funeral 1

How to Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    In contrast to a traditional funeral, a memorial ceremony typically takes place after the deceased's remains have been properly cared for and does not include the viewing or placement of a casket. These days, an increasing number of families are opting out of holding a typical funeral service that is characterised by feelings of melancholy and loss. Instead, the purpose of a memorial service is to honour the life of a deceased loved one and to pay tribute to the qualities that set that person apart from others.

    If you are interested in organising a memorial ceremony following cremation, the knowledgeable and compassionate members of our staff are here to help you. The fact that there is no need to be in a hurry during a memorial service is one of its many advantages. Your family can take the necessary time to grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one before beginning the process of preparing how you will honour that person after their passing rather than adding to the stress that is already caused by the loss of a loved one.

    It is not unusual for families to wait weeks or even months following the death of a loved one before making plans for a memorial service in their honour. The outcome is a meaningful ceremony that is adapted to reflect the life of the individual who has passed away as well as the qualities that made them stand out from other people. You can get assistance in planning a funeral for a loved one by consulting the vast list of Melbourne Funeral Services that we provide.

    We strongly suggest that before you start making preparations for a memorial ceremony, you take some time to get together with the people who were closest to your departed loved one and talk about what made them so unique and how you would like to honour them. Once you have that information, you can move on to the next step, which is to plan the real elements of the service and produce something that has genuine significance.

    How to Plan a Memorial Service

    A memorial ceremony is a commemoration event that takes place in the absence of the deceased person's body. The memorial ceremony, in contrast to a funeral, can take place many weeks or months after the decedent's passing. This gives the family more time to arrange and then allows them to get together at a time and location that is more convenient for them. A traditional funeral service is often easier and less stressful to organise, as well as more affordable. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funeral Directors are here to help make the funeral process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you and your loved ones.

    Choose your style

    The ceremony may have the same level of formality as a wedding, complete with ushers, caterers, flowers, and a reception line, or it may have the same level of informality as a picnic in the park. Determine whether the get-together will be private and close-knit, or whether it will be open to the whole neighbourhood. Take into account any wishes expressed by the deceased, as well as the likes, dislikes, and financial situations of family members. Determine whether or not children will be allowed and whether or not they will be accommodated.

    Decide on a venue

    It is possible to hold a memorial ceremony in almost any location, including a church, a private residence, a funeral home, a hotel, a public gathering area, a beach, or a park; the options are virtually limitless. You will want to select a location that is not only meaningful to you but also easily accessible. Think about things like the price, how many people will be there, if it will be available, and how easy it will be to get there.

    A funeral or memorial service for a person who was deeply ingrained in a religious community should ideally take place in a house of worship. The environment, prayers, music, and support from the community will all serve to comfort the family and friends who are there. It is possible that you may need to make your reservation for the space (as well as the clergy person) several months in advance if the place of worship serves a big community. Be careful to enquire about whether or not the officiant will require payment or an honorarium in the event that they do charge a fee.

    Even if the dead had no religious affiliation, the funeral home that was responsible for preparing the body for burial or cremation can nevertheless hold a service for the family. The General Price List that is provided by the funeral home will detail the costs associated with memorial services. You will be responsible for paying for the staff's time as well as the facility's utilisation.

    If you want to have a service in the comfort of your own home, this can provide for greater flexibility as well as plenty of time for people to come and go, grieve, and talk about their experiences. You might have a daylong celebration of the life of the loved one, inviting family and friends to join you, and you could do it while surrounded by the person's favourite and most familiar possessions. However, you should take into consideration the size of your house, as well as its accessibility, parking options, and any other relevant practical considerations.

    Choose the participants

    Any religious ceremony that takes place in a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque will most likely feature members of the clergy, and the schedule for the event will be based on religious practise and etiquette. They are typically content to also officiate in services that are held in other locations. When requested to deliver a eulogy, the person of the clergy should, ideally, have some familiarity with the person who passed away, as well as the ability to select meaningful readings or speak from the heart.

    You might utilise a "secular celebrant" as an alternative to clergy, and one of them can be discovered very quickly by searching online. You could also select a member of your family or a close friend to preside over the ceremony. It's possible that other people who are close to the individual might like to conduct the readings, share personal testimonials, or function as greeters or ushers at the event. Flowers or programme pamphlets could even be distributed by very small children or grandchildren.

    To avoid misunderstanding and unnecessary duplication of effort, designate only one person to coordinate all of the event's details with the employees at the venue, the officiant, the musicians, and so on. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    Finalize the date

    You will be able to schedule the service after you have determined whether or not the participants and the location are available. Keep in mind that it may be important to have a significant amount of lead time in order to accommodate any out-of-town guests who are need to make travel arrangements. At Peter Tzitzis Orthodox Funerals, we offer funeral services that adhere to both religious and secular norms and customs.

