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Memorial Service Ideas | Cooking + Foodie Theme

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Memorial Service Ideas: A Fitting Farewell - Cooking and Foodie Theme

Are you planning a memorial service for a loved one who loved cooking or trying new restaurants and dishes?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

As part of Love Lives On’s exclusiveA Fitting Farewell” series, we have prepared for you this guidebook filled with memorial service ideas for someone who was either an amateur chef or passionate foodie.

We have organized this guidebook into the following sections.  Each section contains the very best ideas centred on a cooking + foodie theme to inspire your creative juices when it comes to planning a memorial service for your loved one that is indeed A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour:

Why it’s Important to Work with Professionals

When it comes to planning an end-of-life ceremony, it’s highly advisable to engage the services of experienced professionals, like a funeral director and a celebrant, for 3 vital reasons.

(1)  They are Skilled Facilitators

Unlike weddings where only one person’s opinion matters, (i.e. the bride), many family members typically want to have a say when it comes to end-of-life ceremonies.

Since a time of loss is a stressful time for a family, it’s often difficult to arrive at a consensus about what a fitting ceremony looks like.  It may even instigate family in-fighting and reopen old wounds.

Engaging the services of a highly-trained funeral director and celebrant will greatly help diffuse the pressure of the situation.  They’re experts at facilitating productive conversations about how to best design a personalized ceremony that honours your loved one’s values, relationships and legacy.

(2)  They are Experts in Creating “A Fitting Farewell”

An end-of life ceremony should never be a “cookie-cutter” experience.  It should be as unique and special as your loved one was.

Funeral directors and celebrants are able to openly listen to all ideas expressed by the family and curate them.  These ideas can then be incorporated into the funeral ceremony.

A skilled professional will provide guidance about which ideas work best, based on their years of experience. They’ll also offer specific and creative suggestions of their own to help the ceremony design process.

They’re truly committed to ensuring that your loved one’s life is honoured in a meaningful way and that it’s a rich experience for everybody who participated with this final goodbye.

(3)  They Allow You to Focus on Saying Goodbye

If you chose to organize and run the service yourself, you’ll have to deal with the hundred-and-one logistical issues that arise when coordinating an important event.

It’s important to the grieving process to focus all your attention on saying goodbye to your loved one.

DIY ceremonies may save you a few dollars, but aren’t worth it in the long-run because you’ll miss out on the catharsis that comes with being in the moment and focusing on saying goodbye.

Instead, you’ll be distracted by the multitude of tasks that come with ensuring that the service runs smoothly.  You may later deeply regret this choice, and wished that you hired a professional to handle everything instead.

How do I find Caring Professionals in My Area?

We recommend searching Love Lives On’s Business Directory for local funeral homes and celebrants.

Most funeral homes are happy to work in tandem with a celebrant of your choosing.  (But it’s best to ask at the outset to avoid any misunderstanding.)

Some funeral homes even have their own qualified celebrants on staff, so be sure to inquire.

Want to Learn More About the Work that Funeral Celebrants Do?

Celebrants are passionate about helping families that have lost a loved one.  To learn more about the important work they do, we recommend reading:

A comprehensive guide to all your funeral celebrant questions by Cyndy Neilly-Spence, a Master Life Cycle Celebrant.

How to plan a ceremony with the help of a celebrant.

Memorial Service Venues

A memorial service lends itself to a broader variety of venue options and allows for more flexibility than a funeral service, since it may be held many months after your loved one has passed away, and the body of your loved one is not present during this type of service.  (However, his or her cremated ashes may be.)

Without the logistical restrictions that arise with a traditional funeral service — (i.e. the need for a timely burial + body transportation) — you’re able to consider a wider array of places that were particularly significant to your loved one as a potential setting for the memorial service.

When considering venue options for the memorial service, it’s a good idea to first have a rough estimate of how many people you would like to invite so that you can ensure that the venue you’re considering has enough space to accommodate your potential guest list.

Having an estimated headcount will also help you determine whether or not audio equipment will be necessary at the memorial service.  Will guests sitting in the back row be able to hear adequately?

If you decide that audio equipment is required, be sure to ask management at any venue that you are considering whether or not audio equipment could is usable in the space (e.g. is there enough space and power outlets).  You should also ask if the cost of the venue includes the use of audio equipment, or if you have to supply your own.

When it comes to a memorial service, commonly used venues include a local church or chapel, funeral home,  community centre or banquet hall.

Find a funeral home for your loved one’s memorial service venue in our Business Directory.

While these, of course, are still options for your loved one’s memorial service, here are a few memorial service venue ideas that would make the perfect setting for A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

If your loved one had an all-time favourite restaurant, this would be a perfect venue choice for a memorial service to honour your 5-star chef. The memorial service reception would include a meal at the restaurant.

If you’re expecting more than 20 guests to attend the memorial service, you should inquire if the restaurant has a private dining room or section that can be cordoned off for a private event.  Alternatively, you could ask if you could book the entire restaurant for the memorial service.

Either way, a top restaurant is an ideal place to share an assortment of your loved one’s favourite dishes.  It’s a delicious way to honour his or her love of food and cooking!

Memorial Service Venues: Restaurants

Now, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective option than renting an entire venue for the memorial service, a garden party at a family member’s home would make a stunning, yet inexpensive, setting for a memorial service.  Of course, the yard would have to be large enough to accommodate the number of guests you are planning to invite.

Consider transforming a humble backyard into a culinary-themed garden party with twinkle lights, streamers and patio furniture.

You may choose to take care of preparing food yourself, with the help of other family members and friends.  This, of course, will depend on the number of guests and whether you share your loved one’s skills in the kitchen.

You may prefer to hire a professional catering company to take care of supplying the food so that you can relax and enjoy spending time with other guests at the memorial service.

One final option is organizing a “potlatch” meal — or “potluck” — where you ask each guest to contribute a dish to the buffet table.

With this option, it’s a good idea to be specific with your instructions about what type of dish to bring — main dish, side dish, salad, dessert — otherwise, you might end up with ten lasagnas!

Memorial Service Venues: Backyard

Another great memorial service venue for A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour would be a picnic at the beach.  Bring a portable BBQ and furniture, decorations, and picnic blankets and have the memorial service by the water.

If your loved one was a seafood lover and you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean, select dishes for the memorial service reception that are inspired by the sea.

Memorial Service Venues: Beach

If your loved one was a lover of both good food and fine wines, a vineyard would make a beautiful setting for his or her memorial service.

The memorial service could either be held indoors or outdoors, depending on the setup at the vineyard and the weather.  Either option would make for a stunning memorial service venue!

Memorial Service Venues: Vineyards

Cremation Urns

If your loved one was cremated and you would like to have the ashes present at the memorial service, you might be interested in purchasing a cremation urn to display his or her ashes at the ceremony.  (It’s entirely up to the family whether or not to have the ashes present at the memorial service and is a matter of personal preference.)

Cremation urns come in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, colours, materials and designs that you can choose from.

You might wish to opt for a more traditional-looking cremation urn that doesn’t necessarily follow the culinary theme of the memorial service.

Below are a few stunning design options you might consider.  From left to right, these cremation urns are available for purchase from Perfect MemorialsStardust MemorialsHaven CasketsBasic Funerals; and One World Memorials.

