Read next: What to say when...

View our guides on finding the right words for any situation.

Read our guides

10 Wording Examples for a Celebration of Life Invitation

This is part of Cake's collection of Funeral planning Legacy articles. Create a Cake profile for free to discover, document, and share your end-of-life wishes.

Writer

Published on:

Joyous. Celebratory. These two words sum up a celebration of life ceremony. The focus is on remembering the deceased in a bright and cheery way. 

Jump ahead to these sections:

Celebrations of life are often held for people who have passed away after a long illness. Because death wasn’t unexpected, people are often in a better frame of mind to celebrate someone’s life. A celebration of life may also be held sometime after someone’s death so people have had more time to process it. 

It’s important to word your celebration of life invitation so that guests know what to expect. Here are some tips for writing celebration of life invitations and some examples of proper wording.  

5 Quick Tips for Writing a Celebration of Life Invitation

Here’s how to put together the best celebration of life invitation. 

Explain a celebration of life ceremony. A lot of people aren’t familiar with celebration of life services, so you want to make sure they understand what they’re getting into. Not everyone will be able to have the kind of energy that a celebration of life is all about.

It’s important to make sure people know what to expect. This way, they can make an informed decision about whether they can confront death in a more lighthearted way. You don’t have to write a thesis on it — just include a sentence or two about what to expect.

Detail important information. Celebration of life ceremony invitations should include some key information: The name of the deceased, the dates of their birth and death, the time and date of the service, and the location of the service.

If you’ve hit upon a theme while browsing celebration of life party ideas, you can include information pertinent to that, too. For example, if you’re having a potluck, you can include information on where people can sign up to bring dishes.

Use photos to help set the scene. Many funeral programs will feature a sedate portrait of the deceased on the front cover. You can differentiate from that more somber approach with an upbeat photo collage on your celebration of life invitation.

Include photographs of the deceased laughing and smiling from all phases of his or her life. This helps set an expectation for the mood of the ceremony.   

Include a brief bio of the deceased. Along with the photo collage, you can include a few sentences about the deceased. This could include the names of his or her children, hobbies, and positive attributes.

It shouldn’t be a long obituary. Just a sentence or two is the ideal length. You can always include a more in-depth bio in a service program at the actual ceremony. 

Celebration of Life Invitation Wording Examples

Now that you know the type of information you need to include in your celebration of life invitation, you’re ready to write one. Here are some examples of celebration of life invitations for several different types of people. Feel free to use them as inspiration as you write your own. 

For a mother or grandmother

Example one

Celebration of Life 
Lillie Ann Porter (July 14, 1932 – January 20, 2020)

February 8, 2020 
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Downtown Municipal Auditorium
5 Myrtle St.
Corona, NY 11368

Leave your sadness at the door and join us as we celebrate the life of Lillie Porter. Lillie was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother. She was also a talented seamstress who made prom dresses and wedding gowns for over 50 years. We invite you to dress to the nines at a celebration of life for Lillie. Wear your finest apparel and join our family to toast this fabulous, strong woman. Beverages and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Bring a photograph of Lillie and write a small note on the back for our memory wall.

Example two    

Celebration of Life Service
Maisie Cameron (May 4, 1981 – January 21, 2020)

February 15, 2020
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Spring Canyon Park
8421 Buckingham Street
Maineville, OH 45039

Maisie Cameron, beloved wife and mother, passed away after a long illness. We invite her friends and loved ones to join her family to celebrate her life. We’ll share our favorite stories about her and release butterflies in her honor. Per her request, please wear bright colors to contribute to the celebration. 

For a loving father or grandfather

Example three

Celebration of Life Ceremony
Steve Bennett (February 9, 1980 – January 19, 2020)

February 22, 2020
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

7928 Orchard Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085

We extend an invitation to friends and family to join us at our home for a celebration of Steve’s life. We’ll be sharing our favorite stories about Steve in an effort to lift the girls’ spirits. Our intention is to show them that as long as we remember him, a piece of him will always be with us. Please come prepared with funny or uplifting stories about their father so they know it’s okay to smile through their tears. 

