In communities across the country, funeral professionals invite families they have served to share in memorial service events. Some of these memorial services are held at the funeral home, while others take place at area churches or cemeteries.
This type of community outreach is an important way for firms to stay connected with the communities they serve. In addition to the traditional services held during the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas, funeral professionals are making a conscious effort to offer a variety of memorial services to help families celebrate their loved ones throughout the year. It’s never too early to begin thinking about ideas for memorial events you can begin incorporating into your firm’s offerings. Here are just a few we have heard about and wanted to share.
Adams and Swanson Funeral Home and Carpenter Memorial Chapel, both in North Platte, NE, received positive feedback from their Valentine’s Day coffee event. The firm sent letters to recently widowed members of their community, inviting them to attend the special memorial event held at a local church. Each attendee was asked to bring a picture of his or her loved one to share on a “memory table.” The event included refreshments, games and live entertainment from a local musician. Attendees received flowers, candy and balloons to release in memory of loved ones.
“There were lots of hugs, tears, laughter and memories shared that day,” said Deb Burkle, Preneed Counselor for the firm.
Paul and Beth Fouts, who own and operate Fouts Funeral Home in the close-knit communities of Woodbine and Dunlap, IA, have hosted candlelight remembrance services for local families. “We started it as an added service for our grieving families, but we soon realized it’s just as rewarding for us as it is for the families who attend,” Paul said.
As a gift, the firm gave families the candle used to honor their loved one, as well as a keepsake bookmark. Although the firm hosted their events during the winter holiday season, this type of service could easily be held at other times of the year.
Adams and Swanson Funeral Home and Carpenter Memorial Chapel have also hosted traditional holiday events such as a holiday memorial service. The firm’s Carpenter Memorial Chapel has sponsored a memorial ornament tree. Ornaments are purchased in memory of loved ones the firm has served and placed on a tree at the funeral home during the month of December. Families are encouraged to come in and pick up their loved one’s ornament to place on their own trees.
As you consider incorporating some of these ideas into your firm’s offerings, don’t forget that many opportunities exist to help grieving families with memorial events throughout the year. Listed below are some additional holidays and remembrance dates around which your funeral home could host a special event for your community.
- Mother’s Day (second Sunday of May)
- Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
- Flag Day (June 14)
- Father’s Day (third Sunday in June)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- Grandparents Day (first Sunday after Labor Day)
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (October 15)
- Veterans Day (November 11)
- Children’s Grief Awareness Day (third Thursday in November)
We’d appreciate the opportunity to learn about the special events your firm hosts. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.
This post has been adapted from an article that originally appeared in the myHomesteaders newsletter.