After reading a newspaper article about Funeral Celebrants in Australia and New Zealand, I realized this was a much needed service for families. Spending many years listening to funerals, I realized that few personal tributes were included in the service. It seemed that the memories involving the deceased and the families were seldom reflected. Therefore, I decided to enroll in a certified celebrant training program with Insight Books, headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. I was pleased to equip myself with the knowledge of how to offer a more personalized funeral ceremony for families.
A funeral celebrant is a person who seeks to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. They serve by providing a funeral ceremony that is personalized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased. Celebrants believe that:
- Everyone deserves and needs a funeral;
- Funerals should reflect the life of the person who has died; and
- Each life has significance and should be memorialized.
A major aspect of planning a celebrant funeral is getting together with the family prior to the services. This get together is a time of storytelling about the deceased and family members, and the celebrant will ask about special readings, songs, or prayers they may want.
Celebrants are trained to provide a ceremony that is either religious or non-religious and are more than willing to include ministers and religious scriptures as a family chooses. Most families are not without faith, but lack a church affiliation. A celebrant funeral concentrates on the spirit of the person: who they were, how they loved, and what they felt and shared. Participation by family members and friends is encouraged.
At the cemetery, a special tribute can be planned. This ceremony can include remembrances such as seed packets for a gardener, fishing lures or bobbers for an avid fisherman, or a balloon release involving grandchildren. Suitable ideas can come about after listening to the stories told by the family at the get together.
As a Certified Funeral Celebrant, I truly believe that funerals take on a more meaningful and healing role in reliving a person’s time with family and friends through a ceremony. My experience—in the services I have conducted and the responses I have received—has reinforced this belief.
Families who choose Hager & Cundiff Funeral Home are invited to create a funeral celebrant ceremony, conducted by me, at no extra charge. For a celebrant funeral ceremony at a different location, I may be contacted at Hager & Cundiff Funeral Home.