A Meaningful Celebration

You can create a funeral that reflects the unique and special qualities of your loved one. The secret is to add personal touches. Here are some suggestions.

  • Add your personal touch to the funeral notice in the paper. You may wish to mention your loved one’s most memorable qualities or include a few lines from a meaningful poem.
  • Provide a memory book for guests to sign at the gathering. This is a lovely way for mourners to share their memories and feelings. It will become a cherished memento of your loved one.
  • Place your loved one’s favourite things close by. These will have special meaning to all who share your loss.
  • Light a candle. The flame of a candle represents the spirit. For some, it also represents life’s continuation beyond death.
  • Give guests an order of service, including the eulogy. Personalise it with special memories, photos or lines from a poem.
  • Project photo images of the person’s life during the ceremony.
  • Select flowers that were meaningful to the person who died. Perhaps you can think of something more appropriate than flowers to be displayed on the coffin or casket.
  • Don’t be afraid to use humour, where appropriate. Remember, the eulogy is a celebration of the life of your loved one.
  • Create a memory display at the viewing, ceremony or gathering. Encourage family and friends to contribute their favourite photos. This is a wonderful opportunity to share special memories.
  • Fill the room with your loved one’s favourite music – music that is special to the whole family. You may choose to use pre-recorded music or bring in musicians to honour your loved one.
  • Include poetry or scripture that may have special significance for you or the person who has died.
  • Involve organisations that the person was involved in, for example, the RSL, Rotary or Masonic Lodge. Some of these organisations have their own short ceremony that can be included, or you may invite them to form a guard of honour or help as pallbearers.
  • Choose a meaningful funeral cortege or procession. This is the procession from the service venue to the cemetery or crematorium. The procession is a symbol of public honouring of the death. It is usually led by the hearse containing the coffin or casket. You may ask that the procession pass a significant place, for example, the family home or place of business.
  • Escort the cortege with significant vehicle(s).
  • Place a flower or cast petals into the grave at the completion of the committal.
  • Release balloons, doves or butterflies at the graveside.