Planning a Celebration-of-Life

If you are planning a celebration-of-life, it's best to look at the big picture before diving into the details. In the early stages of planning a celebration-of-life, you have 2 priorities: get the word out and try to establish a basic plan for the service.

Celebration-of-life funeral announcements

A celebration-of-life can incorporate personal details into a traditional funeral or memorial services immediately following a death or - if a direct cremation or direct burial is chosen - can be scheduled at a later date. The forum for this celebration can be small and intimate or large and extravagant - with many variations in between. However you choose to celebrate a life lived, it's important to notify others.

If a service is held immediately following a death, then communicating the details quickly and efficiently is important. Some ways to communicate the details are:

A call chain. Ask friends to communicate the details by calling a small group of people and asking them to call others within the same community. If it will be a private event, be sure to include this information too.

Emails and e-invites. Using technology can be a great tool to invite key people to a celebration-of-life but should only be used if you are sure the intended recipient is already aware of the death. Using email or social networks should never be used to announce the death to close family and friends.

Online Communities. Online communities created for the purpose of celebrating a life lived and sharing service information can be a time-saving tool to use whether communicating details via email or call chain. A community can be created allowing others to check back or receive email alerts when information is updated. A Heart2Soul Community is free and can be set up quickly and easily by a friend and transferred to a family member to manage later. Friends and family can share photographs, sympathy messages and service details. It is completely free to use.

Celebration-of-life service

The honoree was a unique individual with religious beliefs , cultural traditions and personal accomplishments all playing an important role in how they are celebrated. There is no single format for creating a celebration-of-life, but however you choose to celebrate them, it should incorporate the personal details representing the honoree.

For a formal service, a basic layout should be established determining the length of each part - this will prevent things from dragging on. The elderly and very young may have difficulty being seated for more than an hour. Thirty minutes is a sufficient length of time, while more than an hour may be too long.

Faith Moore, President of FMA Events and author of Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances adapted this checklist for to help plan out the basic service. It can be used as a guide and adjusted according to your own personal plans.