Funeral Ceremony | Ideas, Examples and Tips  

Looking for ways to celebrate the life of a loved one in a way that pays tribute to who they were and recalls happy memories from those who attend? At Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, we’re passionate about planning funeral ceremonies that celebrate the unique and individual person you lost. We love sharing what we know with everybody, not only those who choose us to be their funeral provider. We strongly believe every decedent deserves a celebration of life and every survivor deserves the comfort a ceremony can bring.

Here are some of the most creative ideas and examples we’ve brainstormed, seen, and heard about over the years.

Establish a theme

When you think about the weddings you’ve attended in the past, they were likely planned around one central theme that served as an accurate reflection of the couple’s personalities. More people are applying that same concept to funeral ceremonies, customizing the service around one central theme.

For example, you might plan a pet-themed service for an animal lover, with paw prints on programs, plates, and napkins, and their pets front and center at the service; or a car-themed service for a car enthusiast, with their favorite classic car on display on the street in front. Themes can be subtle, too, like themes based on colors, a specific flower, a certain decade, or a central concept like love or kindness.

Choose a customized casket

While traditionally more common in other countries, we sometimes see clients choose custom caskets to bring a little peace and comfort to the service and burial.

For adults, casket wraps are most common and can be customized with family photos or specific themes like patriotism, religion, or sports. For children, custom caskets and casket wraps are commonly selected reflecting themes like Disney Princesses, Lego, Spiderman, and more.

Change up funeral etiquette

While traditional funeral etiquette calls for subdued, formal clothing, you might consider a more casual or celebratory dress code to better reflect your loved one. If they lived in jeans and t-shirts, you can ask attendees to wear jeans and t-shirts in their honor. If you want to celebrate life rather than mourn their passing, you might ask guests to wear yellow or their favorite bright color.

Transform the venue into a gallery

If the decedent was an artist – a quilter, crafter, painter, woodcarver, knitter, etc. – consider transforming the venue into a gallery by displaying their creations. This idea works well even if your loved one didn’t create but collected or loved to decorate; you can incorporate pieces from their home or collection into the service to better reflect their essence – who they were and what they loved during their life.

Celebrate life through food

Food holds a special place in the lives of family, and one of the most comforting ways to remember your loved one is to share a nostalgic meal together. Whether it’s a meal you ate together as children, the decedent’s contribution to every holiday dinner, or even a favorite order from a local diner, food can bring memories to the surface and provide comfort for all those who attend and share in your love.

Pass out [meaningful] party favors

Passing out a party favor that feels meaningful can help start the healing process for mourners when they leave. One idea is a simple seed, giving each mourner the opportunity to plant a seed in memory of their loved one and then nurture it and watch it grow.

Incorporate a hashtag

Clients are often surprised by this suggestion, but creating a hashtag for the celebration of life can bring people together and give loved ones a quick and easy way to look through all of the tributes, memories, and photos shared before, during, and after the funeral ceremony. Coming up with a custom hashtag even gives those who can’t attend an opportunity to share – and ensures those who need those messages the most are able to find them.

Participate in a meaningful release

Exactly what you release will depend on the values of your family as some releases may be harmful to the environment, but releasing doves, balloons, lanterns, or bubbles can be a way to visualize the spirit of your loved one breaking free and moving upward and onward, out of the physical restraints of life. For many mourners, a release can be therapeutic and bring meaning to the service.

Consider live music

Nothing transforms the environment of a funeral service like a local bluegrass band, children’s choir, or guitar player. Consider bringing live music to the ceremony for the most intimate celebration of life.

Offer custom memorabilia

Between Etsy, Thirty-One, and hundreds of other local and national businesses and platforms, procuring customized Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, or keychains has never been easier. Consider offering customized memorabilia – either for purchase or giveaway – right at the service so those who loved the decedent have a tangible way to carry that memory with them when they leave.

Don’t forget the kids

Offering activities for the kids to do can give adults more time to reminisce and reconnect after losing a loved one. Some ideas include:

  • a plastic kiddie pool filled with sand and beach toys
  • a coloring station with themed coloring pages
  • a Lego table with a variety of Legos
  • a craft table with instructions and supplies for a simple craft
  • a “playhouse” area with dolls, kitchen, play food, etc.

Set up an adult craft

Offer the supplies and platform for a meaningful adult craft is a creative way to incorporate everybody into the service. You might provide instructions and supplies for a time capsule, for example, and ask loved ones to put it away until 10 years from now. They can get statements from those around them, add in photos when they get home, and revisit the celebration when the time comes to open it up. Other ideas include supplies for a memorial item like a small scrapbook, an ornament, or a home-made key chain in honor of your loved one. We can help you find options that keep the cost low.

For help planning your loved one’s service in the Mesa, Arizona, area, visit the compassionate team at Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery today. We’re here for you.

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