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Telling Your Life Story: A Celebration of Life Service or Traditional Funeral

Planning your end of life celebration into what you want it to be

Once again the Baby Boomers are breaking barriers in society by choosing to “celebrate life” rather than be memorialized in a traditional funeral service. While they have much in common, a traditional funeral and celebration of life service often appear very different.

Both ceremonies serve as a gathering of people who share a common loss. The purpose of the ceremony is to:

  • Help the bereaved family, and their community, publicly acknowledge a death
  • Support the grieving family by surrounding them with caring friends, neighbors and co-workers
  • Move the deceased from one social status to another

Funerals have been around a very long time and most commonly we think of a traditional service imitated in contemporary film and literature. A traditional funeral consists of three key elements: the visitation, the funeral service and the committal service, performed at the graveside.

Yet more people are choosing to plan a Celebration of Life 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 that died and what they lived for.

It is less formal, and doesn’t follow any religious rite and requirements, though it may still include readings of favorite passages, videos, meaningful songs, or personal messages spoken by family or friends.

It 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 sharing 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 funeral, the celebration of life ceremony can be held weeks and 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 family and friends can bring.

For more information on planning a celebration of life or traditional funeral service, call DeJohn Funeral Homes Pre-Need Specialist, Denise Brennan or Constance Scheanon at 440-516-5555.




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