privately owned location.

Announcements and Invitations
Once you know when and where you will be holding the memorial service you must communicate this information to potential guests via an announcement, invitations or both. Placing an announcement in a newspaper, church bulletin or school circular is usually as easy as calling the publication and arranging for the ad. Flyers that can be posted or passed around the deceased’s former place of work or study may also be helpful in spreading the word. Finally, invitations can be purchased in packs or printed for the occasion which can be mailed out to particularly important guests.

Order of Service
What will actually happen at the memorial service is up to you. Would you like music to be played or songs sung? Would you like poems or essays to be read? Would you like friends or family members to speak about their favourite memories of the deceased? Would you like pictures, slides or videos to be shown? You may also need to think about the setting of the service. How would you like it to be decorated? Will there be pictures on display? Will there be flowers? When you do decide what you would like, remember to ask others if they would be comfortable with participating rather than simply assuming that they will. Once you have the order of the service confirmed, consider printing it in a small booklet or on a card so that guests can follow along.

Reception
Most often memorial services are followed directly by some kind of reception whether it is formal and hosted in a nearby restaurant or hotel, or informal and hosted in someone’s back garden. While the reception itself can be an extension of the service with pictures of the deceased decorating the area, it can also simply be a time for family and friends to socialise and enjoy each other’s company. Decide what you are comfortable with, and what you can afford, and design your reception in accordance with these factors.

Organising a memorial service is often a labour of love. Usually the organisation is undertaken by the family and friends of the deceased in order to celebrate his or her life. Memorial services can be as long, short, entertaining, sombre, formal or informal as you wish so feel free to give your loved one the tribute (s)he deserves.

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I am interested in how to legitimise leaving my body to medical science, my postcode is PH2 0JU
Mag jo - 25-Apr-17 @ 12:21 PM
I am interested in donating my organs if harvestable,if not I would like to leave my body to medical sciences. How do I go about this process I live in postcode area PH2 0 JU your advice will be appreciated.
Magjo - 24-Apr-17 @ 8:30 PM
Hi I've spoken to my husband and I would like to leave my body to medical research, I've read it's not always excepted does that mean that my husband will still have to sort and pay for my funeral? I live in Sandwell West Midlands b64 6ld, where is my nearest medical research centre to obtain the forms I need. Thanking you for your help
jasper - 26-May-16 @ 9:30 PM
Hi I'm a UK citizen with full time residency in Turkey. Am I still eligible to donate my body for medical science in the UK
Linda - 4-Apr-16 @ 8:12 PM
Dreamer - Your Question:
We would like to leave our bodies to medical science. We live in Essex,CO13 0BJ and would like to know who to apply to. Thanks

Our Response:
The University of Cambridge is your relevant medical school. Contact: Lynn Haythorpe on 01223 333776 or email leh42@cam.ac.uk.
FacingBereavement - 3-Feb-16 @ 11:36 AM
We would like to leave our bodies to medical science. We live in Essex, CO13 0BJ and would like to know who to apply to. Thanks
Dreamer - 2-Feb-16 @ 11:03 AM
Suzy - Your Question:
Hi I suffer from an extremely rare illness which is in need of trials etc to advance knowledge and know how. Therefore I would like to leave my body to medical science. Can I make a stipulation that this particular illness is what it's used for? I live in Worcester so where would I apply please

Our Response:
Write to: Department of Anatomy
University of Birmingham
Vincent Drive
Birmingham
B15 2TT
FacingBereavement - 25-Jan-16 @ 2:04 PM
Hi I suffer from an extremely rare illness which is in need of trials etc to advance knowledge and know how. Therefore I would like to leave my body to medical science. Can I make a stipulation that this particular illness is what it's used for? I live in Worcester so where would I apply please
Suzy - 23-Jan-16 @ 12:41 AM
my wife wants to leave her body to medical science we live near ruthin n.wales post code ll15 2du who do we apply to thanks
bren - 14-Jan-16 @ 12:58 PM
dick barton - Your Question:
Hi my names anthony and ive been looking at the option of leaving my bodyto science I live close to leeds in west yorkshire and would like to no wherei get more information and the forms you need many thank anthony

Our Response:
You should contact the Leeds school of medicine. The contact isSarah Wilson, tel: 0113 343 4297 or email s.j.moore@leeds.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 17-Nov-15 @ 11:48 AM
hi my names anthony and ive been looking at the option of leaving my body to science i live close to leeds in west yorkshire and would like to no where i get more information and the forms you need many thank anthony
dick barton - 14-Nov-15 @ 7:37 PM
tony - Your Question:
I am 74 and live in hastings, and would like to know where I should contact to get the forms to donate my body when I pass away please

Our Response:
Yes it's the London Anatomy Office - Medical school and you need to contact the Donations Officer, Tel: 020 7848 8042 or emaillao@kcl.ac.uk
FacingBereavement - 7-Oct-15 @ 11:38 AM
I am 74 and live in hastings, and would like to know where I should contact to get the forms to donate my body when I pass away please
tony - 6-Oct-15 @ 7:31 PM
Very good Web site with regard to information given how can l receive the forms to sign, l think it is a very Good way to help students to learn more. Also l know many people that do not like talking about deathbed making a will very sad as we all have to die.
Topsy - 16-Sep-15 @ 11:15 AM
@jo. Take a look at our article on this for more information
FacingBereavement - 8-Jul-15 @ 2:31 PM
I would like to donate my body to medical science, could you please inform me how i should go about it.
jo - 4-Jul-15 @ 6:52 PM
@kaz. Here is a link to the relevant medical school.
FacingBereavement - 15-May-15 @ 12:51 PM
my post code is AB217LD Scotland , where do I write to ask for my body to be left for science , nearest hospital ? how long does it take for forms to be accepted
kaz - 11-May-15 @ 8:27 PM
@josie. The nearest medical school to you, which accepts bodies for research is The London Anatomny Office Contact them for more information.
FacingBereavement - 28-Apr-15 @ 2:12 PM
I would like to donate my body for the research My address Chertsey KT16 9 JJ Surrey
Josie - 23-Apr-15 @ 4:21 PM
@nobby. That's great, we hope our article here will give you the information you need.
FacingBereavement - 26-Jan-15 @ 11:25 AM
i would like to donate my body to science when i die
nobby - 22-Jan-15 @ 2:41 PM
@stokesy. There is a list of medical schools that accept body donations here. You simply need to type in your location to find you nearest one. Contact them and they will send you the necessary information/forms.
FacingBereavement - 24-Nov-14 @ 11:40 AM
My mother has stated in her Will that after her death she would like to leave her body to medical eduation or research but I cannot find any forms she has filled in to do this.She is now in a care home suffering from dementia and I have Lasting Power of Attorney over her.Will she still be able to leave her body for research?
Stokesy - 21-Nov-14 @ 2:40 PM
can you order a memorial service invitation please i need it to post it to write to people please
pastie - 25-Jun-14 @ 11:08 AM
How can I leave my body to medical science when I die ?
Viv - 15-May-14 @ 5:37 PM
I read an article about experiments on bodies by military scientists to determine the effects of explosions on the body, can I offer to donate my body for this sort of purpose?
anon - 24-May-13 @ 9:05 PM
I would like to do the same thing. How does one go about this?
Michelle - 12-Mar-13 @ 3:27 PM
I would like to donate my body to science when i die. How will i do this
brett - 11-Feb-13 @ 8:56 PM
MUM & DAD DIED RECENTLY. IF I CAN HELP OTHERS, WHY NOT?
BIG GOLDIE - 7-Oct-12 @ 1:53 AM
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