Planning a Memorial Service

Are You Planning Your Own Funeral?

by Wade Watkins

You have probably considered the fact that planning your own funeral has many benefits. For one thing, you will be removing that burden from loved ones who are left behind. Another good reason to plan your own funeral is that you can select every part of the funeral service with the realization that it will be something to your liking. From selecting the music and the speakers for your funeral service to selecting your burial site, here are some ideas that might help you.

The Funeral Service

Consider the person or the people you want to speak at your funeral. Think of asking at least two or three people to do the honors, as they may not all be available when you die. Have a meeting, perhaps over lunch, where you explain to those individuals that you are planning your own funeral and that you would like for them to be prepared to speak at the funeral service. Talk to them about things that are important to you. Of course, they'll want information, like your birth date and your place of birth, if they don't already know it. However, think of also sharing with them things about yourself that others may not know. For example, you might want those in the congregation to know that you loved Scouts as a youth and that you received many honors in Scouting. Think of the music you want to have at the funeral service, too. For example, if you are a very patriotic individual, you might want patriotic songs sung. If you are a devout Christian, you will probably want your favorite hymns sung by the congregation or by a soloist.

The Burial Planning

When you meet with a funeral director at the funeral home you have chosen, find out locations where you can be buried. For example, there might be new burial grounds out in the country that you don't even know about. Would you prefer that type of setting for your final resting place? If you are married, consider buying two spaces so that at the time of your spouse's death, he or she can be buried next to you. Consider the type of gravestone you want, too. For example, perhaps you have a favorite picture of yourself that can be etched on your funeral monument. Think of asking your spouse which picture of them that they would want to select for their monument, too. And, consider words that you want on both monuments, perhaps a favorite scripture verse or a favorite quote. Burial planning like this takes the stress and uncertainty out of the process for your loved ones after you pass away.