Having the chance to speak at a celebration of life ceremony or funeral service can be both a cause for joy along with a reason to feel fear and worry. It is something that everyone may struggle with and are concerned they will do wrong.
During a celebration of life service many people may have the opportunity to say some words about their loved one or the deceased. A loved one, friends, family members or parents of the deceased may want to say some words.
You may not know the right thing to say or the best way to express how you are feeling, specifically your grief, and that is okay. It is completely understandable to be concerned about saying the right things during this type of ceremony.
Finding the Perfect Words
Funny stories or only a moment that is special in your loved one’s life is the best beginning to a speech. Finding the perfect words to talk about the incredible life lived comes easy for some and is more difficult for others.
True friends leave footprints and a life ceremony is a place to share personal stories of a life well lived. A lost loved one’s life might bring to mind life quotes to share.
Start writing about the beautiful life and go over favorite personality traits and favorite stories until you find the perfect balance of the exact words to share at the celebration of life services.
Practice reading your speech and take deep breaths to ensure your rhythm and flow are what you want to express as you share your speech.
Allow Guests to Express their Sentiments and Grief
Celebration of life events, memorial services and funerals allow guests to express their sentiments and grief, along with a way for someone to pay their respects to the deceased person.
When a family member or friend and are asked to speak at at a celebration of life or a traditional funeral, they are given a unique opportunity to speak and express their feelings about the deceased.
You do not have to share private or personal stories but perhaps share what only true friends know the deceased would want shared. Many families bring up old stories or memories about their family member or loved one.
Brainstorm and Write Your Thoughts Down
It can be helpful to take the time to do some research before you write and plan your eulogy or speech. It can make things easier for someone that is speaking at a celebration of life or memorial service to write down and brainstorm their thoughts.
The best person to decide what you will say at a celebration of life, is you. You hold all the memories, have spent time with the person, and hold the experiences that you had that may impact the words you want to say.
You may know of a funny story, activity or experience that you want to share during your eulogy speech about your loved one or the deceased person.
Make Personal Statements During Your Speech
There is not a specific way to talk about the death of someone that will make everyone feel better during a celebration of life event. The best thing that someone can say during a speech or eulogy is using words to show that you care or that may be helpful in some way to the mourners.
Some ideas for what to say during your speech include statements of hope, a story or memory about the person, or something else that you feel is necessary to share about the deceased person.
It is best not to use cliché phrases, or quotes about your experience with the death of the person or your grief. Often, sharing happy memories can be helpful for not only you but to everyone who is attending, to bring happiness around the event.
Specific Things to Say at a Celebration of Life Service
Say Something of Inspiration
While a celebration of life is an opportunity for guests to express grief of a loved one in a personal way, often it is a culturally inspired event.
In some cultures a death can be a time to express extreme loss and sadness, while others view a death as an opportunity to spread joy and celebrate the life of the deceased.
People may like to write down a memory of the person on a card and put it in a jar. Later, read each card with the memories out loud to the group during the event.
To prepare people that may want to share something about the deceased, ask in the event invitation that people reflect on some of their favorite , and if they feel comfortable, share the memory during the celebration.
Whoever the gathering of guests may be, it is their opportunity to express themselves however they would like. Everyone is different in how they process death, and writing a eulogy is often a time to discuss these feelings and memories.
Poems or Sayings
A nice option for guests to honor a loved one or family member is to use a thoughtful poem or saying during your eulogy speech at the celebration of life.
If you are having trouble finding a poem or saying, you can browse the internet and find many appropriate ones that are based around a memorial or celebration of life service.
Use Quotes, Readings, or a Phrase
Using a quote, reading or phrase during your eulogy can make it easier so that you do not have to write something on your own. The type of quote or reading that you choose can be up to you.
Offering condolences with the use of a quote can allow people to relate and express their emotions during the eulogy or speech.
Practice with a Best friend or Loved One
It can be extremely helpful to practice your eulogy with friends, a family member, or other people in your circle that can be honest and upfront with their feedback.
Others may hear something that you do not, or have insightful thoughts surrounding your eulogy or speech. A hard part about giving a speech at a celebration of life event is not knowing how you sound, and how you may come across during the celebration of life.
What is the Difference Between a Celebration of Life and a Funeral?
A celebration of life is most often a memorial service with a celebratory feeling. The mood is up lifting. The guests come knowing fun will be had and a celebration of the loved one’s life is expected.
