Last Updated: February 11, 2024
What is a celebration of life? This is a question many people ask, and there isn’t always a clear answer.
If you’re wondering how to put together a celebration of life or what to expect at one, you’re at the right place, because in this guide we’ll provide valuable info on the topic, and compare a celebration of life to a funeral. Moreover, we’ll give some tips on what’s appropriate to wear and to bring to such an event.
What Is a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life is an event held to commemorate the life of a loved one who passed away. Often seen as an alternative to a traditional funeral service, a celebration of life is usually more personal and meaningful for the family and friends of the deceased. The event can be held at any time after the death has occurred, and be as simple or as elaborate as the family desires.
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How to Plan a Celebration of Life?
When planning a celebration of life, it’s important to consider what the deceased loved ones enjoyed in life, as this can make the event more personal and memorable. Besides that, you need to consider the following:
Find a Location
A standard funeral is held in a funeral home or church, whereas a celebration of life is held in a location that was meaningful to the dead. For instance, a baseball field or golf course may be the best place to commemorate a sports lover, while a park, marina, or beach may hold special significance for an outdoor enthusiast. Similarly, a theater or art gallery might be ideal for someone who enjoyed the arts. If the deceased used to spend a lot of time at a restaurant or pub, that might be a good place for their final send-off as well.
Choose a Personalized Theme
Themed celebrations of life are among the most popular celebration of life ideas, and for a good reason—they take honoring a loved one’s passions to a whole new level. The person’s culture or background, career, a pastime, a cherished entertainer, an annual vacation spot, or even a favorite holiday can all be incorporated into funeral party themes.
You can keep it simple by decorating the location with personal artifacts, or you can go all out and encourage guests to dress up. For example, they can dress up as the deceased’s favorite Star Wars characters, or wear Hawaiian outfits to a beach party.
Select Memorable Music and Readings
Other beautiful celebrations of life ideas include music, readings, and orations that authentically portray the deceased and make for some of the most memorable moments of a life celebration. For example, there can be readings of their favorite poems or Bible verses, while gifted speakers or close friends can tell anecdotes about the person’s life. In addition, their favorite music can be performed by a live band or played from a recorded playlist.
Feature Cherished Activities
Some celebration of life activities such as dancing to a live band may be related to the topic or music, while others may be planned specificlly to pay tribute to the deceased’s passions or as a means to say farewell. For example, you can honor the deceased’s charity efforts by arranging a toy drive or accepting donations for a cause during the funeral party or have activities like releasing balloons, butterflies, or doves at the end-of-life ceremony to signify their soul’s peaceful transition.
Serve Food and Drinks
When thinking about how to plan a celebration of life and what to serve at it, consider the things the deceased person enjoyed and allow the menu to be influenced by their heritage or interests. For instance, if they were a “foodie,” your gathering can be catered by their favorite restaurant. You can even highlight a specific entrée, snack, or dessert, and include a special touch by providing their signature drink.
You can honor the deceased by displaying a portrait or memory quilt, or by placing a guest book on the table, like at a conventional funeral. Other options include giving visitors a keepsake funeral party gifts, like a miniature photo of the deceased or a memory card containing flower seeds that can be planted as a beautiful reminder of your loved one. You can even make the memorial item into an activity, such as planting a tree in remembrance of the deceased.
Celebration of Life vs Funeral
The main difference between a celebration of life and a funeral is that a celebration of life is held to celebrate the deceased person’s life, while a funeral is held to mourn their death. A celebration of life can take place before or after the person’s death, while a funeral is organized only after the person has died.
A celebration of life ceremony is usually a more upbeat event, with music, food and drinks, and fun stories about the deceased person. On the other hand, a funeral is usually a more sombre affair, with a religious service followed by a burial or cremation.
It’s up to the family of the deceased person to decide what kind of event they’d like to have. Some families prefer to have a celebration of life as a more positive way to remember their loved one, while others prefer a funeral, as it’s a more traditional way to say goodbye.
There’s no right or wrong answer, and it’s entirely up to the family to decide what’s best for them. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s always a good idea to speak to a funeral director, who’ll be able to advise you on the most appropriate choice.
|DID YOU KNOW: If you’re taking care of elderly people, you can look into best life insurances for seniors over 70 that could help with future medical and funeral costs if necessary.
|A celebration of life ceremony is an event held to commemorate the life of a loved one who passed away.
|A celebration of life is often seen as an alternative to a traditional funeral service.
|Readings, orations, and music that authentically portray the deceased are some of the most memorable moments of a life celebration.
|The main difference between a celebration of life and a funeral is that a celebration of life is held to celebrate the deceased person’s life, while a funeral is held to mourn their death.
What Is Appropriate to Wear to a Celebration of Life Event?
Although there’s no set dress code for a celebration of life, it’s important to consider what would be appropriate to wear to such an event.
If the celebration of life is taking place in a church or other religious setting, it may be appropriate to dress more formally. In this case, consider what you would normally wear to a funeral. However, if the event is being held in a more casual setting such as someone’s home, you can dress more casually. In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dress more formally than you would for a regular party.
When thinking about what is appropriate to wear to a celebration of life, it’s also important to consider what kind of message you want to send with your clothing choice. For example, if the person who died was very fashion-forward, you may want to wear something that shows you’re grieving, but also celebrates their taste. On the other hand, if the person was more laid-back, you may want to dress more comfortably to reflect their personality.
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to what to wear to a celebration of life—the most important thing is to be respectful and considerate of the family’s wishes. If you’re unsure what to wear, it’s always best to ask ahead of time or take precautions by dressing more formally.
What to Bring to a Celebration of Life Happening?
When attending a celebration of life, it’s customary to bring a flower or other small token to commemorate the person who passed away. If you’re close to the family, you may also want to bring a dish to share at the event.
It’s also important to be respectful of the family’s wishes when it comes to what to say at the event, but it’s generally best to avoid talking about the person’s death or how they died. Instead, focus on celebrating their life and sharing memories about them.
If you’re unsure what to say, it’s always best to ask ahead of time or simply listen to what others are saying.
At the end of our guide, we hope you have a better idea of how does a celebration of life work. There are many ways to plan a celebration of life, so take some time to consider what would be most meaningful for your family and friends. And don’t forget to have some fun! After all, that’s what a celebration of life is all about, which is why it’s a beautiful way to remember and honor a loved one.
The duration of a celebration of life is relative and depends on what you want the event to achieve and what kind of atmosphere you want to create. A celebration of life can be as short as an hour or two or last all day long, depending on what you feel is appropriate for the person you’re honoring.
This is entirely up to you. While some people feel a celebration of life should be a time for everyone to share their favorite memories of the person who passed away, others believe it should be a time for quiet reflection. There’s no wrong answer here, so do what feels right for you and your guests.
The best way to invite someone to a celebration of life is through word of mouth, but you can also send out invitations through email or social media. If you’re planning a more formal event, you may want to consider sending out printed invitations.
What is a celebration of life and what its meaning is are very common questions people ask. Simply put, a celebration of life is a gathering where people celebrate the unique life of the deceased.