Ideas for a Memorial Service to Recognize Deceased Family Members at a Family Reunion

Written by ann johnson
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Ideas for a Memorial Service to Recognize Deceased Family Members at a Family Reunion
If family members missed the funeral, they can pay tribute to the deceased at the family reunion. (thai funeral image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

Pay tribute to recently deceased family members at your next family reunion. It's a way for relatives who were unable to attend the memorial service, to say goodbye. Family reunion memorials also remind the younger relatives of previous generations, and of the shared memories and history of the family.

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Sideshow

You don't need an expensive projector to present a digital memorial slideshow honouring a missing family member. If you have a laptop computer, and a program such as Microsoft's Power Point, prepare a slideshow featuring your deceased family members. When preparing the presentation, ask other family members to e-mail digital images of the deceased, as well as any anecdotes to include in the presentation. If the reunion site has a projector to hook up to your laptop, you can run the slideshow for the entire group. If there is no projector, set the laptop on a table and set the slideshow to run in a continual loop. Family members can take turns viewing the memorial presentation.

Memorial Album

Prepare a memorial scrapbook of deceased family members, filling it with photographs, mementos, antidotes and information about the family member. Include a signature page at the front or back of the book, and ask family members at the reunion who look through the book to sign the page. Encourage family members to write a brief entry about the deceased. Keep the photo album as a treasured family heirloom and memento, and one that will keep the family member's memory alive for future generations.

Shared Stories

Gather the family together to share stories about deceased family members. Allow each person an opportunity to get up in front of the group and tell something sentimental, funny, or intriguing about the deceased. This is a great opportunity for younger members in the audience to get to know family members they have never met, such as a great grandparent, aunt or uncle. If the person is recently deceased, this is a good exercise to work through the family's grief at losing him. This can also be an excellent family history lesson for the younger generation, when the honoured deceased is one who passed decades earlier.

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