A Celebration of Life
What is a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life is an alternative option to a traditional funeral that still achieves the goal of gathering family and friends to pay tribute to the deceased. Celebrations of life can consist of pretty much anything that families want. Ultimately celebrations of life allow families to display the values, passions, and personality of the deceased.
Many families today want a ceremony which celebrates the life of their loved one. We introduce them to the concept of a celebration of life, and provide support in designing a celebration of life that is as unique as the life of their loved one.
We always enjoy working together with families in planning a celebration of life for their loved one. It can be a challenge to put together a ceremony that both honors and represents the life of the deceased, but it can also be one of the most rewarding and meaningful things you ever do. A celebration of life should somehow represent the values, personality, and passions of the deceased. However, you also need to ensure it is appealing to the guests and allows guests to say a proper goodbye.
A key to planning a celebration of life is talking to your loved ones while they are still alive - Have the Talk of a Lifetime. You should ask them, "how do you want to be remembered?" or "how do you want to be honored?". It is important to learn about your loved one on a deep level and understand what is important to them. This not only brings you closer together, but when they pass away you can create a meaningful memorialization.
Our “How to Plan a Celebration of Life” page has nine questions that you should discuss with your family when looking to plan a celebration of life.
Celebrations of Life vs. Funerals
Funerals have a certain level of tradition and order. It consists of three main parts: the visitation (wake), the funeral service, and the committal service (graveside service). Those concerned with having a religious aspect or sense of spirituality should choose a funeral.
A celebration of life is virtually tied to no requirements, tradition, or order. Celebrations of life are more concerned with telling the story of the loved one's life. A celebration of life has much more room for creativity than a funeral. Since celebrations-of-life are commonly held after the individual's physical remains have been cared for through burial or cremation; there is much more time available to plan the event. And without doubt, this allows you to make better decisions about how you'd like to celebrate the life of someone you dearly loved.
Celebrations of life are similar to memorial services. Memorial services can be best described as a hybrid of a celebration of life and a funeral. It combines the flexibility of a celebration of life while still maintaining many of the activities of a traditional funeral.
Celebration of Life Ideas
Some celebration of life examples are described below. Hopefully this demonstrates that the possibilities are endless and that you can truly make it personalized to represent your loved one.
For the Musician
- Make sure their favorite songs are playing during the ceremony
- Have their musical instruments on display
For Those Who Loved Reading and Writing
- Read a passage from one of their favorite books, or read a piece the deceased wrote themselves
For the Sports Lover:
- You could organize an intimate road trip to watch your loved one’s favorite sports team play.
- An event that includes playing a sport such as a golf tournament, an exhibition soccer game, or a casual baseball game.