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Posted in Funerals & Memorials

Planning Your Own Funeral

While planning your own funeral is not exactly something you want to think about, more and more people are doing it. Many want to relieve their family of the burden so that they can focus on grieving rather than funeral services details when the time comes. In fact, many people now view it as a part of their estate planning or as an extension of their will.

Planning ahead for funerals prevents those that are left behind from experiencing the pressure to create a memorial service that is fitting. It can be very stressful for loved ones who are facing time constraints to make preparations while they are experiencing strong emotions. Many feel a sense of relief when their loved ones have made arrangements so that they have the comfort knowing that their loved ones last wishes were met.

Arrangements that are typically made in advance include items such as where your remains will be buried, entombed or scattered. You will also need to decide where you will have a memorial service if different from the burial location. Just be sure that your preferences are in writing and that your family has a copy as well as your attorney.

Funerals can also be costly and that is why many people are opting to prepay for the costs so that their family does not bear the burden. Individuals must be sure however to check on the laws in their state regarding prepaying funeral costs. Some states offer protection to ensure that advanced payments are available when needed while other states offer little to no protection.

Making preparations ahead of time help you make well informed decisions so that you can choose specific items and compare pricing. Too often family members are left to make financial decisions when they are not in the best frame of mind to be making such decisions. Funerals can be preplanned and prearranged directly with the funeral establishment or a memorial society. Memorial societies are very helpful in that they offer information about funeral planning but they are non-profit and don’t offer actual services.

For more information regarding funeral services please contact us at 713-208-2025 for a complimentary phone consultation if you are in need of minister services in Houston and surrounding areas. You may also view other articles in our Minister Services blog for more information such as how to write and deliver a eulogy.

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Posted in Funerals & Memorials

How to Write a Eulogy

Writing for a loved one who has passed away is probably one of the hardest things you will ever do. Its purpose it to commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed and it is typically presented at a funeral or memorial service by a person who was close to the deceased. They typically last about 5 to 10 minutes and can be a formal speech or simple reminiscences about the life of the deceased. Below we list helpful steps for those that may need help through what can be a very difficult time.

First, take some time to sit and recall your own memories. You may include things such as where you met, things you did together and any special memories you hold involving that person. You can also include any favorite songs, poems, or scripture that the deceased may have liked or that remind you of the deceased.

Gather information from family and friends about the deceased. This includes things such as their age, birthday, marriage, children, education, career, hobbies, and special accomplishments. This may include memories that family and friends have about the deceased as well. It could also include places the deceased has lived, trips the deceased took, and a condensed life history of the deceased. Sometimes individuals will also ask if there are others who would like to share a special memory about the deceased during the service. The funeral services can be very special as well if you can think of a phrase or a typical behavior that can capture the essence of your loved one who has passed.

It also helps to know how the deceased viewed death and funerals. Some individuals view a funeral as a time of mourning only while others view funerals as a time to celebrate the life of the deceased. This can set the tone for the service. If you don’t know this information, don’t worry. If you are responsible for delivery of the eulogy chances are that you were selected for a reason and you should follow your instincts. It is also important and helpful to keep your audience in mind.

Organize, write, and review. It is helpful to organize your thoughts whether they are written on a notepad, note cards, or your computer. Once you have an idea of the flow and organization then you can write your tribute down as you would deliver it. Remember it does not have to be perfect and what matters most is that you write from your heart. Also, the first draft will most certainly not be your last and you can decide what to keep and what you may want to remove. It is also helpful to ask someone you trust for their input and feedback.

Revise, rehearse, and finalize. Once you have made your revisions practice reading the eulogy so that you are familiar and comfortable with it. It is not necessary to memorize it and once you have finalized it, you may want to have a written copy or note cards to have as a reference during your delivery. Remember, it’s perfectly okay to stop and take a breath, shed a tear, and take a moment to yourself during your delivery. While you have been given an important and honorable role, you are also there to grieve for the loss of your loved one.

Please contact us at 713-208-2025 for a complimentary phone consultation and let’s find the right words to create a fitting tribute to your loved one.

Please allow Houston Minister Services to walk you through this difficult time in your life. You may also view other articles in our Minister Services blog for more information.

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Memorial Service

Posted in Funerals & Memorials

Holding a memorial service instead of or in addition to a funeral is becoming more and more common these days. They differ in that funerals typically have the remains of the deceased present whereas a memorial service typically does not. Services are typically held within one week of death however it can be postponed to a later date if required by the family. Additionally, for circumstances that require very large amounts of people, this type of service can be held, and then a smaller funeral for the family may take place at a later date.

A service of this type is typically more informal than a funeral. Those attending will talk with each other and exchange stories and recollections of the deceased. Often complete strangers will introduce themselves as well to share their personal stories of the deceased. Additionally, friends and family members may speak and music may be played as well. There may also be a register to sign where those attending can write a brief comment about the deceased. Sometimes attendees receive a memory card in which they can write a memory about the deceased as well. This type of service is thought of as a celebration of the deceased’s life.

For those who have lost a loved one and who have had to plan the funeral services for the deceased, you know if can potentially be very difficult. Family and friends also want to honor the deceased but may not agree on how it should be done. Grief and stress can make these very important decisions even more challenging. For this reason and others, many people document their wishes for how they would like their own funeral handled in order to make it easier for those family and friends left behind. At one time many thought this a little unconventional; however it is becoming more and more popular. The clearer your wishes are outlined, essentially the easier it is for your loved ones to grief.

The minister you choose to conduct your funeral or memorial service will play a large part in shaping the overall sentiment of the funeral service. We realize the importance of choosing a minister that will compassionately accommodate your needs. Please contact us for a complimentary phone consultation and let’s find the right words to create a fitting tribute to your loved one.

Please call Minister Services today at 713-208-2025; Let us walk you through this difficult time in your life. Please also continue to view other articles in our Minster Services blog for more information.


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