Securing Clergy to Officiate Funeral Services in Ontario

clergy for funeral Ontario

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

Kat

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.

5 Tips for Delivering a Powerful Eulogy

eulogy template

Today your best friend’s wife called and asked you to deliver the eulogy for her husband’s upcoming funeral. A eulogy is a speech or written tribute giving high praise to a deceased person. Immediately you agree to do this and feel honored to have been asked. Later that day as you sit down to write the eulogy you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed, have no idea where to start, and stare at the blank paper or screen for a long time. What do you say? What impact did this person have on your life and on the life of others? How do you begin to sum up the accomplishments and the influence your best friend had on you and others over the years? These are great questions and certainly not an easy task.  A well prepared and delivered eulogy not only helps the family but helps those attending the service who did not know the individual as well, have a great sense of who they were, what mattered to them and how they positively impacted other people’s lives. I thought it might be helpful to provide the following 5 steps to help you craft a powerful eulogy. Continue reading

Can I be Cremated if I’ve had Hip or Knee Replacement?

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“Can I be cremated if I’ve had hip or knee replacement?” is a reasonable question and the answer is yes! Increasing people are choosing cremation as their choice of disposition. According to the Board of Funeral Services Ontario Quick Facts 2103, of the 93,102 registered deaths in 2013, 56,294 or 60.46% of the disposition was cremation. These figures are provided by the Office of the Registrar General and data from 2014 is not available. Continue reading

Disabled Beneficiaries – Would a Henson Trust Benefit your Situation?

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Many Canadians are aware of the importance of having a valid will and powers of attorney document, yet, the importance of these documents is vastly underestimated in the special needs arena. Careful estate planning is necessary if persons with disabilities are to become beneficiaries of an estate. Individuals who live in Ontario should consider taking advantage of the Henson Trust when planning for their beneficiaries, who are recipients of ODSP benefits. Continue reading

What to do Next When a Loved One Dies in Hospital

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I have had this question from a few people who have attended my seminars… “If my loved one dies in the hospital – what do I do next?”  The answer is – Your first call is to the Funeral Home.

The Funeral Home will ask you some initial questions and fill out what is called a First Call Sheet. The information needed will be: Continue reading

What is a Coroner’s Certificate? 4 Situations Where it’s Required

coroner certificate Ontario

Many clients have asked me what a Coroner’s Certificate is and why they need it. Here are 4 situations where it is required.

1. Cremation application

Under the authority of the Coroners Act R.S.O. 1990 C.C. 37 a Coroner will investigate the death of all people who wish to be cremated. The Coroner’s signature is required on all Cremation applications. This is necessary as the Coroner has the highest authority in the province and must sign a cremation application to authorize the cremation of the deceased. The Coroner is literally signing off that the deceased did not die of a suspicious or unusual circumstance that would require further investigation. Continue reading

How Much Does Burial Cost? 3 Items to Consider

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“I have been considering funeral options and have been wondering how much a burial will cost?” is a question I hear a lot. I think when people ask this question, they already have a number in their mind. And while they don’t usually share this number with me when we begin to discuss the type of funeral they want, they are often surprised and pleased that the total value is less than the figure they had in mind. Here are 3 costs to take into consideration in a full burial service. Continue reading

Cremation – What is the cost of a Funeral Anyway?

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What is the cost of a funeral anyway? is a question I am often asked. The answer is that it depends on the type of funeral or celebration of life you wish to setup and prepay. For example, there is a growing trend to select cremation as the choice of disposition, so I will discuss this option in this blog post. The cost of cremation depends on the crematorium that the funeral home uses and can range from approximately $450.00 to $650.00 or more. Additionally with cremation there are 2 mandatory disbursements: Continue reading

D E A D is a Four Letter Word

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Does just reading the word’ dead’ make you cringle? You are not alone. Many people know on an intellectual level that preplanning a funeral makes a lot of sense. Yet, taking action is often difficult. Dead is a four letter word. Consider this as an acronym for Dead:

D Dare

E Educate

A Action

D Done Continue reading

Who has Legal Authority to Deal with your Cremated Remains?

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Many people know that they wish to be cremated, however when I ask them what they would like their family to do with their cremated remains, I am often met with a blank look. People will say “well, I don’t care I will be dead.” While this is true, I don’t think these people realize the potential they are creating for family feuding. Yes families do argue, disagree, fight and litigate over who has the right to and what to do with mom or dad’s cremated remains. So who has the legal authority to deal with your cremated remains? Continue reading