If you feel that you've lived a long and fulfilling life and are working on preplanning your funeral, you might wish to give consideration to a celebration of life service. Used as an alternative to a traditional funeral, this event generally has more of an upbeat feel. Even though people will still be sad as they think about you, this even gives people a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of your life instead of exclusively mourn your death. Often held later after the death, rather than in the days that immediately follow, a celebration of life service can include several elements. Here are some elements that you might wish to be included.
In a traditional funeral, somber hymns or songs are often played and/or sung by those in attendance. In a celebration of life service, music can also play a role — but it doesn't have to be somber. Instead, you can draft up a list of your favorite songs and have your loved ones play them at your service. If a particular song is widely known, those in attendance may wish to sing along. Otherwise, simply listening to a couple songs played through the sound system can be suitable. Another alternative is to have a local band — which might be applicable if you're friends with some musicians — play a special song in your memory.
A traditional funeral will often have a eulogy and perhaps some other speakers contribute by reading scripture, but there won't always be another opportunity for people to play a role in their service by speaking. At a celebration of life service, you may wish to either ask certain people to share some stories about you, or simply have a portion of the service dedicated to allowing anyone to approach the microphone and share some remarks. This element can be a favorite part of the service for your surviving family members, as they'll often get to hear things about you that they might not know.
Because a celebration of life service can be highly customizable, you might wish to even think about some activities in which people can partake. This is especially a good idea if people are meeting in a park or in someone's backyard, for example. To truly play up the "celebration" theme, you may wish to have children's games in one section of the area. Children may not always enjoy attending funeral-related events, but having some simple games for the kids to enjoy will allow parents to feel comfortable attending with their young ones — and, if family has been very important to your life, you might favor this idea.
Contact a funeral home, like Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home Inc, for more help.