Celebration of life services are rarely held in religious establishments; instead, they are held in a place the deceased enjoyed or in the comfort of a family member's home. To individualize a service, consider having family members and friends speak about the deceased, offering refreshments or displaying mementos highlighting the departed's experiences and achievements. A keepsake can be offered to those who attend in the form of bookmarks, prayer cards or candles.
Mementos detailing the deceased's life can include anything from displaying scrapbooks full of pictures to creating memory tables or boards. Memory tables can highlight almost anything. To show the person's pride in military service, display a table full of uniforms, flags, boots and memorabilia collected on deployments. To highlight hobbies like woodworking or antique collecting, add tools and the departed's favorite collectibles. To explain the significance of the items, place an index card with a legibly handwritten explanation by each item.
While they convey a similar thought, memory boards are typically simple, consisting of pictures and documents written by the deceased. Unlike tables, which should be constructed before the celebration begins, families can work together during the event to create personalized memory boards from provided items.
Even the choice of refreshments can provide a personal touch to a celebration of life. If the deceased was an avid baker, create and serve the person's favorite recipes. Offer copies of the baking instructions to guests as a special way for them to remember the deceased.