What is a living funeral? A living funeral, also known as a celebration of life, is a type of memorial service that takes place before the death of a person.
The purpose of a living funeral is to give the individual an opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones, express their feelings and appreciation, and share their life story.
This service provides closure for the individual and their loved ones and can also serve as a way to celebrate the person’s life and legacy.
Living funerals can be conducted in various settings, including in homes, community centres, and religious institutions, and can be as formal or informal as the individual desires.
The key element of a living funeral is to create a space for healing and meaningful reflection on the person’s life and the relationships they have built with those around them.
1. Reasons Why Others Do Their Own Living Funeral
There are several reasons why people choose to have a living funeral:
- Closure: A living funeral allows individuals to say goodbye to their loved ones, express their feelings, and receive closure. This can be especially important for those facing terminal illnesses or those who want to say goodbye before death.
- Healing: Living funerals can serve as a way for the individual and their loved ones to process their emotions, grieve, and begin healing.
- Legacy: A living funeral allows individuals to share their life story, reflect on their experiences, and pass on their legacy to future generations.
- Celebration of Life: Living funerals are a way to celebrate the individual’s life rather than focus solely on their death. They can be an uplifting and positive experience for all involved.
- Control: By having a living funeral, the individual controls how their life is remembered and honoured. They can choose the themes, music, and other elements that are important to them.
- Financial Benefits: Living funerals can also be less expensive than traditional funerals, as they often take place in less formal settings and do not require expensive funeral services or burial arrangements.
2. What Is The Role Of A Funeral Home In Living Funerals?
The role of a funeral home in a living funeral can vary depending on the individual’s preferences and the type of service they want. Some of the ways that a funeral home can assist with a living funeral include:
Planning and Coordination: Funeral homes can help with the planning and coordinating of a living funeral, including arranging the location, setting up the seating, and coordinating with any speakers or musicians.
Support Services: Funeral homes can provide support services such as grief counselling and support for the individual and their loved ones before and after the service.
Logistics: Funeral homes can handle the logistics of a living funeral, such as transportation, parking, and managing any necessary permits or licences
Post-Service Arrangements: After the living funeral, the funeral home can assist with any necessary post-service arrangements, such as cremation or burial.
It’s important to note that while funeral services can play a role in a living funeral, they are not required.
Some individuals choose to have a living funeral without the assistance of a funeral home, while others choose to have a funeral home help with only certain aspects of the service.
Ultimately, the role of a funeral home in a living funeral is determined by the individual and/or their family’s preferences.
3. How To Organise Your Own Living Funeral
Organising your own living funeral is a proactive and meaningful way to celebrate your life and share your legacy with loved ones.
This involves planning and hosting a celebration of your life while you are still alive, allowing you to express your desires, share your story, and connect with your loved ones in a profound and personal way.
Here’s how to organise your own living funeral::
Consider Working With A Funeral Director
If you are considering arranging a living funeral, you may want to consider working with a funeral director. The decision to work with a funeral director will depend on the service you want.
For example, if you would like the service to resemble a traditional funeral with a celebrant, flowers, and a procession, a funeral director would be an excellent resource.
On the other hand, if you prefer a simple celebration with a party atmosphere, you may choose to arrange the service yourself.
Choose A Venue
A living funeral can take place in various venues. Some people prefer to hold the service in a peaceful setting, such as their home or garden.
If you would like to hold the service at a religious venue, such as a church, be aware that some faith leaders may not be comfortable with living funerals, so they may decline to lead the ceremony or use the venue.
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Plan The Pre-Funeral Service
Once you have selected the date and venue, it’s time to start planning the details of the service. If you are ill, it may be best to select a date in the near future. The details of the service will depend on your preferences, but here are some suggestions:
- Perform readings: Encourage attendees to treat the living funeral like a traditional funeral service and ask them to perform readings, such as favourite poems or deliver a heartfelt eulogy. You could even choose to speak at your own funeral if you feel up to it.
- Listen to music: Choose music that resonates with you, whether traditional funeral songs like hymns or classical music or pop music favourites.
- Make a memory table: A memory table is where attendees can share memories and reminisce about their life. You could include cherished photos and a memory book for attendees to leave messages.
- Hire a videographer: Record the special day with a videographer, so you and your family can enjoy the memories again and again.
- Send Invitations: The final step is to let people know about the living funeral. You could opt for a laid-back, informal invitation via email or social media or a formal, printed invitation sent by mail. When writing the invitations, explain what a living funeral is, including the location, date, and request for RSVP.
Regardless of your approach, a living funeral ceremony can be a meaningful and memorable way to celebrate life before death.
4. When Did Living Funerals Become Popular?
The concept of a living funeral involves a terminally ill person or someone who is soon to be deceased planning their farewell party or funeral plans.
This type of event allows the person to take control of their last life events and have a say in how they will be remembered.
The idea behind a living funeral is to celebrate one’s life and to provide an opportunity for surviving family members, friends, and community members to gather and offer their love and support.
It also provides a space for the person who is soon to be deceased to express their last wishes, share stories and memories, and give thanks to those who have touched their lives.
There have been several famous living funerals where individuals have planned their own farewell parties, complete with music, food, and stories.
These events provide a way for people to come together, remember their loved ones, and celebrate the life they lived. They also serve as a way to lessen the pain and grief associated with death and the funeral process.
Living funerals are becoming more popular as people look for alternative ways to celebrate the lives of their loved ones. The funeral industry is starting to acknowledge the trend, with some funeral homes now offering services to support living funerals.
In some cultures, living funerals have been a long-standing tradition and are seen as a way for the elderly, who are approaching old age to say goodbye to their loved ones and to give a final farewell to their life.
It is a way for people to come together, share memories, and offer support to each other as they navigate the final stages of life.
Conclusion On Living Funerals
If you are considering a farewell celebration for yourself or a loved one, consider the unique and meaningful option of a living funeral in Singapore. Take control of your final life events, express your last wishes, and gather your loved ones, friends, and community to celebrate your life with joy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Living Funerals
Is A Living Funeral And A Traditional Funeral The Same?
A living funeral is similar to a wake or the traditional funeral, but it is planned by the individual who is soon to be deceased. It allows them to take control of their final life events and to have a say in how they will be remembered.
Can A Living Funeral Include Religious Or Spiritual Elements?
Yes, a living funeral can include religious or spiritual elements if desired. Some individuals choose to include prayers, hymns, or other religious or spiritual rituals in their living funerals to honour their faith or beliefs.
It is important to consider the religious or spiritual beliefs of the person who is soon to be deceased, as well as the beliefs of those who will be attending the event.
The inclusion of religious or spiritual elements can add a meaningful and personal touch to a living funeral and can provide comfort and support to those who are grieving.
How Much Does A Living Funeral Cost In Singapore?
The cost of a living funeral in Singapore can vary depending on the size of the event, location, and services provided. Some funeral homes may offer packages that include the planning and organisation of the event.
Is Living Funeral Common In Singapore?
The concept of living funerals is gaining popularity as people look for alternative ways to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and to offer support to each other in the final stages of life.
The funeral industry in Singapore is starting to acknowledge this trend and offer services to support living funerals.
The number of individuals opting for living funerals is increasing, and it is likely that this trend will continue to grow in the future.
However, the traditional funeral remains the more common choice in Singapore, and living funerals are still seen as a relatively new and alternative option.