What is a Celebration of Life Ceremony?

traditional funeral service

You may have heard the expression ‘Celebration of Life Ceremony’ and wonder what it means exactly. Let me explain. A traditional funeral service is held in a church/religious building. Officiated by a Religious Minister. It follows a strict set of rules regarding the structure of the ceremony. Many people feel that a religious type of service is not really appropriate for them or their loved one.

wood light vacation picnic

flexible type of funeral ceremony

‘Celebration of Life’ describes funeral ceremonies. They are non-religious or semi-religious in nature. They are increasingly popular in place of a traditional funeral service. A very flexible type of ceremony really focused on what you want. How you would like the ceremony to be. 

bespoke ceremony

The ceremony can include poetry, readings, and popular music of any kind. Tributes read from as many people that wish to speak about the deceased. Special rituals can be involved too. A memories tree or a candle ceremony.  As the name suggests a ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony is just that – a celebration of a unique person and of their life.  It is totally bespoke and focuses on the uniqueness of the deceased.  It can include stories, both celebratory and funny.  Laughter and tears can both be appropriate.  A ceremony for someone who loved to laugh and joke would not be a true reflection of the deceased without some humour in it.

Alternative Funeral Ceremony Venue
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alternative venues

The ceremony is held in a Crematorium. Not in a church or religious building.   Other venues are used by families who want something more personal. You can choose a place that has a personal meaning to the deceased and the family.

The advantage of holding a Celebration of Life Ceremony at an alternative venue. You are not constrained by the 20 to 30 minutes allowed in most municipal crematoriums for the funeral service. You will have the use of your Ceremony venue for as long as you want it and you will have time to include as many tributes, poems, music choices and rituals as you wish

the ‘wake’

The Ceremony and the ‘Wake’ are at the same venue. You and your family stay in one place. No need to move to a second venue. You remain there, taken care of by the venue staff.

the ‘commital’

The cremation itself takes place on the same day, sometimes days before the Celebration of Life Ceremony. A ‘Direct Cremation’ is held without family members present. Alternatively, close family only are present at the ‘committal’ in the crematorium.

time to plan the ceremony

Holding the Celebration of Life Ceremony some days after the cremation means that you would have plenty of time to plan the ceremony and you would be able to have the ashes of your loved one present at the ceremony should you wish.

daisy heart

have it your way


I am a Professional Celebrant. I give families a bespoke ceremony to celebrate the life of their loved one. At your local crematorium or an alternative venue. Do you want to appoint me as your Celebrant? Or ask a question? Please contact me through the ‘Contact Me’ page. I will reply the same day.

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