A living celebration of life service or “pre-funeral” is the type of event that happens before a person’s life ends. It gives the person an opportunity to choose what type of memorial services they wish to have. They can be part of the planning process.
A living funeral started as a Japanese funeral tradition in the 1990s. This type of life ceremony was called a seizensō, or “funeral-while-alive.”
It follows the same practices as a celebration of life service or traditional funeral service but is planned before the person is deceased.
Why Have a Living Memorial?
There are many reasons to have a celebration of life party for the living as opposed to a traditional ceremony after they have passed. With a living celebration of life, you can choose the best celebration that caters to the person and their loving memory.
More and more people are wanting to choose their own celebration of life ideas, which are less religious in nature, and more about honoring the special memories of your loved one. A living memorial may take place when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness or only has a short amount of time left to live.
This could mean you want a small memorial, or a more popular celebration with lots of close family and friends.
Including Family Members
A celebration of life service for the living can still include you in the planning. Working with others allows you or your family members to be part of the planning process. Offering suggestions and creative ways to honor your loved one’s life is helpful. Family and friends can say their respects in person, and it is a time to reflect on one’s life and your loved one’s memory.
Including friends and family in the planning can make it easier. We all know that planning special occasions, no matter what they are, can be a challenge. With the help of your family, you can plan a loving celebration of life for your living family member.
Why Choose a Celebration of Life Over a Funeral or Memorial Service?
A celebration of life ceremony is a wonderful opportunity and often more sought after than a funeral service because you can feel free to make it exactly how you would like.
Life celebrations should bring out the personality of the person who is deceased. Some examples being if they are an animal lover, avid gardener, love sports or enjoy music, you can incorporate these things within the ceremony. There are no hard and fast rules when you plan a celebration of life for your loved one.
You may decide that you want to dedicate your celebration of life for the living to a special organization or scholarship fund. With a celebration of life, you can create the perfect event, with special qualities that honor your loved one.
No matter what type of healing journey you are looking to plan, a celebration of life is a celebration that you can make your own. You can host this celebration at a local park, school library, memorial garden, or any other meaningful location that you would like to use for your celebration.
Planning a Life Celebration for the Living
Planning a celebration of life for the living can be a difficult task and having some celebration of life ideas can make it easier. Below are some life ideas to consider when planning your special day to pay tribute to your loved one.
Location is Important
A celebration of life ceremony can take place basically wherever you would like. Some options would include a restaurant, recreation center, golf course, country club, hotel, large scale venue or even your home. You could even host it at the local homeless shelter, if your loved one was active in the community.
Include Special Decorations
Decorations at a celebration of life can be unique to your loved one’s memory. You can have memorabilia of their favorite sports team, a photo collage or slide show, old photographs of them as a child, a tribute video or blanket the venue with their favorite flower.
You can invite guests to collect photos they had with the person to display at the celebration of life. Other celebration of life ideas include a memory garden, memorial DVD, or dove release for your loved one.
What Type of Food Should You Have?
The type of food that you have at a celebration of life for the living can be whatever you would like. Because the person is still living, they will want to weigh in on the type of food they are having at their celebration of life event.
Invite Guests to Speak or Write a Card
Another great celebration of life idea is to have friends or family speak. You can also have people fill out cards with their favorite memories.
Instead of a traditional guest book many people like to invite friends and family to fill out a memory card and share stories about their loved one. You can create a memory board or memorial table to display the cards. This gives them the opportunity to do more than just sign their name.
Include Their Favorite Music
Having music can make a celebration of life for the living livelier. You can include music such as their favorite songs and invite people to dance to the music.
What Should People Wear?
The dress code for a celebration of life ceremony can be creative or more casual. Unlike a funeral, where most people wear black, a celebration of life can be more special. You can allow guests to wear the deceased person’s favorite color or wear a jersey from their favorite sports team.
Creative Ideas for Your Celebration of Life
Here are some celebration of life ideas to personalize and make it a little bit unique – just like your loved one.
- Provide a live stream of the service for those who cannot attend
- Take the time to write a beautiful eulogy
- Take steps to have an eco-friendly disposition
- Create a video or photo montage set to their favorite song
- Get a beautiful cremation urn
- Hand out favors to those who attend
- Serve their favorite treat or food at the reception party
- Display a custom portrait in addition to or in place of a traditional photograph
- Include their favorite items or pastime, e.g., in the colors of a sports team or books displayed for an avid reader
Traditional Versus Non-Traditional
The difference between a traditional funeral service and a celebration of life ceremony is that a celebration of life can be completely unique. There is no right or wrong way to plan a celebration of life ceremony. Life celebrations are not required to be any certain way.
This type of service can be uniquely special and cater to the friends and family of your loved one.
A funeral is typically religious, may take place at a funeral home, and has specific activities that happen. Some people may choose to have a funeral service and follow it up with a celebration of life ceremony.
A Celebration of Life with Eternally Loved
Eternally Loved is a celebration of life event planning company, located in San Diego, California. Planning a celebration of life can be a healing way to remember a departed loved one.
We focus each memorial service on events that are centered on the life that was lived so the mood of all the offerings is one of love and appreciation. From intimate to extravagant events, we strive to help you celebrate and honor the way you feel is best.
A celebration of life ceremony celebrates life of the dearly departed. Unlike a funeral the focus of the ceremony is on the life that was lived and not mourning of one’s death.
We collaborate with you and your family to create an eventful and memorable celebration of life for your loved one.
Let us guide you through your journey. We deeply believe in celebrating life, honoring lives lived, and creating a beautiful event. Celebration of Life events are one of the best ways to shed light and love during a challenging time.
If you or someone you know is looking for help with planning a celebration of life event, please contact Eternally Loved to schedule a free consultation.