Honoring the deceased can come in many forms. During a wake or other commemorative service, guests may be presented with items of remembrance to honor the deceased. These items may take many different shapes or forms, but what they all have in common is that they are reminders of the loved one who has passed.
Books of Remembrance
This is a book that is set in a common area, typically during a wake or vigil service. Guests who have come to pay their respects to the deceased and the grieving family may sign in and write messages, memories, or poems to commemorate the deceased.
Memorial cards are a small but lasting tribute to the person who has passed. They are credit card sized items that typically have a meaningful photo and words printed on them. These cards serve as a tangible memory of the loved one. They are a convenient source of familiarity and comfort for family or friends who are mourning their loss. They are typically laminated and are included in thank you notes that the grieving family might send to those who could not attend the funeral, calling hours, wake, or vigil.
As part of Catholic tradition, prayer cards, or holy cards, are small cards with devotional pictures. They generally illustrate a religious scene or saint. There is a prayer printed on the back of the card. This is done so that the cardholder can recite the prayer and better cope with the loss of their loved one. Giving out these cards to guests is a common practice and part of the culture of Roman Catholicism.
Many other items of a more personal nature can be considered, like give aways or little knick-knacks. These may reference a hobby or skill that your loved one expressed great interest in.
When preparing to celebrate and remember the life of a loved one, consider these tokens that you may present to those who have come to the funeral or wake services. In doing so, you can offer support and comfort to all who are grieving and give guests a tangible way to remember and honor the person who has passed.