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The Role of the Funeral Celebrant

February 4, 2019

Planning a funeral of a loved one is something that most people will have to do at least once in their life. Commemorating the life of a loved one and honouring a person’s memory in the best way possible is an important event and partnering with the right funeral celebrant will allow for a smoothly conducted service and a beautiful celebration of life.

What is a funeral celebrant?

A funeral celebrant is a qualified person who works with a family to officiate a funeral service by planning and overseeing the funeral proceedings. The celebrant ensures the ceremony is tailored to the beliefs, values and desires of a deceased individual. They may conduct all kinds of services from non-religious, semi-religious to spiritual funeral ceremonies. Most celebrants customise the service placing an emphasis on how the person lived their life, their personality traits and the memories they have left behind. For this reason, celebrants are the likely option for people looking to create ceremonies of meaning without necessarily incorporating religious beliefs.

Funeral director vs Funeral celebrant

A funeral director will take care of the arrangements for the entire funeral, ensuring everything from transportation of the body, location of the service, and burial or cremation is organised. The role of the funeral celebrant is to take care of the funeral service itself, they usually have the main speaking role at the service. Occasionally, a funeral director may also act as celebrant, however generally they will recommend a celebrant to you or assist with booking a celebrant that you have selected.

What does a funeral celebrant do?

A funeral celebrant works with the family or loved ones to create a celebration of the deceased person’s life, aiming to give the person the farewell they deserve and desired to have.

Some of the tasks a celebrant should perform are:

  • Meet with the family to discuss the funeral and the type of atmosphere to be created
  • Spend a number of hours talking to the family and getting a good understanding of who the person was, their personality traits and life they lived
  • Liaise with the funeral director when required
  • Assist in planning the funeral service, including readings, poems and music
  • Put together an order of service for the funeral
  • Deliver a funeral service which reflects on the life of the deceased and gives all attendees the opportunity to say goodbye

How to choose a funeral celebrant

Funeral directors will usually be able to recommend a funeral celebrant, however it may also be worth finding your own celebrant as you need to be comfortable with them and be confident they can perform the service you want and create the atmosphere you’re after. It’s a good idea to meet with a celebrant in person before selecting them as this will help you decide if they can deliver the ceremony you are hoping for. On your first meeting it’s important to explain what kind of funeral you are looking for and how much you’d like to be involved in the planning. Choosing the right funeral celebrant to help pay tribute to your loved one is important and with so many options out there, deciding who to use can often be overwhelming. Create a shortlist of options, meet with them in person select the person who best suits your needs.

It takes a great deal of planning to make a funeral memorable. Every family has different needs so make sure you explain to your funeral celebrant your wants and desires for the service and let work together with them to create the experience that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of your loved one. If you need further advice on funeral celebrants contact the friendly staff and Perth Cremations and our team will be happy to assist.

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