Memorial Service Urns

On the other hand, you could choose to purchase a cremation urn that has a shape or design elements that tie into the theme of food and cooking to reflect your loved one’s passion for the culinary arts.

One option is to purchase a wooden photo cremation urn that allows you to include a photo and personalized inscription.  (See image below, top-left.)  You could use pictures of your loved one’s incredible dishes, or a photo of him or her cooking in the kitchen, or enjoying a meal out with friends.

Alternatively, you can use a royalty-free stock image from Pixabay for the side panels of the wooden photo cremation urn.  For example, if your loved one was known for her famous apple pie, download a beautiful stock photo of apple pie for free.

The next cremation urn option for a loved one who was known as a great cook or passionate foodie is this whimsical, custom-made glass cremation urn that comes in the shape of a pineapple.  (See image below, top-centre.)

This fruit-inspired pear-shaped cremation urn made out of American beech wood is another stunning nod to the culinary theme.  (See image below, top-right.)

If you’d prefer a vegetable-shaped cremation urn instead of a fruit-shaped one, consider this cauliflower-shaped urn.  This custom-made cremation urn is certainly unique!  (See image below, bottom-left.)

We love this cremation urn featuring a gorgeous blackberry design. It would be the perfect choice for a chef or foodie who loved cooking with this delicious berry. (See image below, bottom-centre.)

Finally, if you’d prefer your loved one’s cremation urn to have a more subtle design, consider this understated, yet elegant, wheat sheath urn.  (See image below, bottom-right.)

Memorial Service Urns
Search our Business Directory to find a local crematorium, cemetery, or mausoleum.

Memorial Service Invitations — Printed

When you’re considering invitation options, you can choose to either send out printed invitations to guests or electronic invites via social media or e-mail.  You may also do a combination of both, with consideration given to how best communicate with the recipient of the memorial service invitation.

First, consider who you’re inviting to the memorial service and their level of comfort using digital technology.  For example, millennials tend to be more tech-savvy than older generations.

Second, consider the issue of deliverability.  Adequate time is needed to print and post a physical memorial service invitation.  With electronic invitations, does the recipient of the memorial service invitation reliably check his or her social media or e-mail account?

Third, consider whether or not the recipient would appreciate receiving a printed memorial service invitation because he or she would keep it as a meaningful keepsake.  (This is particularly true for close family members and friends, as well as elderly guests.)

There are several websites that offer funeral printing services that allow you to customize designs for your loved one’s memorial service invitation, and have them printed and shipped directly to your address.  For a complete list of our favourite websites and sample wording for different kinds of memorial services, check out our Ultimate Funeral Reception Invitation Guide.

In the image below, we created sample designs for memorial service invitations using the popular design platform, Canva.

Canva is free to sign up for and has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor with hundreds of stunning, completely customizable invitation templates.

Although not all design elements are free, they offer thousands of free graphics, illustrations and photos to help you customize the memorial service invitation template.

If you are planning a memorial service with a food theme, Canva offers many food-inspired elements.  (These elements are labelled “FREE” in the drag-and-drop menu).

The following templates are from Canva and were edited to reflect the cooking + foodie theme.  All elements used are free on Canva and royalty-free stock photos sites like Pixabay and Pexels.  You can even order memorial service invitations directly from Canva, who will print and ship your final design to you.

The tone of the visual design of the invitation should reflect whether the memorial service will be a formal or casual affair, which will help guests decide how to dress and prepare.

The first two sample invitation designs below are appropriate for a memorial service where a full, sit-down meal will be served following a formal ceremony.  The example on the left uses formal language, with a sophisticated font choice and colour palette indicating that this event is a traditional affair.

The example on the right was designed and written in a more informal, personal and conversational tone.  The design is colourful and uses more playful fonts that work with the tone to indicate that the event will be a more casual affair.

Memorial Service Invitations

You can also include instructions regarding dress on the invitations.  Guests are sure to appreciate knowing what they should wear to the memorial service.

As examples, you could ask guests to wear your loved one’s favourite colour, like blue, or a kitchen apron or chef’s hat to fit the cooking theme of the memorial service.

This next set of invitation designs features wording that would be appropriate for a memorial service that will be followed by a reception with light refreshments like canapés.

The tone and design of these invitations follow a more formal tone and features subtle, but elegant nods to the cooking + foodie theme.

Memorial Service Invitations

These next examples of invitations are for events with a formal memorial service only, (i.e. not followed by a reception). Again, these memorial service invitations include design elements that emphasize the cooking + foodie theme.

Memorial Service Invitations

Regardless of whether the memorial service that you’re planning is a formal or informal event, there are a few essential elements that you must include in the memorial service invitation:

  • The first name of the deceased (and maybe the last name too).
  • The date of the memorial service and reception.
  • The name of the venue and the address.  (Be sure to include both the memorial service venue and the reception venue if they are in different locations.)
  • The start and end times for the memorial service and reception.  (Make sure that you confirm these details with the venue(s) before printing your invitations!)
  • Details about food and/or drinks that will be served so that guests know what to expect and can plan accordingly.  If you are planning a “pot-luck,” the invitation should specify what you want guests to bring.
  • If the memorial service and reception are taking place at an outdoor location, your invitation should include details about a backup plan in the event of bad weather.
  • The memorial service invitation should also have the name of the person to contact, along with his or her phone number or e-mail address, so that guests know who they should call or e-mail with any questions, or to RSVP.  (RSVP’s are essential so that you can get an accurate guest count and make sure you plan for sufficient food and drinks at the memorial service reception.)

Memorial Service Invitations — Via Social Media

Online invitations have a few advantages over printed invitations.  For one, if you are tight for time, electronic invites are the way to go.  Invites are instantly received, and you don’t have to worry about print time, postage delays or lost mail.

Not only this, but electronic invites are often more cost-effective than printed invitations as you don’t have to factor in the fees associated with ink, paper and postage.

If you know that the demographic you’re inviting to your loved one’s memorial service is active online, or it is an intimate affair, and you can follow up via phone call to ensure that everyone received their electronic invitation, this is the way to go.

You can create a unique social media invitation using Meme-orial in 3 simple steps.  Instantly share a personalized, one-of-a-kind social media inviting friends and family to a memorial service to celebrate his or her life.

Select a photo of your loved one, add a personalized message and select a background that reflects the theme of the memorial service.  

You can choose to write the specifics of the event in place of the personalized message (like in the example on the left), or write the details of the memorial service in the social media post that accompanies the Meme-orial (like in the example on the right).

Memorial Service Invitations

Once you’ve created the Meme-orial, share it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter with the click of a button.

Here’s an example of a Meme-orial that you can make in a matter of mere minutes that is perfect for A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

Memorial Service Programs

Creating a memorial service program is a project in the planning process that you want to make sure to devote extra time and care to.  Guests that attend the memorial service may keep the beautiful program as a keepsake item.

Several essential pieces of information are customarily included in a memorial service program.  A typical memorial service program includes:

  • The full name of the deceased.
  • A photo of the deceased.
  • The deceased’s dates of birth and death.
  • The date, time and place of the memorial service.
  • The full name of the Officiant who will be presiding over the memorial service.
  • The full name of the person who will be delivering the eulogy.  You may choose to include the relationship of this person to the deceased.
  • The titles of songs (and the artists) that will be played or sung during the memorial service.
  • The titles of any poems or readings (and the authors) that will be shared during the memorial service.