    Invite the guests

    Once you have decided on the day, time, and location of the event, you should send out invitations as soon as possible. A public statement that is published in the local newspaper or that is made on Facebook has the potential to swiftly reach a huge number of individuals. Personal interactions like phone calls, letters, and emails sent individually are more effective than impersonal ones like "telephone trees." When compiling the guest list for the memorial service, don't overlook the importance of checking the deceased person's address book and mobile phone contacts.

    Arrange the details


    Providing visitors with a printed programme that details the sequence of the service as well as the music, readings, and participants is not only helpful but also provides a lovely keepsake that may be preserved for many years. Frequently, the name, a photo, and the dates of the deceased person will be printed on the cover, and the specifics of the memorial service will be printed on the inside. You might choose to put a few accolades to the individual or a short biography of them. It's possible that the funeral home or institution of worship where the service is going to be conducted will volunteer to print these for you.

    Spoken words

    The eulogy is a speech that honours the life of the person who has passed away, and it is frequently the part of the service that is most important and warmly remembered. The eulogist may begin by providing a brief review of the person's life, including significant events, relationships, accomplishments, and interests. Next, they may share a few favourite memories of the deceased. If you want your eulogy to have the greatest possible impact, keep it to no more than 15 minutes; in most cases, five minutes will do. Anyone who is considering taking on this responsibility would benefit from the counsel of clergy.

    Quotes from Scripture, spiritual leaders or poets give popular readings. Choose some songs that were particularly meaningful to the person who passed away, or search the internet for compilations of songs that are fitting. You can also think about include passages from the person's own letters or writings that have inspired you. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals provides professional burial services in Melbourne. We understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time, and our team is here to help you through every step of the process.

    The sharing of recollections by the attendees is frequently the most emotionally moving aspect of the ceremony. These tales have the potential to shed light on new aspects of the person, some of which even the family may be unaware of. While remembering the departed loved one, it can be a wonderful catalyst for both laughter and tears shared by the group.


    The creation of a profoundly moving emotional experience via the use of music has the potential to bring a community together in the face of a shared loss and to offer solace to the bereaved. Almost any style of music, from ancient hymns to modern tunes, can be appropriate for a funeral or memorial service. You might want to think about playing some music that was meaningful to the person who passed away. You could want to play some gentle background music while people are arriving and departing, and you might also want to intersperse musical interludes amid the readings.

    If you so desire, members of the clergy and funeral planners can put you in touch with musicians. Make sure to send out the invitations plenty of time in advance, and talk to them about the honorarium that is anticipated. If you decide to play music from CDs or downloads, it is important to remember to test the quality of the sound system and find someone who is proficient in technology to manage the electronics.

    Photographs and guest books

    You might ask family members and friends for photographs, newspaper clippings, awards, and other special souvenirs that you can show during the memorial ceremony, compile in a memory book, or turn into a slide show. Young children can make a contribution by either drawing pictures or assisting with the search for photographs. It is also a great touch to have a book that guests can sign with their thoughts and well wishes for the family.


    Flowers not only enhance the venue's aesthetic appeal and odour but also serve as a gentle reminder to guests of the wealth of life. You could place a spray of flowers on the speaker's podium or have floral centrepieces on the tables at the reception if you wanted to adorn the space. Be sure that someone will be present at the church to accept the flowers if they are going to be delivered there. Consider taking the flowers to a nearby nursing home or hospital, where they can continue to bring smiles to the faces of patients and residents alike, as an alternative to gifting them to special visitors after the event.


    A common custom observed during a gathering to mourn a loss is the exchange of food among attendees. When there is an event being held at the church reception hall, churchgoers may often offer to give finger foods and punch. You might also schedule a get-together in a restaurant that is one of your favourites, serve iced tea and cookies at your house, or have a reception catered. Because funeral homes are not permitted to provide food in some jurisdictions, if your service is going to be conducted in one of those areas, you might have to find another location to have refreshments.

    How to Plan a Virtual Funeral

    There's no getting past the fact that technology has an impact on everything in our environment and every occasion we observe. This now also covers memorial services and funerals in a growing number of cases. Families are increasingly choosing to honour departed loved ones with a gathering that includes at least some kind of virtual component, thanks to the proliferation of live streaming platforms like as Zoom.

    Many families are searching for alternatives to the conventional "in-real-life" gatherings that they have always done, whether it be owing to financial concerns, difficulties with travelling due to health or the weather, or a desire to accommodate loved ones and friends who live a great distance away. One alternative that is gaining traction in recent years is the live streaming of memorial services or the holding of virtual funerals. In need of assistance with the organising of a funeral service? Visit Peter Tziotzi's Orthodox Funerals in Melbourne for more information.

