The first step to understanding how to behave at a memorial service is to understand how it differs from a funeral service. Memorials tend to take place in lieu of or in addition to a funeral. This is a meeting during which the body of the deceased is not typically present. During the event, family members come together to remember a loved one, say prayers, or tell stories.
Check for any Religious Observations
If the memorial is being held at a house of worship, you may want to first ask about any traditions or restrictions. You may be asked to dress conservatively, cover your head, or say a certain type of prayer. Ensure that you are comfortable doing this ahead of time.
Know Who Is Invited
In many cases, memorials are only open to immediate family members. In other cases, anybody is welcome. By no means is somebody expected to attend a memorial if they were not a close acquaintance, friend, or family member. Additionally, a memorial may be open to the public, but the wake or dinner may be open only to a select few.
Send a Card or Flowers
It's appropriate to send a heartfelt sympathy note or some thoughtful flowers, even if you are unable to attend the memorial service. In some cases, the family may ask that you send a contribution to a charity instead.
Know What to Wear
Dressing respectfully should be considered a no-brainer when it comes to attending any sort of memorial service. This means dressing conservatively and avoiding bright prints and bold colors. Dark, muted colors tend to be most appropriate, unless the mourners are specifically asked to wear something else.
Visitation May Still Occur
There may be a visitation, even without a funeral service. If you do attend the visitation, the same types of rules apply. Occasionally, the body is present. Visitors may view the body or casket for several minutes before socializing with family members and friends. Some issues are still controversial. For instance, some may choose to take photos at the visitation. Unless you are an immediate family member, it is wise to avoid doing something like this.
A memorial is a good way to remember your loved one. It also allows everybody to come together and seek comfort from fellow friends and family members. Make a good impression and b respectful of those mourning. For more information, talk to a professional like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home.Share