Typically, a traditional funeral is held at a church or funeral home and has religious connotations. Clergy of some sort are present and traditions are followed based on the culture and beliefs of the deceased and family.
A funeral event or service is centered around the body of the deceased, whether it be an open casket, or a cremation was performed. If a cremation was done, then the focus of the funeral can be around the urn, holding cremated remains of the deceased.
Quotes for Loved Ones
These life quotes are often utilized in a eulogy speech. Every life ceremony is unique.
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well-used brings happy death.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“They that love beyond the world, cannot be separated. Death cannot kill what never dies.
Nor can Spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their Friendship. Death is but crossing the world, as Friends to the seas; they live in one another still.” – William Penn
“Say not in grief that he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was.” – Hebrew Proverb
“To die completely, a person must not only forget but be forgotten, and he who is not forgotten is not dead.” – Samuel Butler
“A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.” – Mohammad
“Immortality … a fate worse than death.” – Edgar A. Shoaff
Honoring Your Loved One
Everyone may feel differently about speaking at a celebration of life service. For one person a memory may bring joy, for a grieving person it can bring sadness. The death of a family member or loved one may bring about anxiety that a favorite thing or specific story could be forgotten.
Many times these feelings can range from the happiness you felt around the deceased and how the death of the person has affected you. A great way to honor a loved one is to discuss memories you had with the person, talk about who they were as a person, and make sure to bring out what their personality was like.
What is a Celebration of Life Celebration?
There are various personal details and personal touches that can be done at a celebration of life to honor the memory and life of a loved one.
Some examples of celebration of life ideas that people may include are:
A balloon release is a touching moment. All guests release balloons together and it is a very touching moment and adds to the closing chapter of a loved ones story.
Board with photos
A board with photos can be plain or fancy. This is a collage of photographs of the loved one in various stages of their life and available for family and guests to enjoy.
speech or eulogy
A speech or eulogy includes readings or specific memories of the deceased, and is what brings the day together. Traditional funerals have a designated person to give a eulogy.
Celebration of Life and Memorial Services Location and Details of the Day
Other things to consider for your celebration of life include the place or location that you will hold the memorial service.
The time of day you want the memorial service to start and end.
Deciding on the food that you will serve to everyone. This is important and part of making the day a special day for all.
Regardless of the life service you are having, a family member or best friend will be the master of ceremony. A eulogy will be given and this can be formal or informal.
Additional ways to honor the deceased can be a funny story or specific memories shared of the life being celebrated.
What to Wear at a Celebration of Life
Many people wonder what to wear to a celebration of life service. In general, it is usually appropriate to wear a similar outfit to what you would wear to a funeral or memorial service. It may also depend on what place or location the celebration of life will take place.
At a traditional funeral most wear black. This is fine but many prefer to wear bright and celebratory colors to a celebration of life.
People attending a celebration of life may also check the invitation as the preferred dress code may be listed or a part of the invite.
A family member or a loved one may decide to choose a certain color or theme for the attire of the celebration of life.
A Celebration of Life with Eternally Loved
Eternally Loved is an event company that offers many services for friends and family of a loved one who are looking to plan a memorial, funeral or celebration of life event for a deceased person.
Every memorial event that we plan for guests is focused around the life of the deceased, and is centered around memories, love and devotion for the person.
Our goal with every gathering and event we plan is to celebrate and honor the best way that you see fit.
Eternally Loved can help with finding the right location or place to hold the celebration of life service, gathering information from everyone involved. Pulling photos together and music based on the direction given will help us best plan your celebration of life event for your family or loved one.
It Can Seem Overwhelming when a Family Member plans a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life
It can seem overwhelming to think of everything that needs to happen in order to plan a celebration of life or funeral event, and Eternally Loved would like to be a part of the process to make it less stressful for you and your family.
There are so many details involved and you may not have the time or ability to think about everything while grieving. One thing to keep in mind is that with the help of our friendly staff, you can focus more on honoring the memory of the deceased, rather than the little details that are involved in planning an event.
If you have questions or would like more information on our specific celebration of life, memorial or funeral service events, please call. We would be happy to set up a time to meet with you to discuss the details of your celebration of life event or memorial service.
For more ideas, please contact our office and we can let you know of more ideas and help you through the process. For information or questions on the specific services that Eternally Loved offers please call our phone number or fill out a form on our contact page.