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Letter Advising of Public Memorial Service

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Letter Invitation Memorial Service

Organising a public memorial service in remembrance of a loved one can be a long, arduous task but sending out a letter advising others of the pertinent information can be an easy way to alert a larger number of people of your plans. While you may want to individually address each letter, it is just as acceptable to send out a form letter so that everyone receives the same invitation.

Due to the more personal nature of a letter advising of a public memorial service, don't feel that you must follow formal business letter protocols or formatting. Instead, aim for a tone to match the tone of the planned service and then format however you feel is most fitting.

Content of a Letter Advising of Public Memorial Service

A letter advising of a public memorial service is basically an invitation to the service and so should include all pertinent information such as date, time and place. If there is to be an event following the service, such as a lunch or reception, then details of this event should be included as well.

Some memorial services are built around attendees participating in some way, such as by reading something or otherwise speaking, so if you would like guests to be prepared for this then be sure to explain your desires in the letter.

Depending on personal preference you might also include a photo of the deceased, a fitting quote or passage, or anything else that might personalise an otherwise generic letter.

Format of a Letter Advising of Public Memorial Service

A letter advising of a public memorial service should be friendly and inviting, but at the end of the day may remain a generic form letter. If possible, print it on letterhead that clearly states your name and mailing address so that you do not have to type this information into the letter itself.

Use a vague salutation ("Dear Friends of John Smith") so that you do not need to individually address all recipients, and whatever closing you feel best matches the tone of your letter. Left-align or block format your letter, and leave room beneath the closing for your signature or a stamp of your signature. Post or hand deliver a letter advising of a public memorial service, but try to avoid email unless you have a very strong preference for this method of delivery.

Example of a Letter Advising of Public Memorial Service

Dear Friends of John Smith,

A public memorial service will be held for our son John on 19 June at the Talbot Hotel, Conference Room 3, at 2pm.

Due to the very sudden nature of John's death we were unable to hold the type of funeral for John that we would have hoped and we know that you would like a chance to pay your respects as well. We hope for this memorial service to be a time when we can all collectively say goodbye to John and share our many happy memories of our time together.

If you would be interested in publicly paying tribute to John, either through a reading, speech or other action, please contact us as soon as possible at [Telephone Number] or [Email Address]. Similarly, if you have any pictures of John that you would like to share we would be very interested in seeing them.

Following the memorial service there will be a buffet lunch. Please RSVP using the contact information above to let us know if you will be able to attend.

James and Mary Smith

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