Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Passionate Celebrant -- answering questions you were afraid to ask!

A Passionate Celebrant
"What's a Celebrant?" asks everyone. Few have encountered the title.
Reassuredly, I haven't joined an organized formal religion requiring me to make various vows -- although marriage appears, by default, to have brought about poverty, the other and (much to Husband's chagrin) very little obedience (but let's save all that for another posting).
I would love a comtemplative life of meditation and reading but it seems that's not my lot.
However, I am totally okay with an active vocation of service to the needy and being a Celebrant is a perfect means of providing service using my skill set.
As a Celebrant, I am committed to doing very special services for the living on behalf of the dead. I am passionate about doing this to the best of my ability! Afterall, you only get one chance to do this right and it matters so very much to all in attendance.
Funeral celebrants are trained and certified to plan and deliver all aspects of a funeral or Celebration of Life. We are secular.
Certified celebrants are dedicated to offering their services to the many people who are not affiliated with a traditional religion and do not have a clergy person to call upon, and we are there for the many people who are simply not comfortable with a traditional religious funeral ceremony.
For some folks today's typical funerals fail to reflect the life of the deceased or fail to express the depth of meaning they are seeking.
It is not uncommon for families who have chosen cremation to postpone their decision about a ceremony for the deceased. For these families a celebrant-led memorial service is an excellent opportunity to complete the farewell for their loved one.
Celebrants are also there for the families who, through cross-cultural marriage, may wish to integrate each other's customs into a service.
As well, celebrants are available to those wishing to participate in their own funeral arrangements by pre-planning and working with the celebrant on details of their service prior to their death. This process can provide an enormous level of comfort.
Each funeral or Celebration of Life service I deliver is different as every family is unique. Each eulogy is personalized -- no two are the same. A eulogy is written following my collecting of stories and information from the deceased's family (or close friends) -- and as an experienced, published journalist, it is my honour to use my skills for this aspect of each funeral or Celebration of Life service. I feel like I have waited all my life to be able to do this for others!
I include one or more readings and musical selections and will create a video presentation (when it is possible).
I incorporate something special and comfortingly symbolic in each service -- something reflecting the person who has died.
I am always available for a separate ceremony for committing the body or ashes.
As a celebrant I lead every aspect of the service.
I believe that every life is significant. And I believe it is important to recognize every life with a service or celebration that is personal, meaningful and memorable for those in attendance at the service. Funerals and Celebrations of Life are also for the living.
I am dedicated to fostering a sense of safety and security at each service so that those who are mourning are able to do so. It is especially important to me individuals receive a personalized service, and it is important that their bereaved acquaintances have an opportunity to honour the one who has died in a place where they are welcomed and allowed to grieve in safety.
I have been trained and certified by Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury of the internationally respected In-sight Institute.
It typically takes me 15 hours (or more) of dedicated preparation time. (My fees are reasonable and are modest compared to traditional funeral services.)
I fully recognize that losing an animal companion can be wrenching. For most of us there is a huge need to recognize the love and loyalty of our lost friend through a healing event. I am always privileged to help memorialize an animal companion with a dignified service.