How Does a Celebration of Life Differ from a Funeral?

By: Ian Elliott
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

There are a number of different customs and traditions that deal with the loss of a loved one. Most follow these traditions and arrange for a formal funeral service prescribed by their religious or ethnic background when their loved one passes away. Today, many choose to honor the memory of their loved one and say their goodbyes in a different way through a celebration of life ceremony instead of a formal funeral. There’s a distinct difference between the two options and they’re explained in this post:

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a formal ceremony that allows family members, loved ones, friends, and partners of a deceased individual to say their final goodbyes. This ceremony follows a strict guideline provided by the religious denomination and includes prayers, scripture readings, speeches from family members, etc. The service usually occurs soon after the loved one has passed away and the body is present for viewing. After the service, there’s a funeral procession carrying the body to the burial ground or cremation center. Funerals often have a solemn and serious atmosphere.

What is a celebration of life?

A celebration of life is also a way to remember the deceased individual and say some final goodbyes. However, this service has a less formal atmosphere and isn’t connected to any religious denomination. Instead of focusing on the grief of the loved one’s passing, people focus on the pleasant memories they had with the decedent. They share stories, show pictures, and try to focus on the positives. This can help with the grieving process and offer the loved ones some solace.

Have any questions related to funeral services or want to organize one, just contact us or give us a call (604) 888-9895. Arbutus Funeral Service will be happy to help.


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