A celebration of life challenges traditional funeral formats by creating a joyous gathering in memory of the deceased. These celebrations are often deeply personal in nature and highlight positive moments, achievements and hobbies instead of focusing on the aspects of death and passing on. Hosting of these services are often held at a home or other significant place in a person’s life rather than a funeral home, mortuary or crematorium.
Due to the relative newness of this funeral format and the personalize nature of the ceremony, there are not many rules as to what is considered acceptable or unacceptable. This leaves a wide range of possibilities for honoring the life of your cherished loved ones. While some of the traditional practices remain, such as hymns, eulogies, elegies or funeral poetry, the rest is largely up to the group hosting the celebration. These are often held at dawn or dusk due to the symbolism involved in starting or ending a day in many cultures.
If you are looking for ideas on creating a celebration of life for someone you knew, you should consider things they enjoyed during their lifetime. If they enjoyed music, arts or writing, these things make a great centerpiece for the celebration. Consider playing some of their favorite songs, an instrument they enjoyed, showcasing their art or reading aloud pieces of their writing for the group to enjoy. This is also a great time to recite funeral poetry or other inspirational passages.
Another popular idea is create a collage or collection of photographs. This can be done on a cork board or transferred to video and played in memory of the deceased with inspirational or favorite music in the background. This provides a great way for different people to bring together their memories of the departed for a unique look on the impact their life had on everyone at the celebration. Many retail photo services will offer to transfer pictures, negatives and slides to a DVD or CD for an affordable price if you do not have the equipment to do so.
If you cannot find many pictures, you can also collect items of significance to the departed. Sports memorabilia, favorite clothing, pictures of favorite places and other trinkets and knick-knacks of relevance to the person. This can offer each individual an opportunity to pay tribute to their loved one or friend in their own way, while allowing everyone to celebrate their as well.