A Fitting Funeral About Life

the role of a Funeral Celebrant


Celebrating Life is What a Funeral Should Focus Upon

In the same way as a piece of rope, coiled to form a circle, with the two ends touching, produce a starting and ending points, almost indistinguishable, so too is the cycle of birth, life and death.

Just as birth engenders feelings of happiness and joy, with no fear or dread; the same should be held for the death of a individual, since this moment is nothing more than the renewal of the circular journey of life itself.

While there is no doubt that enormous grief often accompanies the death of a loved-one it too must be seen as a expected and integral component of the death process, for those surviving. The most important aspect therefore, is to ensure that not only are the needs of the deceased respected and completed, but that the needs of those remaining be also supported and comforted.

This is where the role of the modern Funeral Celebrant can differ from (or complement) those of the traditinal clergy, and where there has been no formal adherence to a religious or spiritual group, the Celebrant can ensure that the needs of all people are cared for.

The Funeral Celebrant's role is to assist in the co-ordination of the service which will celebrate the Life of the deceased, aiding in producing the eulogy to highlight all the wonderful achievements, milestones and happeings in the life of the person. Collating the biography, gathering the favourite readings and music pieces and presenting a suitable celebration of the life, love, aspirations and achievements of the loved one - so that while their loss is acknowledged, their memory will be made more full and complete, so they will be remember for the complete person they were, rather than just for any particular aspect. Everyone has their story, and since we are all unique, no two lives can ever be exactly the same...

Accordingly, as a Funeral Celebrant, I try to bring together all those elements which have been generated throughout the person's lifetime and present them in such a way, that not just their closest confidant's, but anyone who had been involved with them during their life, can appreciate the whole person - that is how such a Celebration of Life should be conducted.

In doing so, this helps ease the grieving process for all, for once we are able to see the "whole" person, we can rest in the knowledge that that person's life has been successful and worthwhile, and that, just as we all must one day take that same journey, we can feel satisifed and at peace with everyone and everything.

Since each person is an individual, so too a person's final farewell should be a personal tribute and tailored for that person and their loved-ones. I strive to make that happen.

Should you ever need a person to help in such a situation, please contact me and I will be pleased to discuss your needs in private and in confidence.


There are two particularly salient prayers that might offer some peace and consolation for those exposed to such issues just now -


The Serenity Payer

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr

You Can...

You can shed tears that he has gone,

or you can smile that he has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,

or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,

or your heart can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live for yesterday,

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember hm amd only that he has gone,

or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,

or you can do what he'd want, smile, open your eyes, love and go on.



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Last revised: August 9, 2006