3 Ways to Make a Funeral Spiritual Whether You're Religious or Not

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
In the last 10-20 years, there has been a shift for some people away from traditional churches and rituals. There is now a stronger mix of the nontraditionally religious, people who feel spiritual but not religious, and many who are not affiliated with a church or religious organization at all.

With this growing diversity, it can be difficult to decide how to honor a loved one, especially if they fall into one of these growing categories. Without any other obvious choices, many times families will fall back on the religion their loved one knew when growing up, for lack of other guidance. Even if these beliefs don't really align with whom they were for most of their life.
In an effort to help facilitate services and memorials that are more in line with your loved ones' personalities, beliefs and passions in life, here are a couple tips to help guide you in creating a funeral that celebrates them and all they are.

1. Invite the family and loved ones to decide what's meaningful to them and their departed.
For some people, it is the traditional scriptures and religious rituals. For others, their joy of nature may have been their church. Still others may have loved their gardens or service to others. The list is endless, but will be fairly easy to identify what your loved one truly enjoyed during their lifetime.

2. Foster a space of acceptance and creativity.
Once a couple of ideas have been identified, the next question may be: how would your loved one honor someone through these things? It could be a special painting if their love was art, or a particular Scripture, poem or saying that was the heart of their beliefs. Is there a related way that these special pieces can be used in the service? Creativity and acceptance is key, as it's more to honor your loved one than to accommodate your own taste or preferences.

3. Focus on individuality and authenticity.
Honor your loved one in a way that was true to their beliefs and unique story. This may be within traditional religious rituals, or free of religion and based in their individuality. While there is no right or wrong answer here, the guideline may be: would your loved one have enjoyed it if they were there see it?

The most important thing is to celebrate the life of your loved one in a way they would have embraced. Giving your community, friends and family a center to gather around allows you to remember, honor and grieve your loved one in a way that celebrates who they were and how they lived.

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