MEMORIAL CEREMONIES AND FUNERALS
I will be compassionate and professional, so as to enable the farewell to be a special tribute to the person who has passed away.
As your funeral celebrant, I will:
- Meet with you and other family/ friends at a time and place convenient to you.
- Need to gain a thorough knowledge of the person who has died so that the funeral ceremony can truly reflect the life of that individual.
- Put together a unique ceremony/service based on your memories and wishes that does justice to the memory of the person who has passed away.
- Include the eulogy, a formal presentation that lets all present remember the individuality, the joys, the struggles and the achievements of the deceased.
- Also support you and help you decide what your role and that of others will be in the service or ceremony.
- Liaise with the funeral director and those who play a part in the funeral.
- Be present at the committal of the body for either burial or cremation.
Tailored to your needs, not taken from a textbook
Not everyone wants a textbook funeral that may not reflect the life, personality or wishes of the person who has died. Instead families and friends look to someone who can help capture and commemorate the essence of the departed.
Skilled in handling family sensitivities
Some also look to an expert who can deal with tragic or difficult circumstances. These could include sudden or accidental deaths, deaths of young children and adolescents, suicides, or lives that seem to have little to celebrate.
Spending the time needed
A further benefit of using a funeral celebrant is that a good practitioner is prepared to spend time with family members, friends or colleagues.
And a funeral professional knows that reconciling the emotions of the family at this difficult time with practical issues needs a subtle blend of sympathy, empathy and tact.
Growing trust, lowering distress
Winning the trust of the family member or members, or the person of friend charged with organising the funeral service, is not a given. A good celebrant is trained to use their observation. They know how to avoid causing distress, or how to alleviate it should tension arise.
Celebrating with creativity
Perhaps most importantly, but often lastly, great celebrants not only interpret your needs, and the lives and histories of the departed. They do it creatively. They can construct a service which, while emotional, can also be calming, uplifting, spiritual.
Recognising the right moments for humour
Great celebrants even know how to capture and re-present humorous elements of the deceased’s life in ways that can make their absence seem less rather than more painful. A combination of tears and smiles at a funeral says much about the celebrant. Where both are seen, they have probably captured the right balance of mourning, solemnity and celebration for a life well lived.
Who handles what?
Where a natural death has occurred (a death that doesn’t require the involvement of a coroner and where a death certificate has been issued), most people contact or appoint a funeral director.
Surprisingly few family members or friends are prepared, even when it is known the person is dying or close to death. Often, the hospital or home where the person dies will suggest a funeral director. Most people take up that option because they feel they have little or no choice.
You can choose who you wish to help you with the funeral. And you should not feel pressured into conducting the funeral as soon as possible.