Losing someone you love is tragic and their death creates an emotionally intense time for those concerned having to come to terms with that persons passing. With such emotions running high it is difficult and upsetting for them to have to make funeral arrangements, and is not the matters they want to particularly turn their attention to in the first few days of their grieving.
This is where a Funeral Celebrant comes in. I am the person between the family and the Funeral Director.
You may contact me directly, but I may be sourced through Funeral Directors and Funeral Chapels.
Step 1) INITIAL CONTACT
Once I have heard from the Funeral Director, or family member, I will make an initial contact by phone to the family. Here I will schedule the appointment for our first face-to-face meeting at a family member’s home. If necessary we could meet elsewhere, eg. Funeral Chapel or my private offices in Caringbah.
Step 2 FIRST FACE-TO-FACE MEETING
This meeting will usually take an hour and can involve several family members. Although in time it would be preferable to deal with just one or two members who will be in contact with both the family and be my contact for passing on details and for the funeral service.
At this meeting I will be asking questions relevant to the deceased and to the funeral service. This may include questions relating to family life (birth, parents, siblings, where they grew up).School life (primary, secondary, tertiary studies) friends, incidents, achievements, qualifications, career (workmates, career moves), own family life (marriage, children, events), personality (hobbies, interests, community involvement).
And any favourite songs, tunes, prose, poems, memorable events in their life suitable for use in the ceremony. Any rituals, non-religious or otherwise, that may be performed by someone during ceremony.
Also allowing the interview to describe or define the deceased in a short paragraph.
Step 3 FOLLOW UP
This will be as needed, and may be through emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings to make sure of any changes and to finalise the service.
Step 4 FUNERAL SERVICE
On the day of the service I will arrive at least 1/2hour early to meet with the Funeral Director and any family as they wish. My job will be to lead the service in co-ordination with the Funeral Director, who will also be in attendance.
I will be the person who will talk on behalf of the family to the congregation. And will introduce any formalities and persons pre-organised to step forward and present. If at any time a person is overcome with emotion, it is totally acceptable for myself to step in and continue on this person’s behalf.
Once the ceremony is finished and the body has been interred (either by burial or cremation), I may stay a short while upon request. Generally a funeral celebrant does not attend the wake.
MEMORIAL / CELEBRATIONS
These usually occur away from a funeral parlour and at any time after the funeral. It may be in remembrance of a person’s passing date; it may be once a body has been cremated and the urn is being returned to the family.
Each person and family is unique in what they require. I am very happy to hear about your ideas and what you have in mind and work with you to create a lovely ceremony that is personal and one which will be remembered for many years to come.
Please refer to the steps for a funeral.
Pets: It is obvious that people are attached to their pets as they are to human beings- dogs, cats, birds and the whole menagerie!
Pet funerals can follow the same structure as human funerals, including the owner’s memories of the pet, memorable prose about pets, pet poems and pet prayers. The emphasis is on designing the ceremony according to the wishes of the family or the pets owner.
It can also be a helpful way for children to understand the cycle of life and the rituals that can be associated with the passing of something so dear.