Celebration of life is a way of giving a pleasant and heartfelt goodbye to your loved one after their demise. Celebration of life ideas are of great importance in such a scenario. It is not necessary to settle with a fixed theme. You are allowed to plan it any way you prefer.
Traditional Funeral Services
A funeral service or memorial service is held in a funeral home. Family members, friends, and co-workers can pay their respect to the body of the deceased loved one. Later on, the corpse is buried or cremated according to religious customs. A traditional funeral is more about honoring the process of death than celebrating the life well lived by the loved one.
Celebration of Life
A life celebration is a way of remembering a loved one’s life. Instead of funeral services, people are opting for life celebrations more. There are no rules and timings for the celebration of life. The grieving family and friends can plan and organize the ceremony according to their will. It’s not necessary to have the event immediately. It’s you who are grieving. So it is completely upon you to decide when to have the life service.
How to Plan a Celebration of Life?
Things you should consider to make life celebration a meaningful event.
Include All Mourners
The first thing to do is make a list of all the mourners. Include family, friends, distant family, and co-workers.
The person who is conducting this event needs to fix a budget. It is not like only family will contribute. Caring friends can also make their contributions to the event.
While planning try to accept suggestions from friends and colleagues too. Sometimes they can give valuable suggestions on your loved one’s likes and interests.
Venue and Venue Decorations
Like any other event life celebrations also need a venue. Family residences, farmhouses, community centers, or any religious center can be the venue. After deciding the venue the second thing you have to do is venue decoration. For venue decoration, you can choose either basic or expensive ones according to your budget. If you are using flowers choose your loved one’s favorite flower. Choose a venue having audio-visual systems in case any guest wants to say a few words.
Make sure to print invitations with all the important details. Include if there is any preferred dress code for the ceremony. Make an e-copy of the invitation for those who are outstation.
Before fixing the date, discuss with all the mourners about their availability. Choose a date when everybody can attend conveniently.
For memorial services, you don’t have to provide a full-course meal but there should be some refreshments. You can set up an open bar and include your loved one’s favorite drinks and some snacks. You can also hire catering people and provide a menu as needed.
Choose a set of activities to be conducted at the event. Always remember, each activity should be related to the deceased. Any family member or friend can emcee the event to ensure the right flow and avoid any mess.
It is not compulsory but you can choose a dress code with your loved one’s favorite color, theme, or picture.
You don’t have to brainstorm for the celebration of life ideas. Here are 12 ideas that you can make use of.
Set a memory table where you can put pictures and photo cards of the person. Encourage the guests to bring photos of themselves with the deceased person. The memory table will be a small attempt to reminisce all the fond memories the loved one has left.
Keep a memory book on the memory table. Let the family, friends, and co-workers leave a message or share a story they cherish about the fallen loved one in the book. This will also serve as a record of who was present at the celebration.
The music itself is a healing therapy. Music can help the bereaved family cope with the grief a little more. Choose a music genre according to your loved one’s taste. You can have a band perform live music or set up a music playlist with the person’s favorite songs. If any of the guests wants to sing that can be a better option too.
Make a tribute video of the deceased person’s good times with family, friends, and co-workers. You can also record others who want to share their side of the story. Memorial DVD can be emotionally overwhelming but it is one of the best ways to remember all the memories of the cherished one.
Plant a Tree
You can plant a sapling in the name of your deceased one. Place a memorial plaque near the sapling with the loved one’s name engraved on it. People can also leave messages on the plaque. As the plant grows you will get reminded of your loved one’s memories. Also planting a tree is the best option as it is a small contribution to mother earth where each person spent their lifetime.
One thing you should not miss in life service is prayers and blessings. A priest or pastor can offer the final prayers to the loved one.
Lanterns or Balloon Release
On the occasion of life service, you and the deceased one’s inner circle can release balloons into the sky. Lanterns are also a fine option. People around the globe celebrate lantern festivals for varying reasons. If you are not okay with sky lanterns there are water lanterns that you can opt for. Leave lanterns along with handwritten messages.
Pets or Kids Activity
If your loved one was fond of pets or kids then choose them for an activity. For example, if the person owned a pet dog allow him to offer a rose as a meaningful way to pay tribute. Kids can perform a song to pay tribute to the deceased.
Family members can choose a huge tree or any water body to spread the ashes.
If your dearly loved one had a favorite charity then any family member or friends can make donations in the name of the person.
Arrange a session where the deceased’s close ones can share stories. They could share their favorite memories, their first meeting with the deceased, etc. Allow them to elaborate as each moment is valuable and that can spark conversation. While exchanging conversation raise a toast to the deceased.
Go for a Picnic
The surviving family and friends can go for a picnic at the special person’s favorite picnic spot. While doing activities prioritize things that the person preferred. Prepare their favorite dishes and beverages. Engage in group activities that they enjoyed.
How to Continue with the Legacy?
As the family begins their healing journey they can do certain things to continue the loved one’s legacy. After the remarkable celebration of life, you can decide how to continue their legacy. The unique personality of the person should be the deciding factor.
If your special person was a gardener you can distribute plants in the name of that person on the very day of their death every year. You can also make a memorial garden in their name.
If the loved one was a sports enthusiast then you can sponsor their favorite sports team in their name. You can also conduct a memorial sporting event on their remembrance day.
Celebrate life in the best possible way. You can plan your celebration. Planning for your life celebration can be helpful to the family. The celebration can be any way you like. All celebration of life ideas is unique in its way. The best celebration is the one in which you have done your best to celebrate the life of your loved one. Above we discussed some celebration of life ideas which is not the end. You can come up with more ideas as there is no hindrance to choices. There are infinite ways to celebrate life. It is you and your family who decide whether to go with a traditional funeral service or a celebration of life.
What should be included in a life celebration?
There is no rule to celebrate life. You can include any distinct components that you found valuable to the loved one. Life service can give an outlook on the life the person lived. Life service also helps to remember the person’s contribution to society and people.
How do you inform people of a celebration of life service?
Like any other celebration, people can get informed of the celebration of life service via invitations.
What is a celebration of life compared to a funeral?
Traditional funerals focus on the loss whereas celebration of life gives importance to the life the loved one had lived. Life ideas keep their memory alive forever. Funeral or memorial service have their importance. Celebration of life ideas give us the freedom to act on our own will. You can choose the venue, decorations, and activities without any restrictions.
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