Example four

Celebration of Life
Michael Barclay (April 15, 1954 – January 22, 2020)

February 29, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Sullivan’s Pub
912 Hartford Lane
Bayonne, NJ 07002

Michael Barclay has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Per his wishes, his family is holding a celebration of life ceremony instead of a traditional funeral. We invite you to join his widow and children at his favorite pub, where we’ll raise a glass (or three) to the best man we know.  

For another adult without children or grandchildren

Example five

Celebration of Life Service
Sean Richards (March 4, 1990 – January 18, 2020)

February 8, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Magnolia Park
689 Lilac Avenue
Sumter, SC 29150 

Our son Sean passed away unexpectedly. While we are grieving him, we know the last thing he would want is for his loved ones to dress in black and cry. He was a fun-loving young man and the life of every party. To honor his memory, we’d like to invite friends and family to join us at his favorite park for drinks and a cookout. 

Example six

Celebration of Life Ceremony
Melissa Delgado (June 8, 1975 – January 23, 2020)

February 15, 2020
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

8418 University Street
North Attleboro, MA 02760

Melissa Delgado has passed away after her lifelong struggle with cystic fibrosis. She is survived by her wife, Emma. Melissa prepared for her death and asked for a celebration of life instead of a funeral. Snacks and drinks will be served and a memory jar will be set up so that people can write about their favorite memories of her. We’ll also collect donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 

For a child who died

Example seven

Celebration of Life
Simon Flynn (August 9, 2013 – February 22, 2019)

February 22, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Circus Park
8604 West Thorne Ave.
West Roxbury, MA 02132

Last year, we lost our son Simon at the age of six. Though his life was short, he brought us so much joy and happiness in the years he was with us. On the anniversary of his death, we invite you to celebrate his life. Children are welcome to come — there is a playground at the park where they can play. We’ll have some of Simon’s favorite snacks on hand. At the end of the gathering, we’ll release balloons in his memory.   

Example eight

Celebration of Life Service
Lyra Wood (October 14, 2010 – January 20, 2020)

February 29, 2020
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Community Arts Center
458 Union Ct.
Tucson, AZ 85718

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the life of our daughter, Lyra. Lyra had many talents, but she was especially fond of art. We invite our friends and family members to join us at the Community Arts Center, where we will all paint pictures of things that bring us joy. Wear comfortable clothes in bright colors. We’ll also collect money to fund a scholarship in Lyra’s memory that will allow children from low-income families to access the arts. 

For a prominent community member or figure

Example nine

Celebration of Life Ceremony
Dr. Oliver Hughes (September 12, 1939 – January 17, 2020)

February 8, 2020
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

62 East Piper Lane
Harleysville, PA 19438

Dr. Oliver Hughes served the Harleysville community for over 50 years as a family physician. We invite his friends, colleagues, and patients to join his family at a celebration of life service. Nothing brought him more joy than treating the people in this community. His family will take great comfort in connecting with those he served. 

Example Ten

Celebration of Life
Cindy Roth (December 3, 1972 – January 21, 2020)

February 15, 2020
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

451 College St.
Shepherdsville, KY 40165

The family of Cindy Roth would like to invite you to attend a celebration of life service in her honor. In her 25 years as a social worker, she connected with so many people in our community. Her life’s work was improving the lives of others. We invite you to brighten our lives in our time of grief by sharing your happiest memories of Cindy. 

Keep It Personal

A celebration of life ceremony is different from any other end-of-life service — and invitations for this type of event should be different, too. They do need to contain certain information but can be a lot less formal than funeral or memorial service invitations.

They set the tone for the ceremony. Keep them light and personalized to help get attendees in the right frame of mind. 

Read next: What to say when...
  • Someone has a sick family member
  • Someone loses a loved one
  • Someone's going into surgery

Our guides will help you find what to say in any sensitive situation.

Read our guides