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What is a Celebration of Life?

A celebration of life is similar to a funeral or memorial service, but generally is less rooted in tradition and focuses on celebrating the life, impact and achievements of an individual, instead of mourning the loss of that person.

This celebration is also often an event that holds a tone of celebration and joy, instead of a somber memorial event. Often times loved ones are encouraged to share their favorite stories, photos, memories and moments with the person who has passed away. Joining and being in community with others who have lost this special person can be incredibly healing for those who are grieving.

Some families and individuals even have special requirements or specifications as to how their celebration of life should go. Maybe they had a favorite color and ask that all attendees wear something of that color. Perhaps they were an artist and ask that all attendees paint something or participate in an artistic event on arrival, unique and joyful events such as these are not completely uncommon when it comes to a celebration of life.

Celebrations of life also tend to occur at significant places to the individual, at homes, or at public venues. If you're struggling to raise funds to cover the cost of a traditional funeral service, a celebration of life is a wonderful alternative that can save you money. Additionally, if you choose to hold a celebration of life, it does not mean that you cannot hold a traditional memorial service as well. Celebrations of life can be held along with a traditional memorial service, that's completely up to the family.

A celebration of life can happen at any time after losing someone; whereas a funeral or memorial service generally occurs within a few weeks of someone passing.

Celebrations of life are often more creative and focus on activities, food and drinks that the person who passed away enjoyed. It’s common for guests to be asked not to wear black and to come ready to share favorite stories.

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Last updated June 15, 2022
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