You may include the following further information in the memorial service program, but note that the more pages you have in the program, the higher the printing costs:

  • The order of service (i.e. everything that will take place during the service).
  • List of surviving family members.
  • A brief biography of the deceased’s life (this may include notable achievements, hobbies, a favourite song, flowers, poem, book or TV show).
  • Pictures of the deceased at different stages of his or her life, or significant occasions.
  • Names and photos of treasured pets.
  • A ‘thank you’ message from the family to the guests that attended the memorial service, along with acknowledgments of any special contributions.

For a professionally formatted and printed memorial service program, consider Funeral Prints.  This quality printing company offers an assortment of beautiful 4-page and 8-page memorial service program templates that you can customize to reflect your vision for your loved one’s memorial service.

First, ensure that you have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed. Then choose a template that appeals to you.  Next, customize the text, font style, and font colours.  Finally, upload photos of your loved one into the design.

Once you have finished designing the memorial service program, specify the number of programs you want to be printed and Funeral Prints will do the rest for you!

While Funeral Prints doesn’t have templates related explicitly to the cooking + foodie theme, they do have a collection of beautiful backgrounds that would be appropriate for any memorial service.

Here are two examples of the ready-to-customize templates that you can find on their website:  Mountain Rainbow Program (left side); and Morning Ocean Program (right side).

Memorial Service Programs

Here are two more examples of memorial service programs that you can make using Funeral Prints’ online platform: River Rocks Program (left);  Still Waters Program (right).

Memorial Service Programs

If you’re looking for a more customized funeral program, or are uncomfortable using technology, Funeral Prints is always willing to go above and beyond to help their customers.

E-mail them the file with the background image that you’d like to use for the memorial service program and the photo of your loved one that you wish to include, along with the text, and Funeral Prints will help you customize the memorial service program at no extra charge.

When searching for a background image to use for your cooking + foodie themed memorial service program, be aware of copyright issues.  Luckily, there are lots of beautiful, royalty-free photos on sites like Pixabay and Pexels that you can download and use for free.

Here are a couple of examples of the types of custom memorial service programs that you can have made through Funeral Prints.

Memorial Service Programs

Easily download the background image used above in this memorial service program template here.

Memorial Service Programs

Easily download the background image used above in this memorial service program template here.

Funeral Prints ships across the continental USA within 3 to 5 days from the date of your purchase with free ground shipping.

Funeral Prints Memorial Service Program Shipping Chart

Shipping for orders from Canada or internationally typically take longer.  For an accurate delivery time estimate for orders outside the continental USA, contact Funeral Prints directly, and they’ll be happy to assist you.

The cost of memorial service programs from Funeral Prints varies based on the number of programs you purchase, and whether you select a 4-page or 8-page program.  The following chart summarizes Funeral Prints pricing:

Memorial Service Programs Pricing
Search our Business Directory for more unique funeral ideas to personalize a memorial service.

Memorial Service Flowers

You don’t have to stick with tried-and-true flower arrangement ideas.  For A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour, consider incorporating fruit, vegetables, and everyday kitchen items to transform traditional memorial service flower arrangements into unique creations.

Here are some examples of stunning floral designs with a culinary theme that may be too intricate to achieve on your own, but that a local florist would be able to replicate using their skills and expertise.  Search our Business Directory to find a florist in your area.

Memorial Service Flowers

If you’re skilled in craft projects, consider making these cooking + foodie themed memorial service flowers.

Not only are they easy to make, but the “vase” for these floral arrangements are also everyday items that you can find in your kitchen.  (See image below:  standing mixer (left); Dutch oven (top-centre); colander (top-right); glass measuring cup (bottom-centre); cheese grater (middle-centre); glass jars (middle-right); vintage tin cans (bottom-centre and bottom-right).

Memorial Service Flowers

You can also buy or make standard flower arrangements and tie them into the cooking + foodie theme by adding items like wooden spoons, recipe cards or spatulas to the display.  (See images above and below.)

Another beautiful idea is to replace standard floral greenery with leafy green vegetables and herbs.  (See image below.)

If your vase is clear glass, whether it’s traditional or not, consider incorporating lemon slices or pasta (see image above), or fresh produce, like red-bell peppers (see image below).

All of our ideas will help you easily create unique culinary-themed memorial service flowers.

Memorial Service Flowers

Want to bring an extra-personal touch to memorial service flowers?  Learn the meanings behind 10+ popular funeral flowers to help you choose funeral flowers that convey a specific sentiment.

Memorial Service Music

A memorial service to honour the incredible life and legacy of your loved one would be incomplete without music.

Typically, you would select memorial service music to play at various points throughout the service.  For example, you may select your loved one’s favourite song to play when guests are entering the venue.  You also might wish to play a song that reflects his or her personality or passion as guests are leaving.

Now, we have searched high and low for memorial service music that ties together the themes of cooking and food with life, death and remembrance, but we could only find music with lyrics that are, to put it bluntly, quite sexual.

However, there are plenty of lovely songs that would be fitting to include in your loved one’s service, even if they don’t directly relate to food.

We’ve compiled a list of 200+ of the best funeral songs that are appropriate for a funeral, memorial service or celebration of life.

If your loved one was religious and you wish to incorporate religious memorial service music, review our list of 50+ of the best funeral gospel songs.

If you know of a song that relates to a cooking or food theme and is appropriate for a memorial service, please share it with us in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to update our post.

Memorial Service Readings

Typically, a memorial service will include one or two readings to pay tribute to your loved one, to celebrate his or her life and memory.

When selecting memorial service readings, try to choose ones that best reflect the person you are honouring.

If your loved one was religious, you could consider reading a meaningful passage from the bible.  You can select popular bible verse for funerals or consider reading a passage from your loved one’s favourite religious writer.  For example, there are beautiful passages from C.S. Lewis’s “A Grief Observed” that would be appropriate memorial service readings.

However, memorial service readings don’t have to be religious.  Since the readings you choose should reflect your loved one’s life, if he or she weren’t religious, secular readings would be more appropriate.

If you’re looking for help crafting a ceremony that truly reflects the personality of the individual being honoured, you might be interested in hiring the help of a funeral celebrant.

Funeral celebrants are ceremony experts who specialize in creating and officiating personalized ceremonies. They collaborate closely with families and loved ones and place careful attention to the personalization of the ceremony experience through words, poems, readings, music and ritual.

Search our Business Directory to find a local celebrant to help you plan and officiate a personalized memorial service for a loved one.

Memorial Service Readings for Children

Memorial service readings can be the perfect way to give children that were important in the deceased’s life a role in A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.  The following memorial service readings are suitable for children and teens to read or recite at the service.

~

This first reading is an excerpt from the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It reminds us that life is just like cooking because it’s about using what you have to create something beautiful from your heart and soul.

Excerpt from Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said.
A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.
Or a garden planted.
Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die,
and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said,
so as long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it
into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”

~

This short, sweet and simple poem about the “recipe of life” has a beautiful message.  It’s the perfect memorial service reading for a young child to give at the service.

Recipe for Life

Author Unknown

A pinch of patience.
A spoonful of laughter.
A dash of kindness.
And a heap of love

Thank you, [deceased’s name, e.g. Aunty Susan] for teaching me your recipe
for a beautiful life.

~

This quote from the late Anthony Bourdain honours our intimate relationship with food that goes far beyond sustenance.  This touching quote would make a beautiful memorial service reading.

