Five Things to ask When Hiring a Funeral Celebrant

These five questions to ask when hiring a funeral celebrant will help you with this decision. One key decision a family must make when planning a funeral is whether or not to hire an officiant or clergy to be present to support the service and the family.  If your family opts for this type of professional support, then you must select if that person is religious or spiritual and what their role will be.

Planning the funeral of a beloved can often be one of the hardest tasks someone will take on.  It is a gift when the deceased has either left written instructions or had a conversation about what he/she/they would like to happen at their memorial.  Sadly, a conversation like this has rarely occurred or is limited at best, which leaves many decisions yet to be made.

Here are five questions for you to discuss and consider at this time of hiring a funeral celebrant:

  1. Ask about their professional background and training of the funeral celebrant to confirm they have the same religious and/or faith tradition you are looking to convey at the memorial.
  2. Does your family gathering expect traditional “Jesus/God” prayers or more secular “spirit/energy” prayers?
  3. Will the officiant write and share the eulogy or does a member of the family or friends wish to do this?
  4. How long or what percentage of the memorial time do you want the officiant to speak?
  5. Gain clarity on if financial compensation is required.  If so, how much does the funeral celebrant charge for their services and to whom is that payment made? 

While these five questions may feel uncomfortable and awkward to ask, being willing to ask them will allow you to have a better connection with the officiant resulting in a more personal service. It also creates fewer assumptions resulting in a simpler memorial planning process.

Walking through the grief process and memorial planning steps is a courageous journey.  Selecting the right professional funeral celebrant makes a big difference.  Don’t hesitate to ask, ask, ask and ask again all your questions so you can ease your heart and mind at this time.  A professional will respond with compassion and empathy.

If you’d like to learn more about adding a spiritual component to a memorial or funeral please read our related article.

We’re here to help. Use the button below to speak with an experienced Virtual Memorial Gatherings planner who can help bring your ideas to life and introduce you to a licensed spiritual practitioner should you need one.

Article by Holly Duckworth

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