As well as the chance to say goodbye to a loved one, a funeral is also the perfect occasion to celebrate their life. There are so many ways this can be done, so we have compiled our top 20 suggestions to provide some inspiration and some really unique ideas.
1) A Message Book
A message book can be the perfect addition to a funeral service or wake to help memorialise people’s fond memories of the deceased. Simply ask friends and family members to write down a memory about the deceased that makes them smile. The book can then be shared with loved ones after the funeral and can be an incredible comfort as well as a great way to celebrate many of the happiest moments in someone’s life.
2) Tree Planting
By planting a tree as part of a funeral service, mourners are able to witness something that will continue to live, grow and thrive in memory of the deceased. This can also become a comforting place to visit for close friends and family. By adding a plaque to the tree, others can take a moment to appreciate the tree as a celebration of someone’s life too.
If the deceased was passionate about a particular charity or cause, then why not include a fundraising element to their funeral? The funds raised can make a difference to a charity of their choice and that in itself is a great way to celebrate life and highlight the kindness of the person who has been laid to rest.
4) Photo Collage
Ask those attending the funeral to bring along any photographs they would like to be included in a photo collage or photograph album celebrating the deceased life in images. This can be a great reason to connect with friends and family again after the funeral to share the end result.
5) Celebrate Life in Full Colour
Many people are opting to avoid the tradition of mourners wearing black to a funeral and asking those attending to wear bright and colourful clothes instead. This is a great way to celebrate life in full colour!
6) Pick a Colour
Another great way to brighten up the funeral congregation and remember the deceased fondly is to ask mourners to wear something in the deceased favourite colour. This could be connected to a sports team, hobby or just because they liked a particular colour. It could be just one item of clothing, maybe a tie or a scarf, or an entire outfit.
7) Photo Slide Show
A beautiful way to celebrate someone’s life is to create a slideshow of photos that can be shown at the funeral or wake. Pictures are a great way to highlight memorable times in someone’s life and a slide show is the perfect way to share these with others. A favourite song or piece of music can be played at the same time too.
8) Forget Me Not
Flowers can be a beautiful way to remember someone, so why not hand out ‘forget me not’ seeds to mourners to take home and plant as a fitting way to remember the person who has been laid to rest.
9) Memory Table
To really highlight the achievements in someone’s life, why not display a memory table during the service or wake? This could include pictures, trophies, favourite items of clothing, a favourite mug or anything that people will fondly associate with the deceased or be interested to see.
10) Worldly Wise
For a well travelled loved one or someone who simply loved to explore, you could display a world map showing all the places they visited in their lifetime. This is something that can be displayed on the day of the funeral but also displayed afterwards to extend the celebration of life. It can be a great prompt to talk about the deceased and keep their memory alive.
11) Light Up Life
Memorial candles are another great gift to give to friends and family enabling them to enjoy moments where they think of the deceased. Candle lids or labels can contain a message or simply the deceased name, birth and death dates, but when lit you can be sure they will be thought of.
12) Themed Funerals
For those who really want something a bit different to celebrate someone’s life then themed funerals are on the increase. From superheroes to Christmas, or sport to musical themes, this is a great way to allow people to enjoy a fun yet fitting send off, celebrating the deceased life and wishes.
13) Music Matters
Music can be an apt way to celebrate someone’s life and bring back many memories to those attending the funeral. The music played during the funeral and also at the wake is a fitting way to celebrate someone’s life. You could consider a tribute act covering one of their favourite singers or groups, or compiling a playlist of their favourite songs. Maybe even a gospel choir or jazz band! If they loved to dance, then encourage mourners to feel free to dance in their memory.
14) Going out with a Bang
Fireworks add something special to any occasion, so why not a funeral? A firework display can provide a stunning and exciting end to a funeral service, celebrating someone’s life in full colour and with a bang!
15) Message in a Bottle
To celebrate life and send the memory of the deceased on one last adventure, why not write about them and place your message and contact details in a bottle. Set the bottle off on its travels at a favourite coastal spot and you never know, someone may get in touch from far away to say that your message reached them. What a lovely way to remember your loved one.
The choice of transport used as part of the funeral ceremony can also be a fitting way to remember a loved one and celebrate their life. There are many choices available now from a tractor and trailer to a horse and cart, or a motorbike with a sidecar and even a campervan. If your loved one was enthusiastic about a specific type of vehicle or maybe they were a bus driver or lorry driver, then don’t overlook the mode of funeral transport as a way to provide a great sendoff.
17) Take Flight
Setting off balloons in memory of a loved one provides a beautiful experience for friends and family. Messages can even be attached to the balloons as a touching way to say a final farewell as loved ones watch their messages take flight.
18) A Breath of Fresh Air
To remember someone who loved nature or the outdoors then an outdoor funeral service or wake can be a great way to celebrate something they loved and appreciated in life. Of course Mother Nature may impact this idea, but weather permitting and outdoor service or sendoff can be therapeutic and comforting.
19) Open Mic
When there are many mourners at a funeral it is often difficult to spend time and share memories with everyone. By offering an open mic session, those who would like to say a few words or share a particular memory can do so with everyone. Friends and family members may learn things about their loved one that they didn’t know or hear stories for the first time. This is a fun and friendly way to share and bring mourners together.
20) Personalised Coffin
Not surprisingly we wholeheartedly love the way that a personalised coffin can memorialise a person and be used to celebrate their life. With endless design options, including completely personalised designs or photographic designs, a personalised coffin provides the perfect pictorial tribute. With the coffin often being the focal point of the funeral service, it is the perfect chance to display something that the deceased loved in a fitting design.
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