Food is Everything We Are

By Anthony Bourdain

“Food is everything we are.
It’s an extension of nationalist feeling,
ethnic feeling, your personal history,
your province, your region,
your tribe, your grandma.
It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”

~

Memorial Service Readings for Adults

The following memorial service readings are perfect for an older teen or adult to give at a cooking + foodie themed memorial service.

~

This first reading is about how to truly enjoy food and life, and about being thankful for both.  This reading is a beautiful way to honour a deceased loved one who was passionate about food.

~

How to Enjoy Food

By Luz Hanaii

Many people eat, or shall I say swallow or devour their food too fast.
First I pray over my food blessing it, giving thanks for its source
of nourishment, I give my genuine appreciation for what I’m about to eat.

I take a bite, zip or small mouthful, savouring each bite, chewing carefully
for a very long time, without haste, without the feeling that I must
quickly satisfy that hunger feeling.

I am able to detect each and every flavour of my meal, the salt, the sweet,
or tangy flavours, each and every spice in that meal.
The more I chew the better my digestion will be.  I also eat in a mind of
gratefulness for this meal the earth and the hands of my brothers have
provided for and brought to my table.

Small portions become filling and I don’t require a second helping.
I make peace with my food, my digestion and my surroundings.
This is not a time to plan, worry, fear or rush… just thank and enjoy!

~

This next memorial service reading beautifully articulates the things that are most significant when it comes to living a meaningful life.  It’s the perfect reading for a loved one who consciously chose to live a life that mattered.

A Life That Matters

Author Unknown

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female, even your skin colour won’t matter.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that
enriched, empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters

~

Memorial Service Poems

It’s important to keep a couple of things in mind when choosing memorial service poems to honour a foodie.

You want to make sure that you take some time to consider your loved one’s life and the extraordinary qualities that you will remember most about him or her. Try to select poetry that echoes these sentiments. Memorial service poems should genuinely reflect the person that is being remembered.

It is also to consider how guests will be feeling during the service and how you want guests to feel when they hear the poem you have selected.

Do you want guests to contemplate their feelings of grief and loss? Do you want them to feel comforted? Do you want them to focus on fond memories of your loved one and the good times shared?

Your answer to these questions might depend on how long it’s been since your loved one’s passing.

If only a few weeks have passed before the memorial service, grief will still feel very fresh. As a result, many guests might find it difficult to try to focus on celebrating your loved one’s life when their grief over his or her passing is still profound.

However, if several months have passed, people will have had a bit more time to process their grief and come to terms with the loss they feel and might be in an emotional state where they can focus on celebrating the beautiful life and legacy your loved one left behind, instead of being consumed with the grief of their loss.

These next couple of sections will help you find memorial service poems for A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

Memorial Service Poems for Children

This short poem doesn’t directly relate to cooking, but it leaves us with the beautiful sentiment that even though someone we loved is gone, the beauty that they brought into the world remains.

This short and sweet poem would be perfect for a child to read at the memorial service.

Something Beautiful Remains

Author Unknown

The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle
warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes
on in sweet refrains…..
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.

~

This memorial service poem is a classic example of a short and easy poem for a child to read at the memorial service.

Away

By James Whitcomb Riley

I cannot say and I will not say
That she is dead – she is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of a hand
She has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be since she lingers there.

~

Memorial Service Poems for Adults

This next section features memorial service poems that would be appropriate to be read by an adult who wishes to contribute to your loved one’s ceremony.

This first “recipe of life” poem uses powerful metaphors and imagery to relate the stages of life to cooking, making it the perfect fit for a cooking-themed memorial service poem.

Recipe of Life

By Holly Jamestone

Sift the hours lovingly
Through colanders of times gone by
Slowly savour memories
Even those that make you cry

Top with every precious day
A pinch of courage, measured strength
Baste in smiles and special bonds
Simmer months in all their length

Mix with tender loving care
Sprinkle patience, hope and love
Sauté optimistic ways
Braise with blessings from above

Slowly warm through coming years
Season all things day by day
Stir in only flavours sweet
Let them take your breath away

Fold in dreams and friendships loyal
Blend conviction pure and strong
Store inside a welcome heart
Savour these your whole life long

~

This next poem can be modified to suit whatever relationship the person doing the reading has to your loved one. It beautifully articulates the legacy that is left behind in the pages of a loved one’s old cookbook.

My Grandma’s Cookbook

(Note:  this poem can be modified to reflect the relationship of the reader to the deceased)

By Jane-Ann Heitmeuller

My grandma’s old cookbook is aged and forlorn.
The pages are grease stained, each faded and worn.
The spine is collapsed and the cover’s askew,
revealing, in no way, what this book could do.
A barrel of cookies, sweet, fresh lemonade,
roasts, casseroles, salads this ancient book made.
It brought love and caring to both young and old,
delivering happiness not bought or sold.
Its owner and user breathed life to this book,
by sharing herself with each recipe cooked.
True gifts from her heart were delivered with love,
presented on earth for her Father above.
Her gentle, sweet kindness was blended with care.
A silent reminder that she had been there
to welcome your newborn…
to ease every ill…
true unselfish gestures of love and goodwill.
So don’t be deceived by the physical book,
but rather… rejoice in the wonderful cook.
Just cherish and honour each frayed, weathered page,
for pure, loving kindness has brought forth its age.

~

Are none of these poems expressing the sentiment you’re looking for? Browse our extensive collection of memorial service poems for more poems to choose from:

Memorial Service Decorations

When you think of a cooking-themed party, you might initially think of red checkered table cloths, big puffy white chefs hats and wonder ‘how can I decorate for a cooking-themed memorial service elegantly and tastefully’?

But there are so many gorgeous and unique decor ideas that, with a little imagination, would make beautiful decorations for A Fitting Farewell For A Sweet Life to Savour.

Here are some of our favourite decoration ideas for a cooking themed memorial service.

Memorial Service Decorations

Pumpkins aren’t just delicious in pies, and for making jack-0-lanterns at Halloween, they also can make gorgeous decorations for a memorial service. If your loved one’s memorial service is taking place in the Fall, pumpkins will make a fitting seasonal addition to the decor.

In the above example, a few of the pumpkins were spray painted with metallic copper paint to create a more sophisticated look. This easy DIY decoration only requires a few pumpkins and a can of spray paint. You can find metallic spray paint at your local craft or hardware store or order it online on Amazon.

Instead of filling clear glass Christmas ornaments with tree clippings (as seen in the centre image above), fill them with a variety of different types of fresh herbs, spices, or other kinds of dried ingredients (e.g. whole dried chillies) to reflect the cooking theme.

Another way to use clear Christmas ornaments as decorations would be to write out some of your loved one’s recipes on small pieces of paper, roll them up, and insert them into the glass ornament. At the end of the memorial service, you can instruct your guests to take an ornament containing a recipe home with them.

Chalkboard signs can make beautiful additions to memorial service decor (see image on the right above), and they are extremely easy to make. All you need are some decorative chalkboard signs that you can find at a local craft store or purchase them online from Amazon and chalk or a chalk marker.

You can decorate the board with different quotes relating to life and cooking to display around the memorial service venue or on a memorial service memory table.

