“The times they are a-changin’,” so says Bob Dylan in one of his songs in the 1960s. This concept is aptly illustrated by the way funerals services have evolved nowadays. Do you know that funeral services are now more like wedding ceremonies? Yes, that’s true. Funeral services are no longer somber events where you bid the dearly departed in a very formal and structured way. They have now evolved from a seemingly religious ceremony with sacred music to the more open and cheerful celebration of life of the recently departed. Funeral services have somehow changed to adapt to the needs of a society that possesses a different concept of life and death.
What Is A Celebration Of Life Ceremony?
The celebration of life ceremony is steadily growing in popularity nowadays. Perhaps it is primarily due to its novelty and the natural desire of people to be positive even in the face of death. This ceremony is a non-traditional form of the funeral service. It is held as a substitute of the formal service or it can be held after a memorial service. Its main objective is to focus on the life, light and joy that the recently departed brought into this world. In other words, the ceremony celebrates the life of the person who just passed away. In such events, guests are given the privilege to talk about and share their positive stories of the dearly departed.
Who Can Participate?
If you are thinking of holding a celebration of life ceremony instead of a traditional funeral service, you can’t just let anyone barge in. Although it is an open ceremony where there are really no requirements, you still have to think about certain conditions that will ensure the success of the event. If you want an intimate celebration, then you can limit the attendance to just your immediate relatives and intimate friends. But if you want a larger celebration, you can invite most of those who attended the traditional funeral service.
What Are Your Options?
Being open in character, there are many options that you can consider if you want to hold a celebration of life ceremony. Here are some celebration of life ideas that some people have held in the past that might be in line with the life of your dearly departed one.
Even in this type of life celebration, there should be an MC or master of ceremonies and a program to give the semblance of order in the proceedings. This MC could be a family member or someone designated by the family. Anyone who wants to share their stories about the life of the departed is given the opportunity to talk. However, the MC will be responsible in leading the event.
In this type of celebration of life ceremony, there is no need for an MC. A family member could lead the group in sharing their stories about the recently departed.
Another option is the presentation of visual materials related to the recently departed. The family members could gather pictures or videos and organize them into scrap boards and video presentation that focus on the life and activities of the departed one.
Make It Personal
A great idea for the celebration of life of the departed is to personalize the ceremony. For instance, if the recently departed is a pianist, the family members can bring in a grand piano to the event, and play some of his favorite piano pieces on the background as the ceremony is going on.
If the recently departed is known to be a music aficionado, the family members could incorporate his types of music in the celebration of life services. They can request a choir or a singer to sing his types of songs, or make a video presentation of the way he was able to enjoy his music while he was still alive.
Or if the dearly departed is a cycling enthusiast, the family members can bring in his favorite bikes and memorabilia of his cycling activities while he was still alive. You can apply this concept to any kind of sports or activities that your dearly departed enjoyed or even his profession. You should be able to gather all the interesting stuff that will make the celebration of his life ceremony a very memorable one to those who will attend.