Memorial Services and Funerals
Memorial services in Unitarian Universalist traditions are generally called Celebration of Life. The minister will meet with the family and/or close friends. They will listen to the stories of the family’s relationship with their loved one. These stories are synthesized into a eulogy.
A eulogy in Unitarian Universalist services is a reflection and celebration of their life. It is an opportunity to stir memories that affirm the person’s life. A theme may emerge in the stories shared revealing a valuable legacy to those present. The minister highlights values this person held dear throughout their life. They indirectly asks those present to consider emulating these values as a living memorial to the person.
Favorite music, poems, and other readings are incorporated into the memorial service. Especially relevant are selections that are the person’s favorite.
The family may want members of their family and friends to offer remembrances of their loved one. Suggest having people chosen in advance to share. Remembrances should be brief. One or two memories that capture the person’s personality and love for the person are sufficient to paint a picture. Keep the length of the remembrance to one typed page about 350-450 words maximum.
Following these suggestions results in a service that is warm and affirming.
I no longer charge a set fee for this service. This is a benefit of membership and a service of compassion for non-members. However, I do recommend that an honorarium be given to the person playing the piano.
The lighting of a candle has been a symbol of eternal life and eternal love for eons.
We light this chalice flame to remind us of [name]’s life and the love that remains eternally within our hearts.
— Rev. Fred L Hammond