It's just four words, but the truth within them is profound: funeral traditions are changing. Here in the second decade of the 21st century, funerals just don't look or feel like they used to; and more often than not, families choose to hold a memorial service, or remembrance ceremony, in tribute to a loved one, instead of a traditional funeral. Why? Because they offer them greater scheduling flexibility, as well as the promise of a higher degree of creativity in the design of a loved one's remembrance ceremony.
Here at McKeon Funeral Home we've made arrangements for many such commemorative services and, because of our extensive experience; we are intimately acquainted with a wide variety of ceremonial options. Call us at (718) 655-6464 to begin the conversation about arranging a commemorative ceremony for yourself or a loved one.
What is a Memorial Service?
When asked that question, here's what we usually say: unlike a traditional funeral, a memorial service is a gathering held in honor of a deceased family member when the body is not present. It can take place after a cremation, after a private scattering ceremony; or even after the deceased's physical remains have been donated to a research or teaching facility. And when the body of the deceased is not available (due to accident, suicide, or misadventure)these services are the most appropriate option.
Where are They Held?
Such a commemorative ceremony can be held at our facility; in fact, our chapel can seat up to 175 people. Other locations to consider include the family home or church, a fraternal lodge, local park or other outdoor venue; anywhere considered to be significant in the life of the deceased.
What is Involved?
We're often heard telling the families we serve (who are curious about exactly how these services look and feel), "There are as many ways to celebrate a life as there are ways to live." In other words, a remembrance ceremony, or memorial event,can be anything you want it to be. Whether you want to hold a loved one's service in our chapel (which seats 175 people comfortably), or would prefer hosting the event in an alternate location; a member of our staff can advise and guide you in planning a unique–and uniquely memorable–remembrance ceremony.
Despite the potential for a higher degree of creativity, such services can look and feel very much like a standard funeral service; with spiritual readings, hymns, and prayers. However, it can also be highly untraditional. For example, one family we served completely re-decorated the McKeon Funeral Home chapel for their loved one's memorial event. And may we say, because of their creativity, and our collaborative efforts–where we worked side by side with family members–it was a never-to-be-forgotten experience for all who attended.
A memorial service can last as long as you'd like it to; certainly we've supported families in arranging services which lasted for a couple of hours in the afternoon. But we've also planned for all-day events, and have even arranged for a remembrance ceremony which lasted a greater deal longer than all-day; in fact, some of the services we've planned have taken place over two days (usually on a weekend).
When you come to us to plan an end-of-life ceremony for a deceased family member, you will be guided in answering some very important questions, like:
What type of service do you prefer? Should it be driven by spiritual or religious concerns, or would your loved one prefer a memorial service that is more secular in nature?
If it should be a secular service, what hobbies or personal interests of the deceased would you like to shine a spotlight on during the time everyone is together in honor of your loved one?
How many people should be invited? Together you, your family, and your funeral director will make a list of all those friends and family members who need to be informed of the date and time.
When would you like to hold your loved one's service? Select a day and time that makes sense for all those people you've thought about in answering the third question.
These are just some of the many things we'll discuss when planning your family member's memorial service. To learn more about what's involved in the planning process, call us at (718) 655-6464.
How We Can Help
We've served families and individuals living in the Bronx for over one hundred years; which means we've seen funeral traditions change dramatically. In fact, today more families choose to hold a memorial service instead of a traditional funeral; which they see as time-worn, less meaningful, and far less rewarding. When you're ready to explore our many service options, we ask that you call us at (718) 655-6464.