A Celebration of Life (Memorial)

memorials green

Celebration of Life

Welcome to the celebration of life of our dear ________.  Would you please check that all cell phones are turned to “celebration of life mode”.



Friends and Family: Imagine that your love and all your joyful memories of _______ are colors that you weave into a cord in your mind’s eye. And then envision your cord weaving a circle around this room with all of the other cords holding all of our precious memories of _______, and marking sacred space around this room.


Opening words:


A human life is sacred.

It is sacred in its being born.

It is sacred in its living.

And it is sacred in its dying.



May our time together today be filled with memories of a loving _______(Mum or Dad), a devoted wife-husband-partner, a cherished Grandmother-Grandfather, a sister – brother, an aunt-uncle, etc and a dear friend, who only such a short time ago walked the way with us.


We have come here today from places far and near, to gather ourselves in memory and hope; to be in community together. We come to honour, mourn and celebrate the life of one we cherished, and cherish still. The wheel of life has completed its circle for _______and those of us who are left behind, gather to say good-bye to her-him and to comfort each other.


It is clear that our lives take their meaning from interlacing with other lives. when one life has ended, those into which it was woven, are also for some time carried into darkness. Not our human desiring, but only time, slow-moving, yet sure and steady, will lift that blanket of darkness. Our task here and now is to celebrate the many strands of living memory that have been woven into our love for ______.


Responsive Reading

Please rise as you are able.     I ask that you repeat the refrain, “We will remember him/her,” after each line.


In the rising of the sun and in its going down,

“We will remember him/her.”


In the blowing of the winter wind

“We will remember him/her.”


In the opening of the buds of spring

“We will remember him/her.”


In the blueness of the summer sky

“We will remember him/her.”


In the rustling of leaves in autumn

“We will remember him/her.”


In the beginning of the year and when it ends

“We will remember him/her.”


When we are lost and sick at heart

“We will remember him/her.”


When we have joys we yearn to share,

“We will remember him/her.”


So long as we live, he shall live too…For

“We will remember him/her.”




You have been called from the place of your dwelling

After times, after duties, after separations.

May blessed soul-friends guide you,

May helping spirits lead you,

May the Gatherer of Souls call you,

May the homeward path rise up under your feet

And lead you gladly home.

and hold hands – across the aisle-ways and around the rows so that we may have as much of an unbroken circle as possible.



Sing or play the deceased favorite song


Eulogy – a summary of the life of the deceased.

The Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship has created an helpful Memorial Planning Worksheet as well as a personal history for obituary or eulogy worksheet.


Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.  ~Author Unknown

Remembering and Celebrating


We are happy to have those of you who wish, to come forward to share your thoughts and memories of______.


Various speakers come forward. It is always good to have asked one person to go first, in advance, to break the ice.


Now let‘s pause to gather individual feelings and thoughts, to reflect upon the meaning of this occasion, to remember the beautiful spirit of our beloved ______ and the many and varied ways her-his life touched our lives.


Blessing to be said by all: Let us all start by saying her-his name


______-May the air carry your spirit gently. May the fire release your soul. May the water cleanse you. May the earth receive you. May the wheel turn again and bring you peace.


We have come together as a community of family and friends – the smaller circles have become as one large circle. _______we carry you in our hearts and minds as we continue on the journey of life with gratitude for having had you among us.


Closing reading


Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
~Rossiter Worthington Raymond
Love has gathered us. And love lets us depart.


Good-bye _______; you are deeply loved.


Other readings


A long time I have lived with you

And now we must be going

Separately to be together.

Perhaps I shall be the wind

To blur your smooth waters

So that you do not see your face too much.

Perhaps I shall be the star

To guide your uncertain wings

So that you have direction in the night.

Perhaps I shall be the fire

To separate your thoughts

So that you do not give up.

Perhaps I shall be the rain

To open up the earth

So that your seed may fall.

Perhaps I shall be the snow

To let your blossoms sleep

So that you may bloom in spring.

Perhaps I shall be the stream

To play a song on the rock

So that you are not alone.

Perhaps I shall be a new mountain

So that you always have a home.

by Nancy Wood.



The Dash – Unknown

I read of a man who stood to speak, at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone, from the beginning…. to the end.  He noted that first came his birth, and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all, was the dash between those years.


For that dash represents all the time, that he spent alive on earth…

And now only those who love him, know what that little line is worth.

Those whom we have loved never really leave us.  They live on forever in our hearts and cast their radiant light onto our every shadow – Sylvana Rossetti