When someone dies we want the chance to say goodbye, honor their memory, and look for meaning in the death. Funerals have long served as the main method to serve these purposes. With death comes grief. Handling that grief through ceremony is important to the healing process.
While the need to mourn hasn’t changed, the ceremonies we use to help us through the process has. For example, over time the use of cremation has increased and therefore holding a memorial service rather than a traditional funeral has become popular. The difference being, during a funeral the body is present while at a memorial service it is not. Memorial services also provide the flexibility our diverse, more mobile society requires since they are not tied to a specific time or place.
But for many people, traditional funeral rituals have become too impersonal. And so in the funeral world, there has been a rise of something called “The Celebration of Life.”
WHAT IS A CELEBRATION OF LIFE?
A Celebration of Life doesn’t have to be a stand-alone event. It can happen at a traditional funeral or memorial service. Many families today are looking for a more personally meaningful experience when honoring a loved one who has passed. As a result, celebrations of life are becoming increasingly popular. In a broad sense, a celebration of life is a modern take on a funeral service or ceremony, but the specific definition may vary from one family to another. While religious elements are often still included, a celebration of life goes beyond a traditional mindset and places the most emphasis on doing just as it claims: celebrating the life lived and the legacy left behind.
What makes a Celebration of Life different is the level of personalization and tone. A Celebration of Life is not a somber affair. Instead, you will find lots of laughter and storytelling. The focus is not on the death of the person, but on the joy that the person brought to others.
A celebration of life should be one-of-a-kind and highly memorable. Families who choose a celebration of life may opt for a unique venue, such as at a lake, which often creates a more casual atmosphere. Little creative features can make a big impact not only on the families served but also on all who attend.