When a loved one passes away, it’s extremely tempting to contact your nearest funeral director and have them take charge of almost everything. Obituary notices, flowers, the funeral celebrant, the venue, care of the body, and burial or cremation arrangements. However, it can be far better to do some of these things yourself, and one of the ways you can ensure you give your loved one the send-off they deserve is to choose your own funeral celebrant to deliver the ceremony.
Here are just a few reasons why choosing your own celebrant is almost always the best way to go.
Why You Should Choose Your Own Funeral Celebrant
1. It’s Your Choice
This sounds obvious, but when you get a funeral director to organise everything for you, they will likely have a couple of celebrants – or perhaps even just one – that they work with on a regular basis. While it’s certainly very possible that the celebrant they recommend to you will produce a wonderful ceremony for you, it’s also very possible that they won’t. The reasons for this can vary.
By selecting your own celebrant rather than taking a recommendation, you can hand-pick all the qualities you want in the person who will be leading the ceremony for your loved one. Whether you want someone with a bit of vivacity to breathe life into an energetic life story, or simply someone who looks the part and will deliver everything in the sombre manner that you’d like, taking the choice into your own hands gives you the opportunity to make that call.
One of the key reasons the celebrant industry exists is because people had become frustrated with the lack of flexibility available in religious weddings and funerals. Celebrants emerged as an alternative option in an ever more secular society because they’re not tied to any sort of doctrine, service structure, or wording.
In a celebrant-led funeral, there are no rules. Yes, celebrants generally work with a vague ceremony structure – an anatomy, of sorts – but there is plenty of room for flexibility in several different ways: music for the processional, reflection, and recessional can be literally anything you want; the poems and readings can be drawn from a rich variety of sources, both religious and non-religious; and you can have as many or as few speakers taking part as you like.
The other key issues in terms of flexibility with a celebrant is the venue. Most celebrants these days can take a ceremony in any type of venue: you have the classic crematoriums and burial grounds, but you can also have the ceremony in a hotel, a forest, a woodland, or even your back garden. All you need to do is choose your own funeral celebrant, and ask.
3. Training and Qualifications
Believe it or not, there are no qualifications necessary to be a funeral director or, indeed, a funeral celebrant. It is very possible for someone to decide they want to be a celebrant and deliver a funeral the next day. While the right kind of person may be able to do this without any issues, it’s generally better to find a celebrant who has trained with an organisation that not only trains celebrants but also continues to offer them support as they develop their career.
If you do decide to choose your own funeral celebrant, by checking their qualifications, you’ll be able to make sure the one you pick has the necessary skill set to cater to your needs.
If you’re thinking about becoming a funeral celebrant yourself, we offer training courses all year round for Family and Funeral Celebrants. Get in touch to learn more.
This article was written by Mark Gregory