Here are a few examples of quote ideas to use on a sign:

  • “Life is a kitchen, put on your apron and whip up something special.”
  • “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer
  • “People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child
  • “The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” – Mark Twain
  • “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” – Ge0rge Bernard Shaw
  • “One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
  • “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

Another idea would be to write out some of your loved one’s most famous recipes to display. You can display several signs around the memorial service venue or on a memorial service memory table.

You might wish to use candles to add some intimate lighting to a memorial service. Here are some of our favourite ideas for decorations incorporating candles:

Memorial Service Decorations

Consider using different kinds of vegetables to create candle holders like in the example on the left above! Green beans, asparagus and hollowed out artichokes were used to create these unique candle holders. All you need to replicate these candle holders are vegetables, candles and some ribbon.

This next memorial service decoration idea utilizes small jars with a lip that are filled with cordless twinkle lights. The containers are then suspended from a tree at varying heights to create this enchanting scene. Instead of filling the jars with flowers like in the above example (see centre image), fill the jars with fresh herbs or leafy vegetables.

The last lantern candle display is a simple and elegant way to add to the ambiance of a memorial service (see image on the left above). All you need are some lanterns, flameless candles and cordless twinkle lights to create this stunning display.

Memorial Service Decorations

Create food inspired garland by hanging herb bundles from a string to hang somewhere at your loved one’s memorial service event. This decoration idea would look gorgeous hanging across the front of a memorial service memory table, or if you are having a buffet style meal, you can use this to decorate the front of the buffet table.

Similar to the garland idea, you can hang tiny sprigs of a variety of different herbs on vertical pieces of string with mini clothespins and hang each strand of herbs from the ceiling around the memorial service venue. You could also attach these pieces to a door frame at the entrance to the venue and part the strand in the middle, tying each to either side of the door frame to create a draped effect.

Finally, we love these hanging geometric shapes plant holders. Instead of filling the shapes with flowers, like in the above example, fill them instead with a combination of vegetables (e.g. portions of cherry tomato plants or pea shutes) and a variety of herbs. Geometric air plant holders can be hollow or solid with panes of glass that can help hold your arrangement in place.

Memorial Service Guest Book

Most memorial services tend to include a memorial service guest that can make a beautiful keepsake to treasure for years to come.

A memorial service guest book allows the family of the deceased to read the entries from each guest and see the extraordinary impact their loved one had on so many lives.

When selecting a memorial service guest book, you can always stick with a traditional guest book.  You can purchase a wide variety of memorial guest books online that would be appropriate for any memorial service, regardless of the theme.

Many of the options you find online will also allow you to personalize the cover of the memorial service guest book with a photo of your loved one and his or her name.

From top-left to bottom-right, you can find these memorial service guest books at Funeral Prints, Chapters Indigo, Walmart, Purple Trail, and Blue Sky Papers.

Memorial Service Guest Book

Alternatively, if you wanted to have a guest book that ties into the cooking theme more literally, don’t be afraid to get a little creative!

For example, instead of using a physical book as the memorial service guest book, consider creating a guest book out of everyday kitchen items that belonged to your loved one. You can then instruct guests to use a permanent marker to leave their messages.

Some ideas for items you could use as an”alternative” memorial service guest books would be wooden spoons, a wooden cutting board, or a rolling pin.

Another idea would be to purchase customized recipe cards to use as the memorial service guest book. Instruct guests to use these cards and write their favourite memories of your loved one.

These recipes cards can be placed in a recipe box with a label that reads something like “[Deceased Name]’s Recipe for a Life Well Lived.” If your loved one had an old recipe box that they used to store all his or her famous recipes, use this box at the service.

You can also consider using your loved one’s most treasured cookbook as the memorial service guest book by instructing guests to sign in the margins of the cookbook pages.

Memorial Service Guest Book

These memorial service guest book ideas are sure to add a sentimental touch to the service that truly reflects your loved one’s passion for food and cooking.

Memorial Service Boards

More and more, people are becoming interested in crafting unique and highly personalized ceremonies to celebrate the life of their loved ones. For this reason, memorial service boards are becoming increasingly popular elements to include in a memorial service.

Memory boards are a beautiful, visual representation that tells the story of your loved one’s life. They serve as a reminder of many precious memories shared and provide guests with more insights into your loved one’s unique and eventful life.

You can stick to a traditional poster board when creating your loved one’s memorial service board (like in the image below, bottom right) or you opt to put a unique spin on it by creating a photo clothesline frame (see top left and top right), or create a hanging photo display inside an antique picture frame (see bottom left).

You could also choose to decorate a mini tree or plant with photos to create a memory photo tree instead of a memory board (see bottom centre).

Memorial Service Boards

No matter which style of memorial service board you decide on, the first thing you need to do is select all of the photos and mementos that you want to feature.

The idea of a memorial service board is to tell your loved one’s life story. So you want to try to include a variety of photos of your loved one from different ages, starting with childhood.

You also want to make sure to include photos of significant milestones in his or her life (e.g. graduations, birthdays, his or her wedding, etc.). Photos that highlight important relationships in his or her life, and hobbies or passions would also help tell your loved one’s story.

Making a memorial service board is a big task and one that you don’t need to tackle alone. You’ll probably discover that family members and friends are eager to assist and provide you with photos of your loved one that you may have never seen before

Consider hosting an event to create the memorial service board by inviting family and friends over to help. Ask them to collect potential photos and mementos to include on the board beforehand, and plan an evening where you go through them together and pick your favourites for the board.

Let family and friends know ahead of time that you’re planning A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour for your loved one’s memorial service theme. Ask them to be on the lookout for any photos they have of your loved one that ties into the topic of food and cooking (e.g. example cooking with his or her mom as a child, hosting a dinner party, etc.).

Seeking help from family and friends will not only make this task much more manageable, but it can serve as a cathartic exercise for all those involved. You’ll also be able to capture a more complete representation of your loved one’s life in the memorial service board.

You’ll also need some additional craft supplies to bring the memorial service board to life.

It’s a good idea to label each photo on the memorial service memory board with the date or year it was taken. A rough guess that says something like “circa 1975” or the approximate age of your loved one would suffice if you can’t remember the exact date. The purpose is to provide your guests with some context.

You can look for labels that tie into the culinary theme or use blank adhesive labels. You can search for more decorative labels at your local craft store.

You might also wish to include special mementos on your loved one’s memory board such as old recipe cards, newspaper clippings, medals, or certificates that your loved one collected.

Additional decorative elements such as coloured paper, cooking themed stickers, glitter and twinkle lights can add to the overall aesthetic of the memorial service board.

To make a traditional memorial service board, you’ll need to purchase a poster display board. We recommend purchasing a board no smaller than 48-by-36-inches. We recommend purchasing the largest board possible that you can ensure you have enough space to display all the photos and mementos you wish to include.

Most local office supply stores sell poster display boards. You can also order a 48-by-36 inch display board online from Amazon.

Alternatively, foam display boards, easel-pad sheets, cork board, dry-erase boards, corrugated cardboard, magnetic boards, or even pieces of plywood cut to size can also be used as the base of your traditional memorial service board.

If you’re interested in creating a framed clothesline memorial service board, you’ll need a few additional materials, including a decorative picture frame, miniature clothespins (you can purchase these at Amazon or a local craft store), hemp or string, glue and a pair of scissors.

If you’re having a hard time finding a single photo frame large enough to display all of the photos you’ve selected, consider creating a display using multiple smaller frames. (Watch this tutorial to learn how to make your DIY clothesline photo frame.)

