While you might hear the words “memorial” and “funeral” used interchangeably, the two words refer to completely separate services. When you and your family are planning to honor a loved one who has passed away, it’s important to know what your options actually are, and how they differ. In short, the difference is this: at a funeral, the person is physically present, whether it be in an open or closed casket. On the other hand, with a memorial service, the person is not present — either their cremated remains are there, or they aren’t present at all. As such, the memorial service has no visitation segment.
However, memorial services often include a display of pictures from throughout the person’s life as a way to celebrate and remember them. Both services tend to include a eulogy, readings, and prayer as a group.
If you choose to have funeral services with visitation and an open or closed casket, you can still choose to cremate their remains afterward. This plan has been rising in popularity as of late. In the end, it’s best to choose whatever you believe would best represent and celebrate your loved one.