The term Celebration of Life was first used in 1997 by a family
who wanted to celebrate the life of a lost love one,
Leonard Luke Simmons, instead of grieve it at the memorial
service. The phrase was originated by Deborah Simmons Garcia.
That first Celebration of Life service was concluded by use
the song "[[The Hallelujah Chorus from [[Handel's Messiah]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_(Handel)]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File;Handel_Messiah_Hallelujah
_by_Oratorio_Chorus.ogg" as the benediction.

A Celebration of Life deviates from the traditional
funeral by using a focus on celebrating the positive influences
and accomplishments of the deceased in a festive foundation.
Instead of sad testimony of the loss there is uplifting usage of
music and the joy that the deceased person's life
brought to society, friends and family.

In [[Media:Jazz funerals of New Orleans, Louisiana]
[http://www.louisianafolklife.org/Resources/main_prog_streaming
_video.html#nojazzfunerals], such a concept of dancing and
rowdiness was traditionally done after the burial of the
deceased. In a Celebration of Life, the whole memorial is
presented in an upbeat manner which brings a joyous uplifting
experience at the end of the service. Since the original time
of use, the circulation of the concept has caught on through
the funeral homes of America. It is now being used to
memorialize great celebrities such as Coretta Scott King, and
Michael Jackson. Example of Song and poetry used in the first
"Celebration of Life"



'''THOROUGHBRED'''

When you said you were a thoroughbred
We didn�
�t know just what you meant
Against all odds you showed us that you had
A gallop of great confidence
When the winds of trial and sorrow blew
You pursued bravely your goals
Then strength and purpose gave foundation sure
Running against the wind.

Oh Dad, Granddad, notre papa nous vous aimons
You have show us so many strengths
Thoroughbred running against the wind

Oh-oh papa you were for us
A safe haven sure and warm
With passions only fathers bring
Bringing stability to our home
More than food and clothes your passions proved
Wisdom for the road ahead
You are our father , our thoroughbred
Running against the wind

Oh dad, granddad notre papa nous vous aimons
You have shown us so many strengths
Thoroughbred running against the wind.

by Deborah Simmons-Garcia



The family and friends of the deceased could also continue the
celebration into the first holiday scheduled by engaging in
something that relieve the ache of memory. The first Celebration
of life continued holiday included a performance of
communication such as what was performed as the celebration
continued to the first '''Father's day'''. The
encouragement was not to suppress the idea that the person
was not present, but to include the loved one in the celebration.
This was done by using a living potted flower,
or plant into the soil of which each member who wanted to
express their feelings that could no longer be said, would
write upon a piece of parchment. After doing so that person
would roll it up, and press it into the soil of the plant.
The offering was later placed on the grave. There was a
testimony of great joy that followed and the celebration
dinner was served.

 

Celebration of Life