A memorial service board would typically be displayed on a memorial service table accompanied by other items that were significant to your loved one (or on an easel next to the table). These items might include things like a favourite recipe book, an apron, oven mitts or other cooking utensils and pots that they loved to use.

Memorial Service Posters

You might also wish to display a poster-sized photo of your loved one at the memorial service.

Funeral Prints has an assortment of customizable 36″ by 24″ memorial service posters that you can easily design and purchase online, and the quality of their printing is second to none.

They don’t have poster templates directly related to cooking or food; however, they do have an extensive collection of beautiful backgrounds that would be appropriate for any memorial service, regardless of the theme. You can then select a photo of your loved one cooking in the kitchen or eating his or her favourite dish to reflect the cooking and foodie theme of A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

Here are a few examples of the posters that you can order through Funeral Prints (easel not included). Many venues have easels to lend you for the memorial event, or you can purchase one on Amazon.

Memorial Service Posters

However, if you’re struggling to find a fitting background in the existing templates, Funeral Prints is always willing to help their customers personalize their memorial service posters for their loved one’s service.

If you send Funeral Prints the file to the image that you want to use as the memorial service poster’s background along with the photo of your loved one to be featured, they will help you create a custom poster at no extra charge.

Make sure to keep copyright laws in mind when searching for a background image online. Luckily, there are thousands of beautiful royalty free images on sites such as Pixabay and Pexels that you can download and use for free.

We used the following free stock photos to create the memorial service posters in the image below. You can download each of these royalty free images to use in your design from Pixabay. From left to right: Vegetable Border Background, Apricot Bowl and Leaf Background and Tomato, Basil and Pasta Background. (Note: some of the images have been rotated after downloading to suit the portrait style of a poster).

Memorial Service Posters

For more unique funeral ideas to personalize a memorial service for a foodie, Search our Business Directory.

Memorial Service Table Decorations

The best chefs in the world take pride not only in creating beautiful tasting dishes but dishes that also look like a work of art. Food, when you get a little creative, can make fantastic table decor for your loved one’s memorial service.

If you’re planning to have a sit-down meal for your guests at a memorial service reception, there will likely be either a large table or several smaller tables that could use some food inspired table decor.

Simple potted herbs and vegetables like rosemary, basil, and cherry tomatoes, and small peppers would make beautiful decorations along a memorial service dinner table adding colour, freshness and the fragrant aromas of the kitchen. (See image below, top left and middle centre.)

Was your loved one a sucker for a good charcuterie board? Why not make charcuterie boards edible centrepiece for your table settings. Use a long wood serving board or a collection of smaller serving boards spread to display a selection of your loved one’s favourite cured meats, cheeses, fruits and spreads in the middle of each table. Learn tips for putting together an elegant charcuterie board here. (See examples in image below, top middle and middle right.)

You can also create edible centrepieces and table decorations by using fresh fruits and vegetables to create stunning displays. This garland centrepiece tutorial explains how to make an edible garland centrepiece using citrus fruits. However, feel free to swap out the fruits used in the tutorial with whatever fruit or vegetable combination you want to display. (See examples below in top right, middle centre, and bottom right).

Finally, we love the idea of creating a display using just apples and tea light candles to create a centrepiece that runs across the memorial service table. (See example in the bottom-centre). Easily make these apple tealight candles by following this tutorial.

Memorial Service Table Decorations

You may also want to consider table decorations that can be used to decorate a memorial service table where a guest book, memory board, and other significant items will be displayed.

The image below contains a few more ideas for memorial service table decorations. The example on the left is to display gorgeous baguettes in an antique tin on the memorial table. You could also arrange a variety of simple kitchen utensils whisks, spatulas, salt and pepper mills, utensils, napkins and wooden spoons in a stylish container to create a beautiful table decoration (see below in the middle images).

Lastly, these floating mason jar candles are made by adding citrus slices, rosemary and cranberries to a mason jar. Fill with water and top with a tea light candle. These would make a gorgeous decoration to add to a memory table.

Memorial Service Table Decorations

Memorial Service Food

When it comes to choosing what food to serve at a loved one’s memorial service reception meal, there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, many people are you expecting to attend the memorial service reception meal? If you are planning to have a large number of guests, you might want to opt for a buffet or family-style meal rather than a plated sit-down meal as it will end up being much easier and less expensive to prepare.

You could also consider hiring a caterer if you are expecting a lot of guests for the reception meal. Using a caterer for memorial service food is becoming increasingly more popular. The caterer will take care of all of the food preparation and delivery, but they will also be able to advise you about what dishes might be appropriate for your event and how much food you will need.

If you’ve decided not to host your loved one’s memorial service reception at his or her favourite restaurant, you can always check to see if the restaurant also does catering. That way you still get to include your loved one’s favourite dishes in the memorial service meal.

If you’re planning a more intimate event, it might make more sense to take care of your food needs yourself instead of hiring a caterer or renting out a restaurant. Luckily with a cooking and foodie theme, the options what food you can make are endless!

We’ve separated this next section by different types of food options from one bite canapes to sit down family-style recipes that you might wish to make for the memorial service meal.

Even if you don’t share the culinary skills your loved one did, you’ll have no problem putting together these simple, yet delicious, dishes.

Canapes for the Memorial Service Reception

If you’re planning a memorial service reception that serves light refreshments only, or you wish to provide an assortment of appetizers to your guests before the meal, these sophisticated looking one bite canapés are a fitting addition to the memorial service food menu.

A canapé is a fancy way of saying a type of hors d’œuvre made from decorative food that often consists of a base (usually a small piece of bread, puff pastry, or a cracker) topped with some savoury food, and often eaten in one bite.

This first Cucumber & Smoked Salmon Canapé recipe is ridiculously easy to make. With only 4 ingredients, this light, refreshing canapé takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Crisp cucumber topped with velvety cream cheese and smoked salmon garnished with fresh dill — you really can’t go wrong with this classic pairing.

Mushrooms, wine, herbs and toasty bread. Need we say more? This Roasted Mushroom Crostini With Wine & Herbs is another tasty canapé to add to the menu. Toast your bread and add your favourite mushrooms to a baking dish with wine, herbs and compound butter. Bake for 20 minutes, top your bread with the mushroom mixture and you have this delectable appetizer.

These delicious Cranberry Brie Bites are the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. Ready to eat in 21 minutes with only 6 simple ingredients, these cranberry brie bites are sure to be a popular appetizer.

Another play on the sweet and salty. Sweet pear and salty prosciutto (Italian cured ham) marry perfectly with sharp, creamy blue cheese to make this Pears With Prosciutto & Blue Cheese canapé the perfect balance of flavour. Not a fan of blue cheese? Easily substitute blue cheese for goat cheese instead. With 5 ingredients, 2 steps and ready to eat in 10 minutes, these tasty bites can be whipped together right before the memorial service reception is set to start.

Next up is yet an impressive looking Quick & Easy Antipasto Skewers. Antipasti are small amounts of food typically eaten before a meal, usually consisting of some combination of cured meats, cheese, olives and vegetables in oil or vinegar. These antipasto skewers are composed of sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls – 1 inch), and fresh basil. These 4 simple ingredients come together to form the perfect bite and are ready in less than 10 minutes. You can also prepare these skewers the night before, so they are ready to serve.

