Celebration of Life

What is a Celebration of Life?

A celebration of life can be similar to a funeral, although the focus is slightly different. It is often a more relaxed and less structured service, which may or may not include elements from a traditional funeral service.

The focus at a celebration of life tends to be on capturing the essence and personality of the person who has died, highlighting and remembering how they touched the lives of others, their achievements and hobbies, and any passions or interests.

When Does a Celebration of Life Take Place?

A celebration of life can take place at any time. It may be held when the person is buried or cremated, or weeks or even months after they have died. The body or ashes of the person may or may not be present, so timing is more flexible.

Increasingly people are choosing a small, private funeral with a burial, cremation or direct cremation, allowing close family and friends to grieve quietly. This can then be followed by a larger gathering at a later date, such as a celebration of life or memorial service.

As with a memorial service, although the body may not be present, some people choose to have an urn, video or photographs as a focus for the ceremony.

Some people even choose to have a celebration of life before they die, as a form of Living Funeral.

What to Include in the Ceremony

There are no rules or restrictions for a celebration of life. It can take whatever form you wish. The celebration can be similar in style and content to a regular funeral service, with readings, songs and prayers, or it can just be a chance for family and friends to get together, share memories and spend time giving thanks for their person.

It might be a small gathering or could be a large party with music and dancing. Often it will reflect the way the person lived and who they were. If they were out-going and vivacious, the celebration can reflect that, perhaps with fireworks, a theme, the type of food served, or everyone dressing in a particular way.

How whiteballoon can help

There are some beautiful ideas in our Inspiration section. If you would like to link directly to local or national providers, please visit whiteballoon Providers.

Personalised Ideas Folder

Items and images from our Inspiration pages can be saved to a personalised Ideas Folder in our Planning Tools section. All our Planning Tools are free to use, but you will need to Register to securely save information to your folder.

This can be printed out and, if you wish, shared with family, friends or anyone else involved in organising the celebration.

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