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Memorial service

What's the Difference Between a Funeral Service and a Memorial Service?

  • December 14, 2019

Funeral homes provide different services depending on the needs and preferences of the decedent’s family.  While many people use the phrases "funeral service" and "memorial service" interchangeably, they are actually different services.

A “funeral service” is any official ceremony that takes place in the presence of a casketed body.  In other words, the body (inside a casket) is present during the ceremony.  The casket lid may be open or closed.

A “memorial service”, on the other hand, is any official ceremony that takes place without the casketed body being present.  For example, the ceremony might take place with just an urn containing cremated remains (i.e. “ashes”) serving as the focal point of the ceremony.  Alternatively, the focal point could be just a picture of the deceased displayed on an easel.

Understanding Funeral Home Services

Many people want to know what services are offered by a funeral home.  Funeral homes, cemeteries, and memorial dealers all play an important role in caring for a deceased family member.  However, funeral homes normally handle the actual funeral or memorial service.

Different funeral home services

But not all funeral services are like.  In fact, funeral homes offer a range of services designed to accommodate different wishes and budgets.

Here are the most common types of services offered at most funeral homes:

    •  traditional funeral service
    • immediate burial
    • direct cremation
    • cremation with services
    • donation
    • memorial service
    • graveside service
    • private service