Memorial Services

Memorial Services

Even after the funeral is over, it’s important to continue to honor your loved one’s life. Our experienced staff has provided guidance and advice to families when planning memorial services. Below you will find a complete guide on memorial services, going from what that means to ideas to help you arrange a unique and personalized celebration.

What is a Memorial Service?

Memorial services give family and friends an opportunity to pay tribute to their loved one’s memory and support one another in their grief journeys. Because after the funeral, one’s journey through grief isn’t over.



Memorial Services vs. Funerals

A memorial service is similar to a funeral service and celebration of life ceremony, but serves a slightly different purpose. It doesn’t include a visitation and is held after the funeral, often on significant days such as:

  • A loved one’s birthday 
  • The anniversary of a loved one’s passing 
  • Holidays such as Valentine’s Day

One other difference between a memorial and a funeral is that the casket isn't present in the memorial service, but if the body was cremated, you might display the urn with the remains during the ceremony too.


Where Should I Hold a Memorial Service?

You can hold your memorial service in a funeral home, church, or significant location such as their gravesite, memorial location, or one of their favorite places. 


What Should The Memorial Ceremony Have?

You can use the memorial service as a time to share more memories of your loved one and to gather with friends and family. Use it as a time to reflect on your loss and to connect with those you love.

Just because you already had a funeral or celebration of life service, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to gather to honor their life. Memorial services can be held at any point in your grief journey and often take place well after the deceased is buried or cremated.


Why Hold a Memorial Service?

There are numerous benefits to holding a memorial service for your loved one, but some will be more important than others depending on your particular situation. Here’s a list of memorial service benefits

  • More time to plan - there’s no need to rush to plan a memorial right after the burial or cremation service. Since families are usually still dealing with grief and other emotional burdens from the recent loss, having that extra time to process and plan everything is very helpful.
  • Cost - Memorial services are usually more affordable than funerals, which alleviates some of the financial pressure that comes with this process
  • Personalization - Memorial services are way more customizable than a traditional funeral, which means that it leaves a lot of room for creativity and customization, leaving the ceremony more personal and uniquely tailored to your loved one’s life
  • Not tied to religion - Families and individuals that are not religious prefer a memorial service since that’s not so often associated with religion as traditional funerals.


Memorial Service Ideas

When it comes to planning a memorial, a lot of questions may emerge and to give you some more guidance, here are a few things you can be mindful of: think about your loved one and the things he or she liked, hobbies, cultural background, profession, voluntary work, sports, anything that somehow reminds you of he or she and things you liked to do together. Having those in mind will help you personalize a custom service uniquely made to honor your loved one’s life.

Some creative ways to personalize a memorial service are: 

  • Having family and friends share memories with their loved one. Guests could have the chance to share their stories in front of everyone, or you could all break off into smaller groups and go around sharing your memories with your loved one.  
  • Choosing readings, prayers, and other materials that remind you of your loved one. 
  • Serving your loved one’s favorite food or signature recipes. A potluck is a great way for everyone to be involved.
  • Making a DIY memento together, such as a scrapbook or personalized photo frame. 
  • Playing your loved one’s favorite music or music that reminds you of them. Perhaps they enjoyed a local musician who you could hire to play a few songs.

Dorsey Funeral Home Inc.
Phone: (914) 941-0167
14 Emwilton Pl., Ossining, NY 10562

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