What is a Celebration of Life?
Published on June 22, 2021
When a loved one passes, it can be difficult. There are often rituals and ceremonies that are held in memory of the relative or friend to attend. A celebration of life is one of the ways that family and friends can gather to remember someone that they loved dearly. It can be an addition to traditional services or serve as an alternative to a memorial or funeral service.
Read on to find out more about what a celebration of life service involves, how you can host one, and what to expect while planning or attending one of these services.
What does this type of service involve?
This type of service is a memorial service held in honor of a loved one and is meant to celebrate the life that they lived. People can come together to remember the person that meant so much to them and share stories and favorite memories about them.
These services can be held at the home of one close to them or even at a place beloved by the person. Guests are invited to bring along items such as photos of their loved one. Gatherings can be small and private or large with many people; there is no right or wrong way to celebrate someone's life.
These services may also hold special moments, like setting out a small boat to the water with messages written on paper, or releasing lanterns. There may also be a theme relevant to something that the person loved, such as a favorite sports team or anything special that they were passionate about. The most important feature of these celebrations is that people gather to remember someone in a positive way and are traditionally not as somber and grave as funeral services.
What do these ceremonies include?
These ceremonies may involve whatever those attending and throwing it feel is appropriate. People may get up one by one and share their own memory or story with others. A video or compilation of photos or videos from the person's life may be shown. Readings, prayers, or poems being read happens often. The tone of the ceremony may be more serious and tribute-based, or it may be an exuberant atmosphere and a chance for people to really talk about the person that they loved and to celebrate who they were to them and the life that they lived.
Preparing for the Service
Bring positive memories and things to share and think beforehand about the impact that this individual had on your life. Others will likely love to hear about the relationship that you had with them and may be interested to find out memories or things about the person that they may never have heard before.
Etiquette & Attire
Black is not the standard for these events. You may choose to wear an outfit that reminds you of the loved one or something that they may have worn in tribute, such as Hawaiian shirts or a more elegant, formal look to the event. It's better to opt for something more formal over casual. However, as long as you are dressed appropriately and avoid wearing anything that is torn, worn, or revealing, you should be fine.
The etiquette for these services is to be respectful and empathetic to others and to avoid bringing up negative memories or personal grudges against the deceased. If you feel overly emotional or are struggling with past memories, it's perfectly fine to leave early or to step away to allow yourself to process your emotions. These services can often be unexpectedly emotional in powerful ways.
Celebrating a loved one's life is a great way to remember them and a great addition or alternative to traditional services. If you feel ready to attend, they can be a positive experience. What better way to pay tribute to a person that lived a full life and brought joy to so many?
Published on June 22, 2021