The Difference Between a Celebration of Life and a Funeral

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Both these services are dedicated to a loved one who has recently passed and they both give family and friends the opportunity to acknowledge the death and pay their respects. Funerals have been around for decades and is the traditional service held after a death has occurred. However, celebrations of life are becoming more common for families as a means to rejoice the life their loved one lived in a positive, uplifting way.


When it comes times to choose which service you will choose for a loved one after they have passed, it is important to know the difference between the two so you pick appropriately in a way that reflects the person for who they were. Or perhaps you are pre-planning your own funeral and you want to make sure your family and friends are saying their last goodbye in a way that feels right to you and fulfills your desires for this day.


Firstly, a funeral service is very common with religious and spiritual beliefs and customs. Families who are a part of a church, typically choose a funeral service as a church officiant will direct the service and fulfill their religious needs. Passages are read, prayers are said and everyone gathers to pay their respects.


As part of a funeral service there is a visitation, the service itself, and a committal, service that takes place. The visitation is the first step and allows the family to gather together and say their goodbye’s. In some case’s there will be a viewing of the deceased where guests can step up and say their last words before the closing of the casket as the service transitions into the next part, being the funeral service.


The funeral service includes singing, praying, and eulogies from family and close friends. When the service comes to an end, the family meets at the gravesite to lower the casket into the ground, where one last passage and prayer may be read to lay the deceased to rest.


A celebration of life differs in the mere sense that it solely focuses on the positive, happy side of the loss of a loved one. Everyone gathers to celebrate who this person was and the life they lived. There may be activities being participated in and songs and pictures being displayed to keep the memory of this person alive. At the end of this event, the family and friends gather to do a release activity which is their way of saying their last goodbye. This activity may be a balloon release into the sky or a bottle being let go at sea, with personal messages.


Whichever event fits better into your life, or the life of your loved one who has recently passed, both fulfill and exult the life you will all miss dearly. If you have any other questions or would like

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