Funeral, Memorial, or Celebration of Life?

By: Powers Funeral Home
Monday, August 15, 2022

Before you meet with funeral homes in Columbia, SC. about our loved one’s arrangements, you may be unsure which service to choose. With the term “funeral” often used as a general term for any type of service you may not be familiar with other options. However, there are some very big differences between server such as funerals, memorial, and celebration of life events. We are going to dive into each one so that you can have a better understanding of each as well as which one you might prefer for your loved one. 

Funeral Service

A funeral service is typically held with burials but can also be held before a cremation. These services are mostly religious in nature with a religious leader acting as the officiant. The body of the deceased is present at the service in the front of the room in a casket.

There is an order to the service and often includes things like prayers recited, hymns or other music selections sung, eulogies given, reading of the obituary, and closing acknowledgements.  

Funeral services are solemn, quiet events where the mood is that of remembrance and respect. The dress is normally formal with men wearing suits and women in nice dresses, skirts and blouses, or pant suits.  

Funerals are typically followed by the burial service as well as a funeral reception.  

Memorial Service

Memorial services are very similar to a funeral service except that they typically take place after a body has been buried or cremated. If cremated, the urn with the deceased’s ashes may or may not be present. 

Just like with a funeral, there is an order of service to the event and also includes things like music selections, eulogies given, reading of the obituary, and readings recited. These services may be religious but also are very commonly held in a more secular nature. 

The tone of this service is also very similar to that of a funeral with it being solemn and quiet. The dress is typically formal and the service may be followed by a reception.  

Celebration of Life Event 

These events are unlike a funeral or memorial service as they feel more like a celebration rather than a solemn service. Although they may include things such as music selections or eulogies given, there is much more an organic, free flowing feel to the events rathe that a strict order. 

These events are typically held after the burial or cremation and act as a way to celebrate the deceased and their life. Because of this, the mood is happy and joyful rather than quiet and somber. 

Celebration of life events are a newer trend, and as such, they don’t have as many expectations on how they should be held which allows families much freedom to hold it anyway they wish.  

You can see that there are several services you can choose from for your loved one. If you are still unsure of which one might be the most appropriate, when meeting with funeral homes in Columbia, SC, your funeral director can help you decide which service may be the best fit for you and your family.  

Leave a comment


Please wait

Previous Posts

Are You Using One of These Excuses to Put Off Preplanning?

Ask anyone if preplanning your final arrangements is important and just about all of them will agree that it is. Yet everyday people put off this important task thinking they will get to it “later”...

Coping With Grief: Where to Find Support

Grief and the loss of a loved one can be an extremely challenging thing to get through. Your world may feel like it has been flipped upside down and you simply don’t know which way is up. It is dur...

What to Say After A Death

You are in your yoga class and you see your friend return for the first time since their father passed away. You start to feel nervous. You want to talk to them but what do you say? Do you mention ...

How to Wear Your Wedding Ring After Your Spouse’s Death

Losing a spouse can be devasting. You may struggle not only with feelings of sadness and loss but who you are now without this other person as part of your world. Trying to figure out this new real...

What Are Cremation Fireworks?

Fireworks are part of many of our holidays and important days. We see fireworks on the 4th of July, at weddings and parties, and even in parades and football games. With fireworks being something t...

What Is a Double Funeral?

People have heard of double weddings, but a double funeral? Even though this idea may seem strange, double funerals are actually not that uncommon in certain situations. Directors of funeral homes ...

Different Types of Services for Your Loved One

Just about everyone is familiar with funerals. Even if they have never attended one they are aware of what they are and what purpose they serve. However, there are several other types of services t...

Granite Headstones 101

When choosing a headstone for your loved one’s grave, you will have many decisions to make. Other than the design and embellishments you wish to have, one major element to choose is what material t...

Top 4 Most Unique Ideas for Cremains

If you have looked into cremation services in Lugoff, SC. you might have noticed all the unique and wild things you can do now with the cremains. While once it was customary to hold the cremains in...

Writing to Your Loved One After They Have Passed

As directors of funeral homes in Lugoff, SC., we understand that one of the most difficult things about losing a loved one is no longer having that communication with them. For example, you loved y...