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

Updated February 21, 2017

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.


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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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.