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Two of the largest trends in funerals currently is the decline in traditional burials and forgoing more somber traditional funeral service in exchange for a “celebration of life.” Many people may not be familiar with a celebration of life, so we have written this article with the aim of explaining what the term means and giving some practical ideas and inspirations.
What is a Celebration of Life?
Have you ever heard someone say that they want their funeral to be a party, rather than a sad and somber event? It is in this vein, that you should think about a celebration of life. It may be a party or simply an uplifting celebration of your loved one’s life, their accomplishments, their hobbies, their family, et cetera. The goal is to make it about the good things in life, rather than focus on the individual’s death. In short, it should be an uplifting memorial service.
Where Can You Hold a Celebration of Life?
Generally, a celebration of life would not be held at a church or temple. Depending on the funeral budget, it can be held at a personal home, an outdoor venue, or a rented facility. You may ask the funeral director regarding their own facilities, however, like a church, it is hard to have a festive and uplifting atmosphere in a funeral home. Some alternative burial offer perfect opportunities for the celebration of life ceremonies to be held. A space memorial launch, through Celestis, gives family and friends the opportunity to be at the launch site, which gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate their loved one’s lives either on the day of the launch of as a vacation in Florida.
Do I Need a Celebrant or a Funeral Director?
A celebration of life generally takes place after the funeral and disposition of the deceased’s body, which means that there is generally more time to plan the event (see below for ideas and what should be considered when planning the event). Hiring a celebrant or a funeral director to assist in the planning may be both helpful and take some of the stress of planning the event off of family who are mourning. They may also give you some insight into options and ideas that you were not aware of beforehand.
What do You Wear to a Celebration of Life?
Knowing what is appropriate to wear to a celebration of life is much the same as knowing what you should wear to a funeral. Your clothing should be suitable for the venue, the environment, and most importantly be in line with what the family requests. Use the same rules as funeral attire. Because a celebration of life is generally a happier and less formal event, you most likely will not be wearing the traditional mourners black as you would for a traditional funeral. Most celebration of life events will be more casual and uplifting, however, make sure to check with the family and those who are throwing the event in case there are any special requests. If you are the one responsible for deciding to make sure it is clear what type of clothing you expect on the invitations or when inviting people so they don’t have to worry.
Do you Send Flowers?
You will want to ask the family or those who are tasked with organizing the event. Most often flowers will be a welcome and beautiful addition to the event. Sending sympathy flowers or a floral arrangement is a nice way to make close family of the deceased aware that you are thinking about them. However, make sure to get an idea of the mood and environment of the event beforehand so that any flowers sent will not stick out. If you are the one who is responsible for supplying flowers for the event, please view our flower shop for beautiful arrangements created by local flower shops.
Celebration of Life Ideas and Inspirations
The focus should be on uplifting and happy parts of the deceased’s life, things they took pride in or things that your loved one enjoyed. Because the event should be uplifting, you will want to take pictures and share on social media for family and friends who are not able to attend, they will surely find the uplifting event and the pictures and commentary a source of joy while mourning.
You may want to consider the following inspirations:
- a favorite sport
- a favorite hobby
- awards and accolades they received
- favorite genre of music or band/performer
- their favorite movie(s)
- a favorite book
- their faith
- their charity work
Some ideas for the memorial are:
- family members and friends sharing favorite memories and stories
- dedicating a memorial tree
- taking part in an alternative burial option,
- a special place to scatter their cremated remains or ashes
- having their favorite foods or drinks
- visiting their favorite place
- a destination celebration of life holiday
- a tattoo party
- plant a memorial tree
How to Plan a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life will take place after the funeral, which will give you more time to plan and coordinate. First, set a budget, this will inform the other decisions you will need to make. Once you have a rough budget you can decide how many people you wish to attend and where the event will be held. Next, decide on when the event will occur and how you will be getting the word out and inviting everyone. If you will be using any of the ideas above, plan how they will be incorporated and whether or not you will want to use a celebrant or funeral home to coordinate the event. If you need to find a funeral home, please use our funeral home search.
Creating a Legacy
The celebration of life may also serve as an opportunity to create a legacy for your loved one, by collecting donations or other methods of being charitable. For example, a scholarship or large donation can be made in the name of your loved one using funds raised at the celebration of life. Another idea is having everyone donate time to a cause, such as a park cleanup or a fun run to raise money for a health cause. To create a simple online funding site we suggest using GoFundMe.
There is a growing trend in America that funerals should be a celebration of the deceased’s life, rather than a somber occasion marking their death. A celebration of life should be uplifting and highlight your loved one’s life, whether that is a simple party where everyone shares memories and stories or an event that is themed in a way to highlight something special about their life. Their is an infinite number of ways to hold a celebration of life party, just remember that it should be fun and uplifting and celebrate your loved one’s life.