Funeral directors can act as a tremendous resource and connector for grieving families and those wishing to pre-plan their funeral. One of the things they have a good handle on is securing appropriate clergy to officiate during a funeral or memorial service. Many families do not have a religious affiliation or perhaps their loved one died in a town unfamiliar to them.
If a funeral is held in a church or other place of worship, then the clergy associated with that organization will officiate the funeral or memorial service. If the funeral or memorial service is held at the funeral home then generally the associated clergy will officiate during the service.
If people do not have a current religious association, then the funeral home will assist and contact the best suited religious affiliation for the family.
Increasing people do not want a religious tone to the funeral or memorial service. Here again funeral directors have a wealth of expertise in this area. The funeral director will contact the best suited celebrant to help the family with the funeral or memorial service.
Typically, the clergy or celebrant will meet with the family prior to the service. This meeting usually lasts about an hour, and the goal of the meeting is to get a better sense of the beliefs and values of the deceased. There is usually some discussion about the order of the service and who else would like to speak. During this meeting the inclusion of psalms, poems, hymns, songs, special readings or remembrances are discussed. Some families take this one step further and create an Order of Service to hand out on the day of the funeral or memorial service, so that those attending can follow along.
If you have a strong preference for clergy or a celebrant to officiate at your eventual funeral service, then the best plan is to create a file of what you would like included or not included in your service. This is a loving gift that you can set in place for your family.
When I meet with people to set up their prearranged funeral, this is one of the areas we address. What type of service would you like and do you have any favorite songs, hymns, poems, reading etc. Conversely I also ask people what they do not like and do not want included in their funeral or memorial service. The answers here can surprise you as we often find someone is very clear about what they don’t want which makes it easier to ascertain what they would like instead.
Do you have a story that you could share with me? I would love to hear from you. If you would like a list of things to consider for personalizing your eventual funeral arrangements, please contact me.
As always I welcome your feedback and questions. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!
Until next time
Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, radio host, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.