Choosing Between a Funeral Service or Memorial Service

You may be asking what the difference is and which one is right your loved one.

While there are several differences between a Memorial Service and Funeral Service, both honor and celebrate the life of a loved one.  A memorial service tends to be more non-traditional whereas a funeral service is more traditional.  At a funeral service, your loved one’s body will be present and depending on the family choices, it will either be an open or closed casket.  A funeral service will usually take place a few days after your loved one has passed.  A funeral services is generally more expensive, since it involves purchasing a casket, transporting the body to the church and burial ground and embalming which is preparing the body for viewing.


A Funeral Director and Funeral Home are involved in a funeral service, which can be comforting since they are very experienced with the grieving process and they will take care of the logistics and supplies of the funeral service.  As funeral services become more and more personalized, funeral homes often offer funeral programs, keepsakes as well as other personalization options that help in uniquely honoring your loved one.  It is usually not a problem to approach your funeral director with any personalization ideas you might have.


During a memorial service the body of the deceased is not present although it is still paying tribute to the life of your loved one.  Due to the face that the body is not present, it facilitates the service to be held at a variety of locations.  Nowadays, people are looking for more unique ways of personalizing the tribute to the life of their loved one which is making memorial services an increasingly popular choice.  It is also not necessary to hold the memorial services days after your loved one has passed. It is common to have the memorial service days, weeks and even months after passing.  Memorials services are also much more economical since they do not require a casket, embalming or transportation.  The funeral home or crematorium will still handle the direct burial or cremation, and if you would like additional help with the memorial service you may ask them to be involved in any way you deem appropriate.  When planning a memorial service, the family and close friends of the deceased tend to be very involved in its personalization.