Many bereaved people find that a civil funeral/celebration of life service provides just the sort of ceremony that their loved ones would have wanted. Each ceremony is to commemorate and celebrate the life of the person who has died, and to recall the memories and the influences which they have left behind.
Each service is individually created and designed for each unique situation. It allows family and friends to express their feelings and emotions, and to share their memories. It provides a memorable, dignified, fitting and sensitive reflection on a person’s life, and its ending.
As well as looking back over the life that has ended, there is time for contemplation, and for comforting words which have a depth of meaning that can be appreciated by all, whatever their personal or religious beliefs.
Many civil ceremonies may look something like this:
- Introductory music and words of welcome.
- Thoughts on life and mortality.
- The tribute to the deceased person – including, if you wish, tributes delivered by family and friends.
- Time for contemplation – with or without suitable music or verse, of the family’s choice.
- The committal – when the curtains close or the coffin is lowered.
- Final thoughts and closing music.
But no two ceremonies are the same, and civil ceremonies are equally appropriate for services at a crematorium, chapel of rest, or graveside. You may also want to consider the possibility of holding more than one ceremony – for example, a brief crematorium service for close family followed by a memorial ceremony later, perhaps on another day.