Funeral or Celebration of Life: How to Decide What’s Right for Your Loved One

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Friday, May 20, 2022

When a loved one passes away, it is important to honor their life with a memorable final goodbye.

In the past, society has turned to funeral services based on religious or cultural traditions to pay tribute to the departed. But as the world becomes more mobile and less connected to formal religious doctrine, these commemorative events have taken on a personalized, casual approach. That is largely why celebrations of life have rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.

If you are struggling to define the perfect final farewell for a loved one, please read on for some important information about traditional funerals and celebrations of life to help you make the best decision.

What is a Celebration of Life?

This ceremony is designed to joyfully commemorate the life of the departed and all of their special qualities. It typically does not follow particular religious rites or requirements, and the body is not present. There are no prescribed rules for when or where to hold the event or what elements to include. They may be held in a church or funeral home, but often they are conducted at meaningful locations to the departed, such as a favorite park or restaurant. Celebrations of life are intended to be customized affairs that reflect the preferences and personality of the one who passed away.

What is a Funeral?

A traditional funeral is a formal ceremony where the body of the departed is usually present. The tone is quiet, subdued, and reverent. Funerals commonly occur within a few days of the person’s passing and take place at a house of worship or funeral home. The ceremony follows an order prescribed by faith or custom, although there is room for flexibility. The elements commonly include a visitation period, followed by the funeral service, interment (burial), and the reception or repast. 

How are Funerals and Celebrations of Life Different?

Funerals tend to be formal affairs that emphasize specific religious and cultural rites, while celebrations of life are casual gatherings with a festive vibe. It is important to note that, although celebration of life ceremonies are typically more relaxed, the etiquette rules for funerals still apply. Lateness, disrespectful remarks, ultra-casual attire, and boisterous behavior are never appropriate

Which is Better?

As time goes by, there is less and less distinction between these two types of ceremonies. It is not uncommon to find hybrid services that include elements of both the traditional funeral and the carefree celebration of life. When it comes to designing an end-of-life ceremony, there is no right or wrong answer. The best service is the one that is right for you and your loved one.

If you’re undecided about the final farewell for your loved one, turn to the caring professionals at Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services. We will explore the funeral service options with you in detail and help you create the perfect end-of-life tribute. Please contact us anytime.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Do You Know the Rules for Legally Scattering Ashes?

As more and more people choose cremation, questions about legally scattering ashes are on the rise, too.   Ash scattering has become an increasingly popular way to remember the departed. It p...

Four Important Things to Know About the Tax Issues When Losing a Spouse in Pennsylvania

The tax issues when losing a spouse in Pennsylvania are varied and complex. Losing a spouse or life partner is challenging on many levels. In addition to the deep emotional grief and personal loss...

Hobbies and Five Other Activities That Can Help Create a Healthier Brain

Can a healthier brain be as close as your chessboard? The experts say yes. As we age, the structure of the brain changes, which can adversely affect memory and cognition. It can be challenging to ...

Six Helpful Tips for Discussing Your Funeral Plans with Your Family

The most crucial conversations are often the hardest, and discussing your funeral plans with loved ones is a prime example. Talking about your funeral preferences with a spouse, parent, or child i...

Black History Month: Six Fascinating Facts Everyone Should Know

Black History Month is an important annual celebration of achievements by African Americans. In the United States, Black History Month is observed in February to recognize the innumerable key cont...

During Cold and Flu Season, Follow These Smart Ways to Stay Healthy

When everyone around you is sick, staying healthy can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

Coffin or Casket? Six Considerations to Help you Choose the Right Memorial Product

The choice of a coffin or casket should not be taken lightly. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they have some notable differences. Caskets and coffins both serve as burial contain...

Hosting a Reception after the Funeral? Follow These Six Helpful Guidelines

Hosting a reception after the funeral of a loved one presents an opportunity to demonstrate your enduring affection. The funeral reception gives mourners the chance to support each other, share fo...

Six Proven Ways to Calm Anxiety and Ease Stress

As stress levels rise, so does the need for self-care. Having effective ways to calm anxiety becomes even more essential amid challenging times. We all feel anxious from time to time. That sense o...

Coins on a Headstone Hold Special Meaning. Here’s Why.

Have you ever seen coins on a headstone? Leaving signs of remembrance on graves is a long-held tradition. While flowers are the most common grave decoration, they aren’t the only way to pay tribut...