How to Announce a Celebration of Life: 8 Ideas

Updated

The term “celebration of life” can be used to describe an end-of-life service scheduled immediately after a death or one scheduled months after the death date. The phrase could describe a religious or agnostic service. Additionally, the term can be used whether the deceased was cremated or buried – even though most families may not choose to have the body present at such a festive event. 

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A celebration of life service differs from a traditional funeral because the service encourages attendees to focus on the positive aspects of life. Typically, people are encouraged to share memories and stories in addition to consoling one another.

If you plan a celebration of life immediately after your loved one’s death, you could announce the service at the end of the obituary. You can share the obituary (with the event announcement) on a funeral home website, your social media pages, or an online memorial page you set up in honor of your loved one. Additionally, you could also have it published in your local newspaper. 

If you plan a celebration of life weeks or months after the death, you will need to find an alternative way to announce the event since you probably already published the obituary. 

Let’s discuss how to spread the word that you are planning a celebration of life for a loved one you lost weeks or months ago. Let’s begin our discussion by listing what you should include in a celebration of life announcement.

What Should You Include in a Celebration of Life Announcement?

Think of a celebration of life announcement as a specialized invitation. Include the day and date of the service, time, and place (including the street address). Additionally, describe the event. Is it a luncheon event? A buffet dinner? A cocktail hour? If food is being served or the event space has a limited capacity, you might need to ask for an RSVP. 

One would think that those invited to a celebration of life service would already know that the person died. Additionally, we would think that most people are aware the term “celebration of life” is another label for an end-of-life service. However, it would be wise to use subtle clues in the wording of your invitation to make sure that the invitee understands that the person being celebrated is no longer living. 

A straightforward way to achieve this is to prominently include the deceased’s birth and death date on the invitation. 

Let’s look at some fictitious samples of announcing a celebration of life on several different platforms. 

How to Announce a Celebration of Life on Facebook

Love it or hate it, social media is a great way to inform a group of connected people that an event is scheduled. But, of course, there are pros and cons to announcing an event on Facebook. 

One benefit of announcing an event on Facebook is that you can reach a large group of people almost immediately (for free!). In addition, since you can tag the deceased loved one in the announcement, you can also inform people who knew the deceased that are not on your list of friends.

On the other hand, some people choose not to use social media. This means that you will need to find another way to reach those individuals. Also, a person might be less likely to attend an event announced to such a broad group of people. 

There are two ways to announce an event on Facebook. First, you can write a post that includes the event details and then share it on your page and other family members’ pages while tagging your loved one’s account. 

Or, you can create a Facebook event. If you choose this method, you give people an easy way to RSVP to the event. This also allows you to be more selective with the invitation list. The drawback to this method is that you will be less likely to reach those close to your loved one who you don’t know. 

Here are some sample posts to announce a celebration of life on Facebook.

1. Please join us as we celebrate the amazing life of our Mom, Samantha Regina Smith. Join us for a luncheon at noon on Friday, December 2, 20XX at The Phoenix Club (123 Main Street, Smallville, MI). After the meal, a short service will follow. Please RSVP to (XXX) XXX-XXXX or myname@gmail.com.

2. A life so beautiful deserves a special celebration. Please join us as we honor the life of Samantha Regina Smith, who lost her life to breast cancer on December 30, 20XX. While we mourn her loss, this event is designed as a celebration of a life well-lived. Please bring your stories and fond memories of Samantha.

The event will be held on Friday, December 5, 20XX, at noon at The Phoenix Club (123 Main Street, Smallville, MI). 

Food and drinks will be provided. Please let us know if you will be joining us for the celebratory occasion by Wednesday, December 3.  

How to Announce a Celebration of Life in a Newspaper

Contact the newspaper office if you wish to announce a celebration of life ceremony in the obituary column of your local newspaper. It’s common for newspapers only to accept death notices from funeral homes or cremation centers in an effort to prevent false news from being published. However, they may have a different policy if the death has already been announced, and you wish to spread the word of the celebration of life event.

Plan on paying a per word fee for the celebration of life notice to be printed in the newspaper. Typically, there’s an extra charge if a photograph is published. 

3. We’ve cried our tears and continue to mourn our loss. Now we give our grieving hearts relief by coming together to celebrate our father, Samuel Rutledge Smith. Please join us on Saturday, December 30, 20XX, at 7 p.m. We will be meeting at Harry’s Tavern in Smithville to toast this remarkable man. 

4. Samuel Rutledge Smith, January 30, 19XX – March 8, 20XX

Please join us as we celebrate the life of Sam Smith

Saturday, May 9, 20XX
7 p.m.
The Smith Farm
20222 Smith Way
Smallville, WY

Light snacks and beverages will be served. Please RSVP to Louise at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

How to Announce a Celebration of Life in an Invitation

Perhaps you would rather be more precise on who you ask to attend the celebration of your loved one. If so, consider printing a celebration of life invitation. Here are a couple of samples. 

5. Celebrating the Wonderful Life of Horace Sanchez

January 30, 19XX – March 8, 20XX

Please join us for a buffet dinner as we gather to share stories and special moments we shared with Horace. 

Saturday, May 9, 20XX
7 p.m.
Martin Clubhouse
20222 Smith Way
Smallville, WY

6. Samantha was the life of the party. Let’s celebrate this extraordinary woman who had a contagious laugh and a zest for life by gathering together on Saturday, September 8, 20XX, at Connie’s house (123 West Elm, Handy, PA) at 7 p.m. Wear Hawaiian print. Kindly text Connie to let us know if you will join us at (XXX) XXX-XXXX. 

How to Announce a Celebration of Life on an Online Memorial Page

Online memorial pages are a great way to communicate with those mourning the loss of their loved one. Instead of announcing the death or subsequent events to all on your Facebook friend’s list (including your son’s judo instructor and your best friend from first grade), you can target your announcements to those who care the most.

Here are some text samples of how to announce a celebration of life on an online memorial page. 

7. Although we are still finding it hard to live without our precious Grayson, we would like to gather our friends and family to celebrate his life. Please attend our fundraising event for pediatric cancer on Saturday, June 8, 20XX, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hilton Way Court Gardens (123 East 43rd Street, Kansas City, MO). The event will include dinner and dancing as well as a silent auction, with all proceeds going to a charity that is close to our hearts. Fill out the attached form to reserve your space and select your entree.

8. A life well-lived deserves to be celebrated. Please join us in celebrating at Harper Lake for a night of remembrances and fireworks on June 1, 20XX, at 8 p.m., as we commemorate the life of Billy. Appetizers and beverages will be served as we come together to remember this special person.  

Do You Need Help Planning Your Event?

Once the event has been scheduled, it’s time to start planning the event. How do you walk the line of mourning the death of a person while celebrating their life? Consider celebration of life etiquette and how others may respond to such a unique end-of-life service.

You also may need help considering what to say at the celebration of life if you are in charge of hosting the event.

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