A celebration of life is far less formal than a funeral or memorial service, yet there are instances when you will want to send out paper invitations for the event. The wording for a celebration of life invitation is important, since it sets the tone for the event and gives everyone the information they need to attend. This is especially true if the deceased had loved ones who are scattered geographically or who don't utilize social media. Send the invitations with enough time for invitees to arrange travel or childcare.
Celebration of Life Announcement Template
If you need a little inspiration, you can use the template below as a guide for writing an invitation for a celebration of life. If the sample appeals to you, you can edit, download, and print this template to use for the celebration invitations. The Guide for Adobe Printables provides guidance on using these types of templates successfully.
What to Say in a Celebration of Life Invitation
Sending invitations for a celebration of life can be a special courtesy and a way to honor the life of an important person, but knowing what to say can be a challenge. As long as you include the basics, there's no wrong way to write the invitation. You'll need to include the following elements.
Give Information About the Person Being Honored
The most important information to include in a celebration of life announcement or invitation is the name of the person being honored and important dates. In general, you'll want to include the person's full name, birth date, and death date. You can also include a short biography or some special facts about the person if you'd like to share that. These wording examples can help:
- Please join us in celebrating the life of Ruth Elaine Harris (1928 - 2022).
- The family of Ruth Elaine Harris (1928 - 2022) will be gathering to celebrate her life, and they'd be honored if you'd join them. As a teacher at Stanley Elementary School, Ruth touched many lives. Her legacy is the difference she made, and we'd love to hear your memories.
- Join us for a celebration of life service in honor of Ruth Elaine Harris (May 3, 1828 - July 14, 2022).
Provide Details About the Celebration of Life Event
Remember that the invitation is not a eulogy, and therefore you don't have to go into the details of the cause of death. As part of the wording for a celebration of life invitation, you need to include the basic details about when and where the event will occur. In addition to the person's name and dates, include the following:
- Date the event is occurring
- Time of the event
- Place where you will be holding the ceremony
- Any special instructions or directions to get to the event
Explain What a Celebration of Life Is
Most people are used to getting announcements about funerals or memorial service invitations, but they may have never been to a celebration of life event. When you're considering the wording for a celebration of life invitation, give some thought to whether the people receiving it will know what the event is about. If it could be unclear to them, it's courteous to offer a basic explanation. Let these wording examples help inspire you:
- Although we're all grieving, let's take some time to be grateful for the years we had together. Come prepared to share your favorite memories and celebrate a very special life.
- Robert always loved a good bonfire, so we'll be celebrating his life with stories, memories, drinks, and plenty of s'mores. Dress warmly, since it might be chilly that night.
- Ellie loved gardening, so we'll be planting hundreds of tulip bulbs as we celebrate her life. Dress in cheerful colors and clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and feel free to share your favorite memories of our beloved friend.
- Jim hated dressing up, so we hope you'll keep it casual too. We're going to have a backyard barbeque and make his signature grilled chicken. Bring along your favorite side dish and plenty of memories to share.
Include RSVP Information
If an RSVP is required, or if guests are requested to bring food or other items, include this information with the invitation.
More Examples of Wording for a Celebration of Life Invitation
If you're not sure exactly what you want to say in your announcement or invitation, it can help to have a bit more inspiration. Try adding celebration of life poems to the invitation, or you can use one of these wording examples.
Casual Messages for Celebration of Life Invitations
Keep it casual and celebration-focused with these examples:
- This is the party he would have planned. Let's celebrate John's life the way he would have wanted.
- Many of you will remember Sally's joy at riding her motorcycle. Come join us for a celebration of life that starts with a great ride and ends with an evening around the campfire. We'd love to hear your stories and memories too.
- Death is the next great adventure. Come celebrate the life of John Smith with us.
- Join us in a Celebration of Life for Joe B. Smith. As many of you know, Joe loved The Olde Tavern and their Moscow Mules. Come raise a glass to Joe as we gather to remember his remarkable life. Food will be available for purchase from The Olde Tavern's kitchen.
Religious Celebration of Life Wording Examples
Although celebration of life events are usually casual, they can still be religious. If you're honoring someone whose faith played an important role in their life, it can be appropriate to include a religious message in your celebration of life announcement or invitation:
- Neither death nor life shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Join us for an informal gathering to celebrate the life of John B. Smith.
- Although Helen is no longer with us here on earth, we take comfort in knowing she's looking down on us from above. Let's thank God together for a life well lived.
- For a faithful heart, death is not the end. Come share your memories and prayers as we celebrate the life of Allen Larson.
Wording for Memorial Service Invitations on Social Media
If you're making a celebration of life announcement on Facebook or another social media platform, there are some special things to consider. Putting the word out on social media or email about a celebration of life service is appropriate in these instances:
- The invitation is not the first notification of the person's death the invitees receive.
- The intended recipients use social media/email on a regular basis and won't miss the invitation.
- There are no people who might see the invitation who should not be invited for whatever reason.
- The invitation is set to "private" if you don't want everyone invited.
A brief explanation of the purpose of the party, followed by the specifics of location and time, is the biggest consideration for wording an online invitation. Include a photo of the deceased if possible, but make sure it is a happy photo - it's supposed to be a celebration.
A Caution on Invitation Wording
Keep in mind that the death of a loved one can prompt profound grief. For this reason, keep the message for celebration of life invitations informal but never irreverent or insulting. While you may think it's funny to say, "Let's have a hot dog eating contest, since that's as gourmet as John ever got!" someone else might take great offense to poking fun at the deceased. While some people may be able to manage the strength to attend a celebration of life event, they may not be emotionally ready to joke about the deceased just yet.
Celebrating a Life With the Right Words
Whether sent via the internet or through the mail, a celebration of life invitation beckons mourners to join others in remembering someone special after they pass away. As you plan a celebration of life, invite as many people as possible so more memories can be shared among the group. Ultimately, the perfect wording for a memorial service invitation depends on the people attending, the person being honored, and your own personal preferences. There's no wrong way to write a celebration of life announcement, as long as you keep these things in mind.