Elsewhere here I’ve encouraged you to consider the task of planning your own memorial service, and communicating the plans to those who will survive you, as well as those who might develop that service. In these paragraphs I want to offer you some hints on how to go about that task.
The longer you wait, the harder the work will be, especially if your physical or mental conditions are worsening.
Attend other funerals or memorial services
Once you’ve experienced a number of these worship times, you’ll start to recognize elements that you like and dislike. You’ll see what’s meaningful, inspiring and worthwhile—as well as what’s schlocky, rigid or empty.
Think big picture
What do you hope to accomplish? What’s this service going to be like? Who will likely attend? With this service, what’s the best thing you could do for them? What setting would make this experience memorable?
What kind of music would be meaningful for the worshippers? What readings or testimony would form a lasting memory? How will worshippers interact with each other? What do you NOT want to happen? Besides a time of worship, what else might take place while all these people are gathered? How much money do you want to set aside to pay for the total experience?
Take time to write your thoughts in a place that’s accessible to your survivors and the likely leaders of this service. If possible, have a heartfelt conversation with all of them, so they understand your deeper desires for the goals you hope to achieve.
This planning can result in a memorial service that extends your life goals, one more time, into the lives of those who have known and loved you all these years.
It’s a joyful thing do to….