What is a memorial service?

When someone talks about a memorial service, they likely mean hosting a service to honor a loved one, who was cremated, as an alternative to traditional funeral services. Unlike a traditional funeral service, a memorial service is a ceremony that memorializes and honors your loved one after the body has been cremated and can be held at a funeral home, church, or other location of your choice. 

A memorial service is typically led by a pastor, funeral director or someone of the families choosing and often allows guests to participate in the service to some level. Families may choose this type of service if they wish to have more time to plan the ceremony since the service can take place after the body has been cremated. 

How soon can a cremation be done?

Wisconsin state law requires a minimum of 48 hours from the time of death to cremate. However, more time is often required, as you will need a signed death certificate and permission from both the family and the Medical Examiner to proceed with the cremation, which typically takes between 2-10 days.  

Is embalming required to be cremated?

No, you do not need to be embalmed prior to being cremated. However, embalming is required if you choose to have a traditional service with a viewing before the cremation.  

What can I do with the urn afterward?

After the service, you can choose to keep the urn in your home, inter (bury) the urn and/or ashes in a cemetery, or place the urn in a columbarium, which is a building specially designed to hold ashes. You may also choose to take small amounts of your loved one’s ashes and incorporate them into jewelry and art, or even turn the ashes into a tree or an ocean reef. Scattering the ashes in a place that is meaningful to your loved one is also a popular choice. 

Where can I scatter the remains?

Wisconsin state law does not restrict how or where you may scatter ashes. If you wish to do so, you have many options, such as your own land, an established scattering garden, on private or public land so long as you have proper permission, or in the sea if you are at least three nautical miles from the land. 

What is included in a memorial service?

Ryan Funeral Homes offers many cremation packages that cater to your family’s religious and cultural needs, as well as individual desires, for your final arrangements. Our caring staff is here to listen and assist you with the arrangements to honor the life that was lived with the cremation services that suit your specific needs.  

Our Full Memorial Cremation Tribute includes:  

  • All basic services of Funeral Director and staff 
  • Transportation from place of death to funeral home 
  • Staff and facilities for visitation and funeral service 
  • Filing of all necessary permits and documentation 
  • Coordination of all service details with clergy, newspaper, cemetery, etc.
  • Lead car / funeral coach / support vehicles 
  • Local County cremation permit
  • Crematory fee 

What is the cost of a memorial service?

At Ryan Funeral Homes, the price of our Full Memorial Cremation Tribute package as of 2023 is $7,540. Personalization is also available, including custom, companion, and scattering urns, custom urn vaults, and honor guards or escorts for military, emergency personnel, and others. Also included with your package is a register book, memorial folder or prayer cards, acknowledgment cards, memorial candle, laminated copies of the obituary, grief angel bears, family photo boards, a cross or crucifix, a tribute video and keepsake DVD, and an online obituary published to our website.   

Learn more about our Full Memorial Cremation Tribute package and cremation services, and reach out to our team with any questions or to get started.