Even in the darkest moments after losing someone, there are still reasons to be grateful. Rather than focusing on the absence left by this person, think of all the things they offered you. Maybe it was a family, maybe it was a home, maybe it was just their unique version of love. That’s why many people prefer a celebration of life service rather than a traditional funeral: because it directs the focus to the gift of this person’s presence, even if they are no longer present in the same way. But how can we explain all this in one celebration of life invitation?
But before we plan the celebration of life service, we will need a celebration of life invitation. Because this strays from our ideas of a traditional funeral, you probably have many questions. What should a celebration of life invitation look like? What information should the celebration of life invitation include? We’ll cover these questions and more as we discuss how to create the best, most meaningful celebration of life invitations.
Celebration of Life Invitation Ideas
If trying to create a celebration of life invitation sounds daunting, don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be!
There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your guests have the information they need to know, and there are also ways to make your celebration of life invitation into something truly special.
What should I include in a celebration of life invitation?
When designing a celebration of life invitation, be sure to include the following important information:
- Name of the deceased
- The date of birth and the date of death of the deceased
- Location of the celebration of life service
- Time/length of the service
- Any specific requests that you have for guests
- Dress requirements, especially if you do not plan to wear the traditional funeral black, mention this to your guests
It might be helpful to ask yourself what you would like to know if you were invited to a celebration of life. For example, if you’re inviting guests who might be unfamiliar with the concept of a celebration of life, a brief description of what to expect might be useful.
Beyond the basic, key information that your guests will need to know for the celebration, here are some additional additions you might consider:
- Include special images of the deceased, family, friends, etc.
- Write a short description of the life of the deceased, or include an obituary
- Include quotes, song lyrics, Bible verses, or any other meaningful messages
Ultimately, what you decide to include in a celebration of life invitation is up to you. Be sure to include anything that your guests need to know in order to attend the celebration, but also be sure to make it something special and personal.
Wording for a Celebration of Life
Whether you’re creating an invitation or attending a celebration of life service yourself, sometimes it’s hard to know what to say. Loss and death can be difficult topics to discuss, and even more difficult when you’re struggling with intense emotions.
The most important thing to keep in mind no matter what is to be thoughtful and respectful. This is true whether you’re speaking about the deceased with family members, and it stands true when writing out an invitation.
As you speak with loved ones about a celebration of life (or during a celebration of life), you might find it helpful to try and use positive language. It can be difficult to “try and look on the bright side” during moments of tragedy and intense loss, though, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle to find the words to say.
Try and be understanding of how others might feel, but don’t be afraid to express when you need help. Going through losing someone and having the responsibility of planning their memorial on top can be extremely stressful. Having a strong support system is more important in these moments than ever.
When creating your invitations, it’s best to keep excess words to a minimum. Working with a limited amount of space means it might be best to save longer messages for the actual celebration of life service itself.
Also take a moment to think of what sort of celebration and invitation the deceased would like to have. Considering that the people attending the service are all people who once loved this person, they would probably be overjoyed to see his or her personality shine through.
Celebration of Life Invitation Template
We’ve created a basic template that outlines what you might include in a celebration of life invitation. It’s important to remember that your invitation will have a limited amount of space for words and images, so choose what’s most important to you. And remember, this is only a template, so you can edit it to better fit your loved one’s personality and the things you want to include.
If you want to jazz up your invitation and make it look better, you can use a website like Canva.com which offers free graphic design editing.
Beginning of Invitation: The Basic Details
- Name of deceased
- Date of birth and date of death
- Family details; i.e. who the deceased is survived by, who was close to them, etc.
- Date and time of the celebration of life service
- Location of the service
- Other information about the service (Will refreshments be served? Can attendees bring guests? Should attendees bring food to share with others? Will they be wearing all black or are other colors allowed?)
Extra Details and Personalization
- Quotes, music quotes
- Religious lines or verses
- Details about the deceased: what will they be missed and remembered for? What was important to them?
- A sentence or two outlining that this is a celebration of life service rather than a traditional funeral, and maybe point out some key differences
Again, this is not an unbreakable guide. You can order the information on your invitation in any way you’d like, but you might find it more useful to put key points near the top of your invitation in a place that they are easy to find.
Celebration of Life Invitation Example
Now that we’ve broken down some of the different things you might want to include in a celebration of life invitation, you can begin to consider what elements are right for you.
Below is an example of the text that might appear on a celebration of life. This sample invitation isn’t meant to be a strict guideline, rather a basic demonstration of what everything might look like when put together.
(Front of Invitation)
Join us in Celebrating the Life of John Doe
07.24.51 | 12.13.20
John is survived by his spouse, Linda, and their two loving daughters.
Join us in celebrating the wonderful life of John
Memorial to be held December 17, 2020 at 3 pm
All family and friends welcome.
(Back of Invitation)
Image of the deceased
“I am prepared to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” —Winston Churchill
As we all know, John left behind many wonderful memories. We hope to celebrate those memories rather than mourn them in this non-traditional service. There is no need to wear black, and please come ready to share some of your greatest John stories. (We know there are many!)
Planning a celebration of life service is no easy task. There are a lot of details to consider, and with so much flexibility, it can be overwhelming to even know where to start.
Luckily, you now have the tools to plan and create an amazing and personal celebration of life invitation. As you go through the process of planning both the service and invitation for a celebration of life, be sure to try and do just that – celebrate life.
You probably would like your invitation to demonstrate that celebrating life is the goal of your service. Sadness and grief are natural emotions that accompany loss, but sometimes focusing on the positive memories and experiences we’ve had with someone can be very therapeutic.
Keep in mind what about the deceased makes them special to you. Remember the good times you had together, the memories you made, and the laughs that you had.
As you go through the service, try and find joy in the fact that you got to be a part of this person’s life, and now you’ve taken on a big part of ensuring that their death is just as peaceful and respectful as they deserve.
- Celebration of Life Wording and Template, Shutterfly, https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/celebration-of-life-invitation-wording/