16300 Mack Ave
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
Phone: 313-881-8500
Fax: 313-881-7653

FAQs About Memorial Services

camera photos memorial services Verheyden Funeral HomesOur list of the most frequently-asked questions will certainly shed light on the topic of memorial services. Still, it may not have the answer to your specific question. If that is the case, give us a call at 313-881-8500. A member of our staff will be pleased to provide you with the information you're looking for; and who knows? Your question could be added to this list, ultimately assisting others in making vital commemorative decisions.

1. How does a memorial service differ from a funeral and a celebration of life?
2. Which type of service format is right for me and my family?
3. How much will a memorial service cost?
4. What's involved in planning a memorial service?
5. How much will I have to be involved?
6. What items will I need to bring to the funeral home?
7. What is a civil celebrant? How can he or she help?
8. Will I, or another family member, need to write the obituary?
9. What's the meaning of the phrase "in lieu of flowers"?
10. Do I have to ask for memorial donations in the obituary?

Question #1How does a memorial service differ from a funeral and a celebration of life?
Answer:Visualize a memorial service as a mid-point on the spectrum of service format possibilities. On one end is the more formally-structured, clergy-led funeral service (often with three component parts: the visitation, funeral and a committal service held at the cemetery). At the other end is the celebration-of-life; an event where the life of the deceased–their passions, intellectual pursuits and personal accomplishments–are the focus of attention. A funeral isn't truly celebratory, where a celebration-of-life is all about celebration. A memorial service could be said to be a gentle mix of the two; but in all honesty, each memorial service is unique. Speak with your funeral professional for further insights.

Question #2Which type of service format is right for me and my family?
Answer:There's really no way we can tell you which service would be the best in your situation. In fact, we don't believe it's even part of our job to tell you; instead, our work is in showing you the spectrum of possibilities. We can explain your options, make suggestions; all with the goal of empowering you to arrive at the best possible decision.

Question #3How much will a memorial service cost?
Answer:This is a lot like asking "how much will it cost to buy a car?" The answer is totally dependent upon the 'bells & whistles'–the special features–you've selected during the arrangement conference. When you sit down with a funeral director to discuss service costs, you'll receive a copy of the firm's General Price List which will detail all the basic professional services included in the price of your loved one's memorial service, as well as the cost of any ancillary products or services you've purchased. Call us to get a better idea of what your loved one's memorial service will do for you, as well as what it will cost.

Question #4What's involved in planning a memorial service?
Answer:We've actually written a number of pages on memorial service planning, but the short answer would include the tasks of selecting the location, date and time of the service. You'll be asked to identify the specific readings, musical selections, food or beverages, and/or the activities you'd like to feature, as well as the people you would like to participate in the service itself. Memorial service planning isn't difficult; it's empowering. After all, you've got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show the world how much your loved one meant to you. We invite you to speak with one of our service planning professionals to learn more.

Question #5How much will I have to be involved?
Answer:How much would you like to be involved? Certainly, your funeral director will need you to specify certain details: the where and when, for example. Together you'll make important decisions about other specifics, but once those decisions are made, you can "step back" and let us handle everything or have as much input as you please.

Question #6What items will I need to bring to the funeral home?
Answer:You'll need to provide the documents/information required to complete your loved one's death certificate and obituary. You may also wish to bring in a collection of family photographs to be used in making a tribute video or in the decoration of the service location. Other items may be needed at some point, depending on the arrangements made. Your funeral director will provide you with an exact list of the things he or should would like you to bring along to the arrangement conference.

Question #7What is a civil celebrant? How can he or she help?
Answer:A celebrant is a person who has been trained to conduct formal ceremonies, such as weddings, baptisms and funerals. They are not clergy; instead they are experienced masters-of-ceremony and story-tellers. A celebrant works closely with surviving family to create a ceremony which reflects the beliefs, cultural background, values and aspirations of your deceased loved one, and your family. If you think you would be best served by a celebrant, please speak with your funeral director.

Question #8Will I, or another family member, need to write the obituary?
Answer:Commonly the funeral director who met with you during the arrangement conference will assume the responsibility of writing the obituary. You will support them in doing so by providing them with the necessary legal documents (birth certificates, military records, and marriage or divorce decrees) and other important details about your loved one's life. If you, or another family member or friend, wish to write the obituary, we can help to guide you through the process.

Question #9What's the meaning of the phrase "in lieu of flowers"?
Answer:It's quite true you see "in lieu of flowers" in a lot of obituaries today. It does not imply you can't or shouldn't send flowers; if that was the case, we would use a more direct statement, such as "no flowers please". Instead, the family has given you the choice to send a memorial donation "in place of" flowers.

Question #10Do I have to ask for memorial donations in the obituary?
Answer:Of course not; in fact there's absolutely nothing you have to ask for in your loved one's obituary. If it feels wrong to you do make such a request, then you shouldn't. But when you realize most people appreciate the opportunity to "do good" as a way of paying tribute to the memory of a close friend or family member, your feelings may soften just a bit (allowing you to make the request). If you have questions or concerns around the issue of "charitable contributions", give us a call. We can help you to decide on the most suitable charity for your situation.