Understanding the Differences Between Funerals and Memorial Services

Although the terms funeral and memorial service are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to different gatherings. However, they do not have to be mutually exclusive, and you may choose to hold both a funeral and memorial for a loved one who has passed away. Here is a closer look at how funerals and memorial services differ and how you can use each one to honor a loved one.

Funeral Services

A funeral service usually happens within a week of someone passing away. It may be a religious or secular service and can be conducted in church, in a chapel, or in a cemetery at the graveside. Often, the body of the deceased is present at a funeral service, though it is also possible to have a funeral after cremation. Funeral services often involve some kind of ceremonial aspect, particularly when they are religious in nature.

Memorial Services

Memorial services usually happen longer after a death than funeral services. They tend to be more focused on honoring the life of the person who was lost rather than being ceremonial. Memorials can be held at cemeteries or other places where funerals are conducted, but they are also often held in places that were significant to the person who has passed, such as a favorite restaurant or beach.

How to Have Both

Both funerals and memorial services can be ideal for honoring a lost loved one, but some families find reasons to have both. Some people opt to hold a funeral immediately after a death occurs, with a memorial service sometime in the future that is more geared towards celebrating the deceased’s life. Sometimes, a family holds a private funeral and then a memorial service that is open to a larger number of people, or they have a memorial service in the future for people who were unable to come to the funeral.

Inglewood Park Cemetery can help you plan both graveside and cremation memorials in Los Angeles as you consider the best way to honor your loved ones who have passed. Find out more about all of our services by dialing (310) 412-6500.

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