Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be important to do something special to remember them. Whether that’s a funeral, wake, gathering time with friends, or even a photo slideshow, choose something that is personal and celebrates the life of your loved one. There are a few different ways to put together a celebration of life for a loved one. There are no set guidelines to follow, but here are three celebration of life program examples to honor your loved one.
A time for food/drinks in addition to a wake and/or funeral.
Give guests a chance to unwind after the service and enjoy some food and casual visiting with friends and relatives. The location of the service determines where you’ll meet for refreshments afterward. It could be at the banquet hall of the service, a church basement or hall, or even a local restaurant for a meal or appetizers. Maybe a potluck at your home is the way to go.
It can be nice to serve the favorite foods of the deceased. This after-service time is also a good place to provide guestbooks to sign and set up memory tables with memorable items of your loved one, including photo boards or a slideshow.
A celebration with an officiant/program.
Speakers can talk about the person’s life, hobbies and family life. This can be a clergy member, family, or a close friend to lead the program.
Think about what readings and music selections should be part of the service. Choose some meaningful selections of music, or have some spiritual pieces read aloud if music wasn’t an important part of their life.
Tribute videos or slideshows can often be shown as part of the program to really capture the essence of your loved one. The details of the celebration can vary but should always be personal.
Not a service, but a gathering of friends and relatives.
Sometimes, the celebration is just the loved ones getting together and sharing stories. Talk, laugh, and remember the good times. It can really be more of a party than any kind of formal ceremony – something he or she would have loved.
It can be an intimate gathering of a few friends and relatives sitting around the living room with appetizers, or it can truly be a party organized at a restaurant, public outdoor space like a park or banquet hall. Have some of the person’s favorite songs playing in the background, or consider bringing in a DJ or band.
As a special touch, give guests seeds to take home and plant, so people can remember their loved one as the plant grows. Or consider giving out favorite recipes, candies or poems for guests to take home with them.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.