A memorial service is one that occurs without the body. The services may take place within a day or two of death, or it can be delayed as long as needed, to meet the convenience or needs of the family.
An alternative to the traditional funeral. They incorporate many of the elements of a funeral music, prayers, readings from scripture, poetry or other prose, a eulogy honoring the life of the deceased and sometimes a sermon.
Memorial services might be held when a body has been lost at sea, is never recovered (e.g. September 11, 2001), when the body was immediately cremated after death or donated to science.
Funeral/Funeral Service, Committal
Searl E. 2000. In Memoriam: A Guide to Modern Funeral and Memorial Services. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Skinner House Books.
DeSpelder LA. Strickland AL. 2005. The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying. 7th Edition. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill.
Corr CA. Nabe CM. Corr DM. 2003. Death and Dying Life and Living. 4th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Publishing Co.