3 Creative Ideas For Paying Tribute To A Loved One In A Cremation Service

A cremation service is similar to a traditional funeral in many ways, but there are also some significant differences. While showings are commonplace at funerals, they rarely happen at cremation services. Also, sometimes cremation services take place weeks or even months after a death has occurred, which means that mourners in attendance sometimes have more perspective that funeral attendees who are facing the immediate tragedy of the death. Try incorporating these ideas into a cremation service as part of celebrating the deceased person's life and paying tribute to them.

Idea #1: Start a Thankful Chain

Starting a chain of gratitude is one way to showcase how beloved the deceased person is. This is easy to do, too, and it will be memorable for all guests since it asks them to join in and participate in the memorial.

Simply start by making small sheets of paper for each guest that simple say "I am Thankful for (Name of the Deceased Person) Becauseā€¦" The rest of the paper should be blank. Hand one out to each person as they arrive and ask them to write at least one thing that they would like to express thanks to the deceased person for contributing to their life. Let them know that they should keep the paper to read out loud at the funeral and then return it to be placed in a book for the grieving family.

At some point during the service, ask each person to come up, row by row, to read their gratitude sheet. This can be a beautiful part of the ceremony. It allows everyone to be uplifted by how much of a difference the deceased person made in the lives of their loved ones.

Idea #2: Make a Slideshow of the Deceased

Create a slideshow to play at the cremation service. A slideshow that utilizes both still pictures and video footage can do a much better job of showcasing who the person was than a showing of the body ever could. Try to locate the person's favorite songs and using them as a backdrop for the slideshow, being sure to explain to mourners why you chose the songs you did. Otherwise, if the person loved Madonna's "Like a Virgin" as a favorite song, guests may get a little confused about why that track was chosen for the service.

Idea #3: Coordinate a Unity Gesture

One beautiful thing can that be meaningful for you and guests is to coordinate a unity gesture such as a candle lighting procession where every guest lights and carries a candle as a symbol of their ongoing love for the deceased person. If you are holding the ceremony outside on a windy day or including small children, you may want to instead choose something like everyone has a small flashlight that they turn on and to the sky in memory of the person. Try to think outside the box with this gesture.

Finally, keep in mind that you should let your imagination run wild when preparing the cremation service. You can include a variety of your own creative ideas into the service. Personal touches can make all the difference at a cremation service, and they can bring comfort to mourners in a big way.