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Why a Memorial Service?
Rather than opting to do things "the same old way", many families today want to celebrate the life of a loved one. Many funeral service professionals see this change as one of the many contributions to social change made by 'Baby Boomers'. The National Funeral Directors Association notes, "As baby boomers age and find themselves having to plan funerals for loved ones and themselves, they are making funeral choices based on values that are different than previous generations. Baby boomers see funerals as a valuable part of the grieving process and are seeking ways to make them meaningful." If you too desire to make the funeral for a loved one more engaging and personally meaningful, a celebration-of-life may be the perfect concept to build on.
How Does a Celebration-of-Life Differ from a Traditional Funeral?
As mentioned in the page Traditional Funeral Services, there are four basic components which make up the conventional approach to funerals:
The Funeral Service
A Committal Service
The Funeral Reception
A traditional funeral then is a series of events; it's a ritualized process where the deceased, and the attendees, pass from one social status to another; a process where the torn fabric of a family and community is repaired. According to the online article "Six Characteristics of Helpful Ceremonies", by William Hoy, Director of Grief Connect, this is done by including:
Symbols of shared significance intended to communicate beyond words
Ritual actions shared by a group of individuals
Gathered people providing comfort to one another
Connection to heritage through recognized readings
Increased physical contact between attendees provide comfort
Witnessing the transition of the body through burial or cremation
In knowing these characteristics, you can design a celebration-of-life–as unique as the life of your loved. Learn how to create a Celebration of Life.