The rise of celebrations of life and personalised funerals

Have you heard of a “celebration of life”, or perhaps you have already attended one of these ceremonies? These days, more and more people are looking for their funeral to be a celebration of life – with a ceremony that’s upbeat rather than sombre in tone. At this type of occasion, you may be asked to wear a certain colour or watch video clips chosen by the family, which is quite different to a traditional funeral. So why has there been a shift towards this type of ceremony?

Increasingly, people are more open to the idea of personalising their ceremony, with 71% of individuals surveyed by ComRes saying that they think their end of life wishes would be met if we were more comfortable with discussing funeral arrangements. As the average cost of a funeral continues to rise, planning ahead has never been more important. Although many of us are still reluctant to talk about funerals, it does appear that we understand why it’s necessary and isn’t as daunting as we may think.

By personalising your funeral, your friends and family are able to remember you for who you were. One way of doing this is by asking a close friend or family member to deliver your eulogy. The eulogy doesn’t need to be very long, nor does it have to be serious – many eulogies even include a few funny anecdotes that will raise a laugh or two! Some people say that a celebration of life actually helps with the grieving process, as we often don’t have a chance to reflect on the happy times shared and instead, tend to focus only on the immediate loss and sadness.

The BBC recently reported on celebrations of life, referencing Lynda Bellingham’s “all-singing, all-dancing knees-up” funeral and Joan Rivers, who chose to open her funeral with a series of Broadway songs. These are certainly bold choices, but a real reflection of their outgoing personalities. You might not want such a lively and adventurous ceremony, but opting for a less formal arrangement gives you more control over personalisation and allows you to specify your wishes in advance.

As more people become open and comfortable with planning their funeral in advance and talking about the subject with friends and family, we’ll likely see many more personalised ceremonies in the future.

To ensure you have full control of your funeral, it’s a good idea to have a funeral plan in place to ensure your wishes are respectfully carried out by a reliable funeral director. Golden Charter offers a range of funeral plans to suit every budget, so you can relieve the financial and emotional strain on your family and put their worries at ease.