Celebration of Life Memorial Service

Most funeral services relate to the theme or title "In Loving Memory" but there are some funeral ceremonies that are titled "A Celebration of Life." So what differentiates the two? Is there really any difference besides the title?

The difference lies in the focus of the bereaved family members. The celebration of life service is the final ceremony that is geared or more focused in on the life accomplishments, lives of the people they touched, and the legacy they leave behind. Because the contents and focus is rejoicing in the life the deceased lived and in essence, a type of end of life celebration occurs within the family members and friends.

The Celebration of Life is also a newer term used for a Memorial Service. The planning of a Celebration of Life ceremony takes a bit more time because of the additional elements that you can include that commemorates and expresses your love and affection for your loved one. 

The funeral songs that area typically included all pertain to hope and a life thereafter. The family entitles the service as a Celebration of Life when the focus is celebrating their life. It can also be an uplifting final service or ceremony. The elements within the service are generally the same as any other type of service with a few added elements. Below is a basic outline of a Celebration of Life Service:

  • Musical Prelude
  • A reading of Scripture Verses from the Old and New Testament
  • Eulogy
  • Clergy or Pastoral Message of Hope
  • Choir or musical selection
  • Reading of the Obituary
  • Sharing Time from family and friends
  • Closing Words
  • Graveside Service
  • Repast
  • Interment

The funeral ceremony offers recognition and respect to the deceased which incorporates the final life process that each of us must go through as well. It is also encouraging for the surviving family members to have this type of mindset as it promotes more of a positive event rather than a mourning and sad event. Although funeral services are a time to grieve, celebrating someone's life lived channels that grieving in a more positive light.


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Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

I attended a lovely Celebration of Life service today and it was very uplifting. The family did not have a funeral immediately following their beloved's death and chose instead to have today's ceremony a month later. After the services everyone went to the social hall next to the church where a buffet consisting of food brought by many attendees was served.


Yovendran 3 years ago

Hi, Im planning my brothers 1 year life celebration, i dont know what and how to plan the program for the day, from beginning to the end... Please can you help me i would really appreciate it. He committed suicide a year ago, has 2 baby boys and a widow, a mother and 2 brothers... please help me to do this right... i just need to know how to program the event.

thank you so much

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