Creative Ideas for Time to Remember
Give everyone a helium-filled balloon with a label attached. Names and messages can be written on the labels and the balloons can be released.
Give everyone a small card and a pen at the beginning of the service and place a basket of votive candles by the altar. The people write names on their cards and at a given moment in the service the cards are brought forward and a small votive candle is lit and placed on each card on the altar. People may need help with lighting the candles.
Give candles and drip shields to everyone at the beginning of the service. These can be lit all together, one from another, as part of the liturgy. We are all together in our grief and are held together in the light of Christ.
Cover the altar or a table with silver foil. Place a large lit candle on it. Have a basket of votive candles and during the service everyone comes forward to light a candle and place it on the altar. People may need help with lighting the candles.
Small candles can be given to everyone to take and light at home.
Dragonflies and Butterflies
Cut out enough dragonflies or butterflies for everyone to have one and roll them up, securing them with dabs of glue or a small piece of sticky tape. Give one to each person at the beginning of the service along with a pen. During the service the dragonflies or butterflies are unwrapped and names of the people to be remembered are written on the wings. The dragonflies or butterflies are brought forward and placed either on a ‘pond’, hanging from a tree or arranged flying up a wall (see Gallery photos).
Rent doves to be released at the service – spirits flying free.
Cut leaves out of fabric and give one to each person with a pen suitable for writing on fabric. Ask the people to write names on the fabric leaves. These will then be collected in and made up into a patchwork which can be in display in the church afterwards.
Give a flower to everyone on arrival. Place an empty vase at the front of the church. At a given moment in the service people come forward to place the flowers in the empty vase.
Have two baskets at the front of the church. Fill one with either dried autumn leaves or paper leaves. Fill the other with spring bulbs. During the service the people come forward. Leaves are taken and dropped on the floor and bulbs are picked up to take away.
Design cards for people to write names on. Either place these on the altar by a lit candle or take home. Possible card designs include doves, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, leaves or candles.
Before the service make cards available for people to write names on. These names can be read out during the service.
Ask people to bring a photograph of the person who has died and during the service people come forward to place these on the altar – or make cardboard easels to display the photos.
Fill a basket with small stones and place pens beside it. The people come forward to write names on the stones which are then built into a cairn.
Tea and Cake
After the service provide tea and cakes.
Give everyone a card decorated with a wheat grain and a pen. The people are invited to write names on the cards and bring them forward to leave at the altar. Real wheat heads are picked up to take away.