Celebration of Life Services

Celebration of life services have grown in popularity over the past few decades. They are a great alternative to traditional services for families who want to completely personalize their loved one’s memorial. With cremation growing as the most popular way to take care of a loved one’s remains, celebrations of life serve even more purpose than they used to. Choosing celebration of life services allows for creative freedom as well as freedom in timing, location, and structure of the ceremonies.  

What is a Celebration of Life?
A celebration of life is a personalized version of a memorial service. They are perfect for those who do not wish to follow any spiritual or religious guidelines or those who would prefer that the focal point of their end-of-life services is sharing laughter and memories.  

Celebration of Life Vs. Funeral 

Celebrations of life and funerals are similar in that they serve the purpose of allowing loved ones to honor the life of the deceased and begin the grieving process. There are, however, distinct differences between the two services.  


  • Typically takes place within a few days of the death 
  • Contains 4 main parts: Visitation/Wake, Funeral Service, Burial/Committal, Reception 
  • Funeral service structure includes music, readings and hymns
  • Formal attire 

Celebration of Life: 

  • May take place whenever the family chooses. This is perfect for those who have loved ones from outside of town, as it allows time for planning trips and accommodations 
  • May be held in the presence of an urn or without an urn present 
  • The structure is completely up to the family 
  • Attire guidelines may be set by the family 

Celebration of Life Ideas
A celebration of life service offers family and friends the chance to honor and commemorate the life of a loved one in a unique and unprecedented way.

In contrast to a more sombre funeral, a celebration of life can be a more upbeat and joyful affair. We've compiled a list of ideas below to help you get started: 

  1. Have a releasing ceremony with balloons or doves to honor your loved one’s life
  2. Create a memory table
  3. Display meaningful photos
  4. Create a tribute video
  5. Make a quote board
  6. Build a memory capsule
  7. Hold the service in a unique location like a local park
  8. Invite a local band to play at the service
  9. Prepare your loved one's favorite foods or order catering from their favorite restaurant
  10. Set up a memorial stone station