At Bare, we love to tell people how we’re different; we’re not just your average funeral provider, we go the extra mile for our customers and do things differently. And that is great for so many people - that’s the reason they come to us. As part of doing things differently we believe that a traditional funeral service may not always be the right service for every family, and so we offer families the option of a memorial in addition to traditional funeral services.

Keep reading to learn more about how a memorial is similar to a traditional funeral service to help understand what is right for you and your family.

What is a memorial?

Although presented differently, memorials still have many elements found in traditional funerals. If you choose to plan a memorial withBare, our services start with the organisation of your loved one's unattended cremation, conducted with utmost dignity and respect. 

This initial step allows us to transition seamlessly into planning a memorial service that takes place at a separate time and location to the cremation. 

A memorial with Bare incorporates all elements of a traditional funeral service, the key difference being the presence of your loved one's ashes instead of a coffin. We meticulously arrange all components of the memorial service, including the venue, professional celebrant, flowers, service booklets, and a photo and music slideshow.

Why are memorials different from traditional funerals?

Traditional funerals commonly focus on the body and coffin being present - often there will be a service, followed by the burial and wake. Alternatively some families may still organise an unattended cremation following this traditional funeral service.

On the other hand, memorials take place without a loved one’s coffin present, which allows the memorial to take place anytime: days, weeks, months or even years following cremation. This means families don’t have to rush to plan a service in the days after their loved one has died. 

The absence of a coffin also gives the flexibility to conduct a memorial in an array of locations, from traditional chapels to casual settings such as pubs or restaurants. Whether you prefer a conventional or a more relaxed atmosphere, our team can accommodate your preferences. With over 400 partner venues ranging from surf life saving clubs to community halls, we can suggest a location that resonates with your family's needs and values.

In terms of timing, we prioritise your loved one's care above all else. This approach gives you the necessary time to reflect and make decisions regarding the memorial service without feeling rushed.

So, how is a memorial similar to a traditional funeral?

Bare can help plan and organise a memorial service that still takes place ata chapel or church, which will give the feel of a traditional funeral. In lieu of the coffin, we suggest a memorial table at the front of the room. This can hold an array of personal items that represent who your loved one was, as well as their ashes and an image of them.

This creates a focal point, like a coffin, that is a beautiful way to remember the life of your loved one. Common items we have seen include memorabilia from a favourite sports team, books, cooking utensils, golf balls, photo albums and much more.

The service can run in a similar fashion to a traditional funeral service, with any readings, poems, and eulogies. Bare will also help to create a slideshow with music to play during the service.

With a professional celebrant to conduct the service, and a representative from Bare attending to ensure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes, the service can be on par with a traditional funeral service, if that is what you want. After the service, we can also coordinate catering for the event, which is an optional extra.

Comparing memorial services and traditional funerals.


  • The deceased's body or coffin is not present. 
  • Ashes may or may not be present during the memorial which provides flexibility with scheduling, making it less likely to feel rushed compared to traditional funerals. You can hold a memorial days, weeks, months or even years following a cremation.
  • Can take place in a range of venues, from traditional chapels to more casual settings like pubs or restaurants.
  • The memorial service can also be similar to a traditional one, with prayers, eulogies, hymns/poems, and readings.
  • Attire can be formal or themed, and can be adjusted according to the personality of the loved one.
  • A memorial as a part of our Bare Funeral service includes a professional celebrant to conduct the service.
  • In the absence of a coffin, you can display photographs, personal items, mementos and keepsakes on a memorial table.
  • A memorial with Bare includes flowers, memorial stationery, slideshow and music - all curated in a way that best celebrates the life that was lived.
  • A memorial is centred around celebrating and remembering the life of your loved one.

Traditional Funeral

  • Takes place prior to cremation (or burial), meaning the timeframe for holding a traditional service is not as flexible as a memorial. 
  • Have three main components: viewing, funeral service, prior to either a burial ceremony or cremation.
  • Commonly held in a funeral home or church with the deceased's casket or coffin present, as these venues are best suited to the presence of a deceased coffin. However Bare can assist families with finding non-traditional venues to host a full funeral.
  • Funeral programs typically include prayers, eulogies, hymns/poems, readings.
  • Funeral attire is usually formal, although it doesn’t have to be.
  • A traditional funeral typically involves a formal ceremony conducted by a priest or celebrant.
  • The body of the deceased is typically present in a coffin or casket. The casket may be open or closed, depending on the family's wishes.
  • A traditional funeral service often includes elements such as flowers, memorial stationery, a slideshow or video tribute, and music.
  • The service typically includes tributes to honour and remember the deceased.
  • The deceased is laid to rest in their final resting place. This can be in a cemetery, a family plot, or a mausoleum.

Does a traditional funeral services need to be, well, traditional?

It’s important to remember that the decision to hold a funeral service which is more ‘traditional’ in nature - with your loved one’s coffin present - does not mean it can be any less personalised or modern.

While the presence of the deceased’s coffin or casket does limit timeframes and some venue options, all other elements of a funeral are flexible and should reflect your loved one. At Bare we pride ourselves on ensuring your loved one’s farewell reflects them, and doesn’t reflect assumptions about what a funeral ‘should’ look like. 

Final thoughts on the similarities between a memorial and traditional funeral.

Ultimately the decision of holding a memorial or funeral will depend on what’s best for you and your family. What’s most important is making an informed decision that is based on your and your loved one’s wishes. For some a final moment to say goodbye with a viewing and their loved one’s coffin present is important, for others, what’s important may be having the flexibility to hold a memorial months after passing.

At Bare we can assist you in planning for either, and if you’re unsure about what’s right for you and your family our team are only ever a phone call away.

Our dedicated funeral directors will guide you through the entire process, from choosing a venue to selecting the right flowers and much more.

If you’re interested in a memorial or funeral service, click here to learn more or give our friendly customer service team a call on 1800 071 176. We’re always here for you.