These indulgent, creamy Spinach Dip Bites are ready in 20 minutes are sure to be a crowd pleaser. This easy-to-follow recipe can easily be adapted for a larger crowd by doubling or tripling each ingredient!

Next, these Chili Lime Baked Shrimp Cup canapés are the perfect combination of Mexican flavours. A little heat from the chilli, acid from the lime, and the crunch of crispy wonton wrappers make these baked shrimp cups the perfect fiesta of flavours and textures.

Mini sandwiches are a popular appetizer at memorial service receptions for a reason — they are easy to make in large batches and are always a hit. These Herbed Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches combine several fresh ingredients to create a mix of crunchy and creamy, yielding the perfect refreshing and delicious bite.

Memorial Service Food: Canapes

Dessert Canapes for the Memorial Service Reception

Who could forget dessert? You might want to include an assortment of bite-sized desserts for your guests.

These Mini Lemon Cheesecakes are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. The bright burst of lemon and the fresh raspberry jam perfectly compliment one another to create a delicious bite. This easy to follow recipe is ready in 35 minutes and can be made the day before the memorial service event.

If cheesecake was one of your loved one’s favourite desserts, use their favourite cheesecake recipe instead. For ease of eating, prepare them in muffin tins following the same steps in the above method, but with your loved one’s ingredients. You can also add little toothpick signs that say “[Your Loved One’s Name]’s Famous Cheesecake.”

Chocolate, sea salt and caramel go together like peanut butter and jelly making these Mini Salted Caramel Brownie Bites the perfect decadent sweet and salty bite. If your loved one was known for being a chocoholic, these rich brownie bites would make the perfect dessert.

Lemon Bars — I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with this classic. The perfect combination of flavours and textures from the creamy and tart custard filling to the sweet and buttery, flaky crust. Easy to batch bake for larger receptions and guaranteed to satisfy a sweet tooth.

An Italian classic fit to honour a true coffee lover! If your loved one was something of a coffee connoisseur, these simple and delicious Tiramisu Cups are a fitting, light and creamy dessert that follows the theme of simple yet delicious.

You can whip these together in just 15 minutes layering the dessert in small shot glasses or some other small container that you can find at any dollar store. These are also the perfect make-ahead dessert as they need to be chilled for at least 4 hours before serving anyway (and it’s even better if they chill overnight!).

Memorial Service Food: Dessert Canapes

Sit Down Meal for the Memorial Service Reception

There are a few meal styles that you can consider depending on how many guests you’re expecting at your loved one’s memorial service reception.

If you’re planning on hosting the memorial service reception at a restaurant or having your reception meal catered, then all of your food needs are going to be taken care of for you. However, we still recommend that you call the restaurant or caterer in advance of the memorial service date to confirm your guest count and food order.

It might also be a good idea to include a note on the memorial service invitation to advise guests to inform you of any food allergies or dietary restrictions when they RSVP. This way you can let the restaurant or caterer know in advance so they can prepare special meals to accommodate.

If you’re serving a smaller group (i.e. less than 20 people), and share your loved one’s passion for cooking, you might decide to prepare the memorial service food for the reception yourself.

If this is the case, we recommend serving the meal “family style.” Family style means creating large dishes where everyone takes their own portion from the main dish. This style of service is similar to a buffet, but the food is served on the table where everyone is eating.

While it might be tempting to cook a challenging meal, keep in mind that this is a significant event and one that you want to be a part of. Making simple dishes requiring minimal supervision or recipes that you can prepare in advance allows you to be more present during the event.

If you want to personalize the meal even further, consider selecting dishes from your loved one’s favourite type of cuisine (for example Mexican, Italian, Greek, Indian, or Japanese) or serve an eclectic meal made up of your loved one’s favourite recipes.

The memorial service meal should include a variety of different types of dishes including a main dish, some side dishes and some salads.

If you’re feeling stumped for ideas, here are some family-style dishes that are easy to prepare and are sure to please the palette. Be sure to adjust the recipe to accommodate the number of guests you’re expecting!

Main Dishes for the Memorial Service Reception

Ready in just 20 minutes, this Spiced Salmon main dish requires minimal prep or cook time. Just mix all the ingredients, brush the mixture over the salmon, and bake it for 10-15 minutes. (See image below, left-side).

These Lasagna Roll-Ups put a twist on classic lasagna and is the perfect prep ahead dish for a memorial service meal. It can be prepared the day before the memorial service in just 20 minutes. On the day of, pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, and your main course is ready!

This Crock Pot Creamy Lemon Chicken recipe lets your crockpot do all the heavy lifting. Brown the chicken breasts, and then let it cook while you get other things prepped for the memorial service event.

Memorial Service Food: Main Dishes

Side Dishes

These Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots take just 5 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to cook. Prep ahead of time and then stick them in the oven to roast for 45 minutes before serving dinner. Garlic, lemon and balsamic vinegar marry together beautifully in this roasted vegetable side dish.

Quickly whip up one of these delicious Flatbread recipes to add as a side dish to the memorial service reception meal. Save time by buying store-bought pizza dough to use as the base for your flatbread.

This Loaded Cauliflower Casserole is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Cheesy, creamy and delicious, this casserole can be prepped the day before and baked the day of the memorial service meal. It is ready to serve in just 20 minutes.

Memorial Service Food: Side Dishes

Salads

This Make Ahead Three Bean Salad is the perfect dish for a backyard BBQ memorial service party. Ready in under 10 minutes it is quick and easy to prepare without forgoing any flavour.

This Mediterranean-Style Orzo Salad recipe makes the ideal make-ahead dish. Orzo is a type of Italian pasta that resembles the shape of rice. But, unlike rice, it cooks quickly! We recommend making this dish the day before the memorial service meal to save you time on the day-of and allow for the orzo to absorb all that delicious vinaigrette.

This 10 minute Berry Orange Spinach Salad With Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette could not be easier to put together. Vibrant green spinach, juicy mandarin oranges, sweet and tart berries, creamy feta, and crunchy walnuts are tossed together with a simple 4-ingredient vinaigrette that’s just the right mix of sweet and tangy.

Lastly, this light Tricolour Potato Salad is a beautiful riff on French-style potatoes tossed in fresh herbs and olive oil. It takes 40 minutes to prepare, and most of that is the cooking and cooling time for the potatoes, which requires little supervision (and can be done ahead of time). You can also prepare the vinaigrette ahead of time so that you just need to toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette, add some arugula and the salad is ready to serve.

Memorial Service Food: Salads

Memorial Service Gifts

It’s becoming more and more common to offer take-home memorial services gifts at a loved one’s service as a way of thanking guests for their thoughtfulness and contributions to the service (e.g. flowers, food, and help with setting up).

You don’t have to give guests memorial service gifts. It is merely one of the ways that you can express your thanks. You also do not need to provide all guests at the memorial service with gifts. You could instead choose to give a gift to a select number of people who were particularly thoughtful and helpful during your time of need and in planning the service.

We found many unique and meaningful memorial service gift ideas that tie beautifully into A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

Any good cook knows that olive oil is one of your best friends. Perfect to use as a vinaigrette or to garnish a dish with that delicious, unmistakable taste. You can infuse olive oil with different herbs and flavours such as rosemary, lemon and sun-dried tomatoes. Infused olive oil is surprisingly easy to make and would make the perfect take-home memorial service gift for guests.

