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A memorial after cremation is a service to honor the life of the deceased and pay respects. Cremation memorial services are a common practice, increasing with the incidence of cremation itself, and there are specific details to consider when planning a cremation memorial.
The plan for a cremation memorial service has elements of a funeral service: an opening greeting, a prayer, a eulogy, the sharing of memories by friends or family, and appropriate music. Sometimes a guest will read Psalm 23 to reflect on the idea that God’s oversight follows a person through the course of life. The order of service is largely at the discretion of the family of the departed. With a cremation memorial the urn is displayed on a table centered at the front of the room. The family often places a large, framed picture of the departed next to the urn. They can be surrounded with funeral flowers. Again, the details of a cremation memorial are largely at the preference of the family. If the deceased was in the military, the urn might have a display of medals or a uniform placed in front of it.
Cemeteries may accommodate a graveside cremation memorial service. Some headstones are fitted with a space for an urn so that the departed can be buried in a traditional grave plot. At the graveside, it is customary for family and friends to gather for a prayer and a Scripture reading. If the graveside gathering is in addition to a service in a chapel or mortuary, the graveside service is usually more brief. An employee of the cemetery helps the family place the urn appropriately. Afterwards family and guests often spread flowers on the site. Cremation ceremonies do not require music at the graveside, though the family may choose to play music.
The memorial after cremation is a common practice allowing families to celebrate a loved one’s life in a way that closely resembles a traditional funeral while accommodating this specific need.
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