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What Is the Difference Between a Funeral and a Memorial Service?

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A funeral service and memorial service both have several qualities that make them unique. In this blog, we will explain how these services differ.


Both services honour the life of the deceased. The services also help the loved ones, friends, and relatives get closure, which helps them grieve. Everyone can come together and share their memories. Funerals and memorials feature speeches, music, and pictures that celebrate the life of the individual. 

Featured Design: 'Funeral Announcement Cards - Cross & Lilies'


One of the main differences is that a funeral involves the body being present. The funeral ceremony will let everyone to show their respects before the body is buried. This means that funerals occur as soon as possible after the individual passes away. A memorial service can be held at any time, because it does not involve the burial of the body. Instead, the service allows friends and relatives to remember the departed. They are usually held at least a few days after the funeral, as this is considered respectful to the body. Memorial services let the family make a lovely tribute to the deceased, since there is more time to plan. They also allow people who live far away a chance to pay their respects, even if they couldn't attend the funeral. 

Featured Design: 'Funeral Invitations - Three Lilies'

Memorial services often involve preference rather then tradition. The location for a funeral and a memorial can also differ. Churches or religious centres are the traditional settings for funerals. But you can hold a memorial service anywhere. It could be a place they loved, such as a park or beach. They can also be conducted in a loved one’s home, which allows it to be as public or private as you want.

Featured Design: 'Funeral Memorial Cards - Sea View Path Photo'

A funeral dress code will traditionally feature dark colours and no patterns. However, a memorial service dress code is up to the organisers' choice. You can link it to the individual who passed away. For example, the theme could be their favourite colour. It might also simply be 'colourful' to create a happy look.