The Day of the Service

The Day of the Service
1. An hour before the service, parking areas for the family should be identified and reserved.

2. If the memorial service is in a public place, consider providing at least one individual per entrance into the service to assist with seating of guests and distribution of memorial programs. You may wish to provide assistance in the parking of vehicles.

3. A representative from the family should arrive at the location of the service at least one hour prior to the service in order to receive and arrange flowers on stands, tables or floor and to reserve seating for the family and guests of honor.

4. Have someone available who is knowledgeable about the location of rest rooms, water fountains, wheelchairs, and exits in case of emergency.

5. The handicapped access may need a person to assist or operate the elevator.

6. Have someone stationed near the entrance to encourage those attending to sign the register book. If a register book has not been purchased, you may want to have some stationary so people can note their attendance. Make certain that you have placed contribution envelopes of the organization that is to receive any memorial donations near the register stand.

7. Usher guests, ensuring that they sign the register book, receive a memorial program, and are seated correctly. Ushering people for a memorial service is different than church ushering because emotions are high, people might be confused, and some people that are attending are not members of that particular religious community. Make certain that all the ushers know the location of both the restrooms and reception area that will be used following the service. Ushers should also be aware of where extra seats are if the sanctuary fills its regular seats.

8. If it is raining, you may wish to have some large umbrellas to assist people from their cars to the building.

9. Someone should have a cell phone to summon medical assistance in case of emergency.

10. Memory boards, tables for displaying photographs, reserved seating signs, umbrellas, parking signs, funeral car flags, register stands, easels, memorial tables and flower stands are not provided by most churches or public facilities. You should keep in mind what you might substitute in place of them. A rental agency might be considered and you may want to appoint someone to arrange for getting and returning these items for you.

11. If the deceased was a Veteran of the Armed Forces, see if the American Flag is to be present. If so, arrange for it to be properly folded and presented to the next of kin following the service.

12. At the conclusion of the service, an invitation should be extended for those in attendance to join you for fellowship. It will be necessary to ask someone to make the announcement. If the fellowship reception is in another location, you may wish to have printed directions and assign someone to distribute them to out of town or guests unfamiliar with the area. Someone should also be assigned to dismissed the congregation following the family.

13. All honoraria should be distributed to participants who might include clergy, musicians, sextons, church custodians, sound technicians, fellowship coordinators, etc.

14. If you are traveling to a cemetery for the committal service, it will be necessary for someone to organize automobiles in an orderly fashion to provide for a smooth, safe procession. You may want to call your local law enforcement personnel to provide an escort. A person should be designated to care for the urn and any paper work with cemetery officials.


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