    Is there a better method for your family to remember a cherished member of the family using this fresh approach? Well, it depends. However, if you think this is an intriguing concept, continue reading to find out more about why virtual funeral services are one of the most popular developments in the sector at the moment.

    What in the World is a Virtual Funeral?

    A "virtual funeral" or "festival of life" might have quite diverse connotations depending on who you ask. Some people consider it to be a totally online, participatory funeral ceremony in which friends and family can digitally celebrate and honour the lives of their departed loved ones. Simply turning on your laptop, mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer and activating a video stream is often all that is required to get started. It is a stream that takes place in real time and can either be broadcast from a location or just shared among people in their homes. Typically, as is the case with any memorial service or celebration of life, it will consist of components such as speeches, readings, a slide presentation, or other group activities that can be carried out remotely, such as lighting a candle or recounting tales.

    The event might be recorded in order to produce a digital heirloom that can be shared with others and viewed at a later time, although this will depend on the platform. Others consider a live funeral stream to be one component that should be integrated with an in-person event to accommodate loved ones who are unable to attend in person due to distance, space restrictions, or any other limitation. In this scenario, some individuals attend the funeral or memorial ceremony in person, while others who are unable to be present in person connect to the event through a Zoom link or another platform, where they are able to observe and take part in the proceedings. When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is funeral arrangements. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a diverse religious and traditional funeral services that will accommodate your needs and reflect the life of your loved one.

    Some Benefits of Having a Virtual Funeral

    Why should you forego or supplement a traditional funeral plan with an online service instead of using one? The following are a few of the advantages that come along with choosing to have a virtual funeral, whether it is done entirely online or as a component of an in-person event.

    • Social Isolation: Recent occurrences, such as the COVID-19 epidemic, have altered the ways in which individuals are able to congregate. If a large gathering of a person's friends and family is being planned in honour of their life, it might be challenging to maintain social distance. Why not adjust your funeral plan to account for the new standard of living rather than requiring everyone to wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet between each other? Funeral streaming services can be accessed from the convenience of one's own home, making it possible for loved ones to participate in the funeral at a level of physical and emotional ease that suits them.
    • Long-Distance Travel: Even in less trying times, it might be difficult to allow relatives and friends who live in different parts of the country sufficient time to travel to the funeral. This is especially true if the funeral is located in a distant part of the country. Not only do people who care about you need to take time off from work, but also travelling at the last minute can be very expensive. Through the use of virtual funeral services, you may relieve the strain that your loved ones are under by making it possible for them to attend the service from anywhere in the world.
    • Budget: Consider all of the elements that go into the typical process of funeral planning. When a big number of people are invited to a funeral or celebration, the cost of the location, as well as the cost of the food and drinks that will be served, can be a significant burden on the family's finances. You can choose to keep things more cheap (and sometimes more easier from a planning viewpoint) by organising a virtual funeral ceremony as an alternative to worrying about seats, refreshments, and parking. This is one way that you can honour the deceased. Not only can you save time and avoid the stress of preparing a major celebration, but virtual funeral services can also be more cost-effective than a traditional in-person get-together.

    FAQs About Funerals

    The 40 days are a window of time during which we might judge ourselves before God. In Eastern Orthodox churches, it is a widely held belief that the soul must overcome a series of challenges referred to as the "aerial toll houses." The aerial world, which is the domain of evil spirits, is traversed by the soul during its journey.

    The Jewish and Christian texts, as well as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, each contain a number of tributes to those who have passed away. Stones are typically arranged in a pile or set up as a marker when memorials are created to honour a person or event. In spite of the fact that milk and honey were both a fantasy and a promise, it was not difficult to find stones in the Holy Land. Rocks were always around.

    Following a funeral, people often take advantage of the chance to spend time with one another and reflect on the life of the deceased during a reception or other type of gathering. People who may not have seen each other in some time come together to pay their respects during funerals, and the reception that follows often gives attendees the chance to catch up with old friends.

    Traditions within Christianity believe that praying for a deceased loved one paves the path for their spirit to depart this world more peacefully and to locate its place in the next. On the ninth day, there is a memorial service for the departed, a prayer for the atonement of his sins, and the receiving of his benediction for the remaining 40 days of the journey to heaven.

    In most cases, relatives of the deceased person's family will foot the bill for the lunch. If the family is having financial difficulties, they may ask the attendees to make a donation to help them out. It is crucial for everyone to reach a consensus on who would pay for the repast meal. The luncheon that is held after a funeral could very well cost more than $2,000 total.

    Scroll to Top