What is a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life service is a unique way for guests like friends and family to pay a tribute and host a memorial for a loved one. This type of funeral service celebration is a special way for families or friends to honor a loved one.
The survivors of the family member who has passed away may favor the type of event services that celebrate the deceased, rather than to have a more somber event. What may come across as inappropriate funeral behavior or etiquette may be acceptable at a celebration of life service.
What’s the Difference Between a Celebration of Life and a Funeral Service?
A celebration of life service typically revolves around the joy that the person brought to a person’s life. It is often non-religious in nature and guests will recognize the life of the deceased person.
A funeral service usually offers religious components and undertones. A celebration of life memorial and celebration of life do have some similar features to their celebrations. A memorial service could be considered more of a “hybrid” between a funeral and a celebration of life for a loved one.
Celebration of life memorial services are typically less formal than a traditional funeral service and both occur after the remains have been cared for. If you are looking for help with a memorial or a celebration of life services, please contact Eternally Loved for more information.
What’s the Difference Between a Celebration of Life and a Funeral?
It is interesting because a celebration of life service and a funeral service can seem very similar in how the event is executed. Each is a ceremony, affair, or gathering of a group of people that usually includes family members and friends. These celebrations consist of the following:
- Helping the bereaved family, and their community, publicly acknowledge someone in their life who is deceased
- Support the grieving family by surrounding them with guests who include caring friends, a loved one, co-workers, and neighbors.
- A service of celebrating a life full of memories and achievements around their families, loved ones, or someone they may be close to
A life celebration ceremony is different from a funeral because it is less structured and typically it’s a more casual gathering. It may be considered more like a party with sharing of laughter and music, an occasion where guests who attend participate in celebrations of the life of the deceased.
What Happens at a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life is an event that focuses on the life and legacy of a deceased person, and includes the people who are close to them. This may be a list of family members including a mother, father, sister, brother, etc.
Sometimes, this ceremony occurs instead of a funeral. There is a service and a reception. Other times the family may wish to hold a traditional funeral service and then a reception that they call a life celebration. It may be different in each country, as opposed to the United States depending on specific traditions and visitation during the death of a loved one.
How do you Plan a Celebration of Life?
Planning a celebration of life can seem very overwhelming for families especially during a period of grief, which is why it is important to find resources that are available. It can seem like a lot to plan an event like this, and all the things you have to consider. Some celebration of life ideas include a memory table, music playlist and songs, tribute video, balloon dove release, cremation, automobile procession, flowers, finding a venue, and hiring a funeral director to name a few. All of these activities can make it a memorable event for your loved one.
The first step is to think about the personality of the loved one you are planning the service for and what types of things they enjoy. Little details such as if they are an animal lover, have a special nick name, if they like a certain sports team, or another activity they enjoy can add the finishing touches to a celebration of life funerals and life celebrations. If cremation is an option, then that is another thing you should think about, and whether or not you want to include loved ones in this process.
It may be helpful to get some ideas from a trained professional who specializes in these types of celebrations. They will be able to come up with ceremony life ideas, and specific ideas on how to throw an appropriate memorial or party that is right for your loved one.
What’s a Good Venue?
For these types of celebrations, it is important to find the right venue. You want to make sure that guests will be comfortable at the venue. It can sometimes become a challenge to find the right venue because you may need to find a place that has the capacity you need, indoor or outdoor, and in your budget. Other things to consider are whether or not they do cremation, flowers, a burial or other things that are important to you in order to celebrate your loved one.
What about Decorations and Dress Code?
Most life ceremonies tend to use vibrant, lively colors such as pinks, blues, yellows or greens, and avoid the color black. Thanks to being more casual, you can wear jeans (as long they’re not distressed jeans), day dresses, and flowing tops at a life celebration because it is generally more informal. All black clothes are typical for a funeral not a celebration of life.
What Kind of Food do you Serve?
The type of food that is served at this kind of event will be determined by the place, personality, budget,and preference for who is planning the event. Some ideas can include catered horderves, appetizers, or small plates that people can enjoy. Other ideas may include a full meal, but this depends on the time of day that everyone will be attending.
What is the Best Music to Use?
For some, a celebration of life ceremony may be a better take on a traditional funeral. The event centers on how the person lived, rather than focusing on the death of the individual. As such, it may feel harder to create the perfect soundtrack for it.
The music that is played during a celebration of life memorial before the service, during the service, on the tribute slideshow, and during the reception may also depend on the personality of everyone attending. Maybe there is a favorite memory of a song that the person liked, or a song they used to play at certain times of the day. Guests will enjoy what you play, as long as it is appropriate and may have a meaningful memory to the death.
Are there Readings, Prayers and Eulogies?
There can be readings, prayers and eulogies at a celebration of life, funeral or memorial service. This all depends on what kind of event the person decides to hold for their loved one. If the person who passed away is religious, it may be appropriate to include religious readings or prayers, but for those that are not, there will not be.
If you are looking for help in planning a celebration of life have questions in regards to what kind of service, burial, or even to have for the one you love, please contact Melissa Rainey at Eternally Loved.
What is Eternally Loved?
Eternally Loved is a full service event company focusing on creating personal and unique memorial events. We focus each memorial service on events that are centered on the life that was lived, so the mood of all of the offerings is one of love and appreciation. From intimate extravagant events, we strive to help you celebrate and honor the way you feel the best.
Celebration of Life Service
A celebration of life service is similar to both a funeral and a memorial, but it is typically less formal. There are no right or wrong answers to how to plan your special day. All depends on the specifics of what you want for your loved one, whether to incorporate religion or non denominational and what aspects you would like to incorporate into the celebration of life that would best honor your loved one.
What to Wear at a Celebration of Life?
You may wonder what to wear at a celebration of life. You cannot go wrong by wearing a similar outfit as to what you would wear to other memorial services or funerals. But typically it is casual since this is not a funeral. There are circumstances where the family will have a dress code indicated for the services, and the best bet is to check the service invitation. Sometimes people will even ask everyone to wear a favored color or even all Hawaiian shirts.
What to Say at a Celebration of Life Service
It may be difficult to know what to say at a celebration of life service, but the most important thing to remember is to come from the heart. Maybe talk about a memory you had with the deceased person, a favorite pastime, or how you knew them.
Celebration of Life Ideas
You may need help and some celebration of life ideas in order to feel like you are planning the best day possible for your loved one. Some examples of things to include in your service include music, picture slideshow, readings, prayer, or details about their life.