Memorial Services

Memorial Services

A memorial service usually happens after the cremation or burial has already taken place.  Although saying a “Memorial Service” can sound rather formal, in reality it can be any event where people gather together to remember, mourn and celebrate the life of a person. 

A Memorial Service can give you more options that may suit your circumstances.  It is an excellent way of honouring and remembering your loved one after a funeral has taken place.  

If you would like more help, we can discuss this with no pressure at all.  Also there are funeral celebrants who can help.

Remember your Memorial Service can be anywhere – Church, at home, sport’s club, beach… and so on.  A place your family and friends are comfortable attending.  And you can remember the person the way you want.  It might be a time just to remember and share stories or it could be a formal gathering.

Having a Private Cremation / Burial
– then a Memorial Service later

This type of funeral / farewell is becoming more popular. 
There are many benefits that may help make this an option worth considering.


Time and Space

Naturally when someone dies it can be a stressful time.  Even if the death is expected, there is still pain and loss.  Families are confronted with having many things to organise and address besides the funeral itself. 

Sometimes the emotion and grief at the time enables Funeral Homes to talk families into spending more when they didn’t need the extra expense.  Families could easily end up having a much different funeral than they initially intended.  It only takes a few extra things for the funeral costs to rise dramatically.

Having a memorial service later gives time for families to get over the initial shock, stress and immediate sadness.  It also means they can be a little more present at the later gathering.

If people need to travel, this also gives them time to plan and organise this.

Tahuna Beach

More personal

Having a private cremation first allows family and close friends a more intimate and personal time to say goodbye.  This time is usually more informal as families share stories, music or just being together.  The committal service is the family’s time to farewell the person.

Although the cremation happens a soon after death there is plenty of time for people to prepare for this simple gathering.  There is no need to rush.

Perhaps the family wanted to say goodbye without any service with the coffin.  But they still wanted the opportunity to remember and celebrate the person’s life later.

People on beach

Financial Savings

Perhaps talking about money isn’t the right attitude when a family wants to remember a loved one.  But for many it is a factor they need to consider.  There are definitely cost savings – especially with Simple Direct Funerals.  It is a big reason why SDF was established.

Having a cremation (or burial) first means that the person doesn’t need to be embalmed.  This is an option more people are avoiding.  It is an invasive procedure whose main reasons are to disinfect and preserve the body – replacing blood chemical fluids.  Embalming does add a lot to the price for often minimal benefit.

There is no need for Funeral Homes (including me) to be involved at a Memorial Service, which can have significant savings.  Whenever the Funeral Home is involved it will cost.

There are many ways to have a meaningful Memorial Service without the usual expenses.  I would be happy to discuss these options, while you can still have a funeral that is right for your family.

What’s important?

When I led funerals as a minister, the two things people tended to remember the most were:

  1. the stories told about the person and
  2. the people they caught up with. 

Everything else, like the type of coffin or flowers or hearse wasn’t nearly as important or memorable.

Taking some time after the death to arrange something didn’t erase the memory.  Rather is enabled people to be much more present remembering and celebrating the life of a person who impacted their lives.

How you remember, how you mourn, how you say goodbye is a decision you and your family should be empowered to make.  There are no set rules you need to follow.

couple on bench

Two things remembered most at a funeral:

–  the stories told about the person.
–  the people they caught up with.

Wakapuaka Cemetery
Nelson Bay from Wakapuaka Cemetery