More people today are choosing to plan a Celebration of Life Service (sometimes called a Contemporary service), which applauds their life and rejoices in the fact that they lived. The meaningful event touches everyone present with an understanding of who the person was and what they lived for.
Typically, this type of service is less formal, and doesn’t follow any religious rite or requirements, though it still may include readings or favorite passages, videos, meaningful songs, or personal messages spoken by family or friends.
A Celebration of Life service creates an open discussion for people to focus on the positive aspects of the life lived. Grieving loved ones can speak about their experiences and memories of the decedent, console each other, and just spend time in their grief. As the name implies, it focuses on celebrating a life instead of mourning a death.
Typically a celebration of life is held after the body of the deceased is buried or cremated. Also unlike a traditional funeral service, the celebration of life ceremony can be held weeks or even months after the loved one has passed away.
Whether a traditional funeral or celebration of life, the opportunity to celebrate a loved one in this manner has been very valuable to many families. They otherwise may have chosen not to have a service and would not have experienced the closure that gathering and sharing with the family and friends can bring.