Each guest can take home a tiny bottle of oil infused with one of your loved one’s favourite flavours. You can take the personalization one step further by adding a personalized label that says something like “Infused with Love” followed by your loved one’s name. You can find blank adhesive labels on Amazon, local craft stores, and many dollar stores.

An even easier take-home memorial service gift idea than infused olive oil? Mini pots of fresh herbs. Do you have an herb garden? Pick up some tiny flower pots from your local garden centre and plant mini pots of herbs for guests to take home. You can then add a personalized plant label that has the name of the herb on one side and your loved one’s name on the other.

Did your loved one have one recipe that he or she was particularly famous for? Take this recipe and copy it onto personalized recipe cards. Place these recipe cards in an envelope and make a label that says something like: “[Your Loved One’s Name]’s Famous [Signature Dish Name] Recipe. May you think of [him/her] every time you cook it.”

Why not make a tasty take a home snack out of one of your loved one’s famous recipes? Make a food item that’s easy to assemble, package and transport such as these herbed and fried almonds or a batch of his or her famous jam with a custom label for guests to take home at the end of the service.

Memorial Service Gifts

Memorial Service Keepsakes

Memorial service keepsakes, unlike memorial service gifts, should be given to all of the guests that will be attending the memorial service. Keepsakes provide guests with a special memento that they can treasure in memory of your loved one for years to come.

Printed memorial service keepsakes are a more budget-friendly option than the memorial service gift ideas we mentioned in the previous section. You are more than welcome to use the memorial service gift ideas as your keepsake item, but if the cost per guest is something you want to keep in mind, these printed memorial service keepsakes might be a more feasible option.

Funeral Prints has a variety of different keepsake items that you can have made to provide guests at the memorial service including commemorative bookmarks, personalized prayer cards and funeral service programs.

You can also Search Our Business Directory to find more unique memorial service keepsake products.

Memorial Service Keepsakes


Memorial Cards

Memorial cards are small cards that can feature a devotional photo and a special poem, verse, or prayer in honour of your loved one. Memorial cards can be distributed at visitations, wakes, funerals, memorial services and celebrations of life.

Memorial cards are a beautiful way to provide guests with a tangible keepsake in memory of your loved one. They can also be mailed to loved ones who will be unable to travel to attend the memorial service.

There are many places online to order and customize memorial cards. However, when you’re looking for a funeral printing service, it’s best to find a reputable company with experience working with memorial cards. They will understand the need for quick shipping and will be sensitive to the fact that you are grieving and may require some extra assistance.

Funeral Prints is a funeral printing service that specializes in helping families remember their loved ones with printed memorial keepsakes.

This reputable company has an extensive collection of gorgeous memorial cards that you can easily customize and order directly through their affordable online portal.

Memorial Cards

Funeral Prints offers standard prayer cards (2.5″ x 4.25″) that are printed on 120# glossy paper. Personalize the memorial card by adding your loved one’s name, his or her birth and death dates, a photo to feature on the back of the memorial card, the prayer or poem you’d like to feature and specify the quantity you would like to order.

You can also choose to add some premium features to the standard memorial card (e.g. lamination & rounded corners, standard gloss or velvet finish, or gold foil) for an additional charge.

Funeral Prints was kind enough to send us some samples of their finished products and we were blown away by the quality of their printing. The gold foil lettering is an absolutely stunning touch to add to the memorial card and is well worth the additional charge, in our opinion. The velvet finish also offers a tactile finish.

Here is an example of a completed front and back view of a standard memorial card design from Funeral Prints. The template used in this example is called “Purple Field”:

Standard Memorial Cards

With almost 100 standard card templates, Funeral Prints offers a variety of scenic, sports-themed, religious, and military memorial cards.

The following examples are some of our favourite scenic memorial card templates that would make a beautiful memorial card. On the reverse side, you can customize the template with a prayer, poem, quote and/or photo of your loved one. From left to right: Purple Field; Hummingbird; River Rocks.

Memorial Cards

You may wish for your loved one’s memorial service card to reflect some other aspect that reflects his or her personality, such as a love for a particular sport.

Here are a few examples of our favourite sports-themed memorial card templates. From left to right: Baseball 3; Fishing Pole; Football Field.

Memorial Cards

If you are paying tribute to a loved one who served in the military, you could consider a memorial prayer card that signifies this service. These military memorial card templates would make a beautiful keepsake to honour a military veteran. From left to right: Soldier Saluting; Final Honors; Cross Military Cemetery.

Memorial Cards

Finally, if your loved one was religious, one of Funeral Print’s spiritual or Catholic memorial cards might be appropriate. Funeral Prints’ Catholic memorial card templates feature iconic images in the Catholic faith such as the Virgin Mary, Saint Francis of Assisi, and the crucifix. These beautiful Catholic memorial card templates would make an appropriate choice. From left to right: St. Anne; Mystical Rose; St. Francis.

Memorial Cards

Funeral Prints also offers premium memorial cards that are slightly larger than the standard card (3″ x 4.75″) and include lamination and rounded corners in the price. All premium memorial cards also already come with gold foil accents.

Here is an example of a completed front and back view of a premium memorial card design from Funeral Prints. The template is an example of a custom card you can have made in honour of your loved one and gives you an idea of what the gold foil detailing would look like:

Premium Memorial Card

Here are some of our favourite premium gold foil memorial card templates. On the reverse side, you can customize the template with a prayer, poem, quote and/or photo of your loved one. From left to right: Depth of LifeSmile; Do Not Be Afraid; Love Is.

Premium Memorial Cards

Have a particular idea in mind for your loved one’s memorial cards?  You can easily create a completely custom memorial card by choosing the “custom template” option.

If you have any question or need some technical assistance, contact Funeral Prints today and they will be happy to help you create your custom memorial cards at no extra charge.

Memorial Service Tribute Video

With family and friends gathered in one location, a memorial service can be a perfect occasion to capture special memories and stories of your loved one on video.

SpeechBooth is an innovative company that will make this incredibly easy to achieve. They will ship a complete video recording kit to anywhere in the USA and Canada. You can easily order a kit online today, and you’ll have everything you need to capture these special anecdotes and thoughtful words about your loved one at the memorial service.

The video recording kit sets up in minutes and after the memorial service is over, send SpeechBooth your video footage back with the equipment. They will then edit together a professional video for you and the other guests to treasure and share for years to come.

Are you interested in finding more unique memorial service ideas like this? Search our Business Directory for more unique funeral ideas.

Memorial Service Tribute Video

More Memorial Service Ideas

Did you know that Love Lives On has other themed memorial service ideas? Visit our library for “A Fitting Farewell™”.

We also have a comprehensive library of articles that will help you plan a unique and memorable memorial service to celebrate the life of your loved one?

Here are some other popular posts on our website to help you with the planning process:

It Helps to Share…

If you’re planning a memorial service, please ask your funeral director if he or she is familiar with Love Lives On’s exclusiveA Fitting Farewell” series.

Let him or her know that you’d like to recreate our cooking and foodie themed memorial service, aptly named: A Fitting Farewell for a Sweet Life to Savour.

If you’re feeling inspired by our cooking and foodie themed memorial service ideas, or if you have some new ideas to share, please let us know in the comments box below!  We always love hearing from our readers.

You can also follow Love Lives On on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more inspiring ideas to help you the incredible life and legacy of your loved one.