Memorial Service Resources

Elements of a Sample Order of Service

- Prelude

- Chalice Lighting

- Opening Words

- Readings (1 – 3)

- Music

- Eulogy/Reflections

- Community Recollections

- Music

- Meditation

- Benediction

- Postlude


Personal History for Obituary (some of this information also needed for Death Certificate

It is helpful for individual to leave this information for whoever will write the obituary and make final arrangements.

Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, (Social Security Number may be needed for Death Certificate)

Mother’s Name and Birthplace, Father’s Name and Birthplace

Marital Status, Spouse’s Name, Date of Marriage, Place of Marriage

Children’s Names and years of birth

Brothers and Sisters

Occupation(s) and Employment

Education (school, year, degree)

Military Service (years and rank)

Organizations and memberships

Awards, honors, special achievements

Other information


Arrangements for Someone Who Has Just Died

1. If possible before the individuals death determine whether the person has left instructions regarding their wishes regarding their final arrangements.

2. If person who had died is under the direct care of a physician or advanced practice registered nurse (hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice homecare, etc.) when called they will pronounce the person deceased and complete the medical section of the death certificate.  Otherwise, 911 must be called.

3. After pronouncement of death contact funeral home or cremation service if direct cremation is desired (look under Direct Cremation or Cremation in phone book or on-line), to remove the body and prepare death certificate.

4. Notify family members and friends.

5. If pre-need arrangements have not been made meet with funeral home director or cremation service staff to make choices, arrangements and sign necessary paperwork.

6. Determine whether memorial flowers are desired and whether there might be a substitue memorial designation.

7. Set the time and place for the memorial service in consultation with minister and administrator who schedules space.

8.  Arrange for death notice or obituary to appear in newspaper and/or online.

9. Plan for postservice reception if desired.

10. Choose photo(s).  If a single photo or a display of photos is desired at memorial service choose photos and arrange for display.

11.  If a guest book is desired for memorial service (and is not provided by funeral director) purchase and arrange for display.


Other Resources

- Helpful book on End of Life Choices:

“A Better Way of Dying” by Jeanne Fitzpatrick, M.D. & Eileen M. Fitzpatrick, J.D.

Penguin Books, 2010.

- Important Publication:

“Your Rights to Make Health Care Decisions:  A Summary of Connecticut Law”

(Advanced Directives including the living will or health care instructions, and

the appointment of a health care representative)

prepared by the Office of the Attorney General for the Department of Social Services

and Department of Public Health by the Attorney General, State of Connecticut.

Most recent version (2011) can be found on-line.

- USNH offers “Planning Your Own Memorial Service and Final Arrangements” workshop in alternating years with

“End of Life Decision Making” panel discussion with minister, physician and lawyer.  In the Spring of 2012 the

End of Life Decision Making panel will be offered.  Date to be announced.  Contact Rev. Marion Visel to express interest in participating.