Celebration of Life Services
A Celebration of Life service gives friends and family the opportunity to honor their loved one who has passed, although it is an approach that is less traditional and more personal. Rather than mourning your loved one’s death, family and friends partake in a celebration remembering the joy and happiness your loved one shared during everyday living.
How to Plan a Celebration of Life Service
Typically a Celebration of Life is held instead of a Memorial Service following the loved one’s burial or cremation. Nowadays, more and more traditional funerals are being replaced by a Celebration of Life service. Rather than a somber and grieving service, attendees talk, laugh, enjoy some lively music and remember the good times they had with the deceased.
A Celebration of Life service can be small, close and intimate shared with only close friends and family, or it can be of a larger scope with extended family, business colleagues and the like. Your budget is also a factor on the size of the service as well as the personality and lifestyle of your loved one.
The location of the service is generally not the same as a traditional funeral, such as in a church or funeral home. There are many venues to hold a celebration of life such as a rented hall, an outdoor garden, the home of a close family member or even at the beach or similar location of special interest to the deceased. It can take place shortly after your loved one’s passing or even months later to facilitate guests coming from out of town.
There are no exact rules or procedures to follow during a Celebration of Life service. It should be what you and your family are comfortable with presenting. You can choose to have a religious officiant preside during the service an hour or so, or you may do this yourself.
Ideas for a Celebration of Life Service
You can include anything you want in a Celebration of Life service, although if your loved one had specific instructions before they passed, their instructions should be respected. Typically a Celebration of Life service includes:
A Celebration of Life Brochure: From simple to extravagant, you should hand these out to guests at the service as a lifelong keepsake. We have a large variety of packages to choose from, and they can be printed at home or easily and professionally at a print shop for your convenience.
Refreshments: It can depend on where the service is held, but light drinks or even a catered meal much appreciated.
Music: Recorded songs, funeral songs or even live music in the genre that your loved one enjoyed. Music can be played throughout the entire service, intermittently or only at the beginning called the procession and at the end called the recessional.
Speakers: These presented including the officiant can talk about your loved one’s life, hobbies, family, work etc.
Video Slideshow: A video slideshow can be an emotional part of the Celebration of Life service. It should outline your loved one’s life and include childhood photos and photos throughout their life at their best and happiest moments. You may also choose to make copies of the video on DVD for guests as a keepsake.
Mementos: Photo albums, video slideshow, scrapbooks and personal items of your loved one are usually displayed on memory tables and display boards.
Memorial note-cards: Usually printed on a high quality stock paper, guests are able to write a note to the family sharing their favorite memories with your loved one. Afterwards, these notecards are put into a special memory bag or box and kept for future generations to read and enjoy.
Guestbook: Similarly to a traditional funeral service, a guestbook of usually available to attendees to sign.
Balloon release: A common activity when a child has passed. It is best to use biodegradable balloons, guess launch them the balloons into the sky in unison.
These are just some of the possibilities when planning and hosting a Celebration of Life service. Make sure to plan the service according to your loved ones personality and wishes and what you think they would have wanted.