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Funerals Versus Memorials

If you are wondering about the difference between a funeral and a memorial service, you are not alone! Many of our families ask this question when considering which would be the best choice for them.

Although in recent years, both funerals and memorials have developed their own distinct feel, the main difference is that a funeral service includes the body present, whereas a memorial service does not.

How does one decide which is the more appropriate service option?

When deciding which would be the most appropriate option for you, consider these three main factors:

  1. Cost – a funeral is inevitably more costly than a memorial; if a body is present there are many additional services required, including embalming and a casket. A memorial can be more flexible with cost because there are far fewer necessities to include.
  2. Time—while a memorial can happen at any point after the death, if you are planning a funeral, your timing is typically limited due to the body being present.
  3. Tradition—for many families, a funeral is the more traditional, and therefore preferred, approach.

What are some of the benefits of each?

Many people find the lower cost and the flexibility of memorials very enticing. On the other hand, some people feel that a traditional funeral offers a certain kind of closure and, as such, may be preferable.

Ultimately, the “right” choice is simply the one that best reflects the person for whom it is being held. Whether you choose funeral or memorial, we are prepared to help you make all the arrangements.

If you have other questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us to start a conversation.

Phaneuf Hanover

We have developed an end-of-life planning guide to help families answer important questions as they plan their final wishes.

Funeral planning guide