Table of contents


A simple checklist for you to track what is involved in the memorial planning process. The document also contains a worksheet that helps you design the memorial program.

A Word on Grief

The Virtual Memorial Guide is not meant as a robust resource for grieving. Our main hope is only to acknowledge grief's centrality to this process and provide an invitation to be gentle with yourself as you begin planning the memorial.

  • On Grief // What to expect when grieving

  • Practices for grieving // These will help with your memorial planning, so we recommend doing some of these as you begin planning the memorial

Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up the Memorial

  1. Consider the purpose & tone // Consider the purpose of and tone of the memorial and select a few emotional notes you would like to create during the ceremony.

  2. Define roles // Enlist the help of friends and family when planning a memorial. At minimum, you will want a tech operator and facilitator for hosting.

  3. Choose a format // When planning a virtual memorial, you can choose a participatory option (e.g. Zoom) or a broadcast option (e.g. Facebook Live).

  4. Set up your tech // You'll need to purchase a Zoom account and set up your account settings in advance of sending invitations if you'd like to include the Zoom URL.

  5. Send invitations // Create simple and beautiful invitations to share with guests and include some helpful tips to prepare them for the experience.

Building your Service

  1. Consider the memorial elements // Read through the memorial elements we've identified and think about which ones appeal to you.

  2. Design your program // Pick from the sample elements we've identified and sequence into an order you like. Use the checklist to work through the order of elements.

Creating Slides & Notes

  1. Customize slides // Make a copy of one of the templates, and edit it to add your own photos, videos, words, etc. Then re-arrange or delete slides to fit the program you designed.

  2. Record facilitation notes // Be sure to make notes for the facilitator and tech operator so they know what to do at each step of the program. You can edit these in the checklist document or in the notes slides in the templates.

Preparing to Host

  1. Rehearse the program // Do a dry run or walkthrough with the facilitation team to test both the technology and to practice hosting the event.

  2. Day of hosting // Set time aside to fully prepare for the memorial and run through some last-minute checks.

Memorial Elements Library





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