If you find yourself asking this question, you are not alone.
Certified Funeral Celebrants are a fairly new concept to the entire country. It began in Australia, where cremation is a common form of disposition, and ceremony regarding a death is a big part of every funeral. A viewing, service, story and scheduled lunch is expected to celebrate every person’s life.
This idea was discovered and brought to America by Doug Manning. Doug was a pastor for 37 years, and was raised in a highly religious southern family. He was not looking for an alternative to clergy involvement at funerals, but instead a complement to the religious funeral traditions that many have become accustomed to.
He saw that the clergy person has a duty to follow these funeral rituals, in part because of their dedication to their religious beliefs, but also because they provide a source of comfort to the families and friends or those who have died. This leaves the clergy person precious little time and resources to be spent on telling the story of the person who died.
Enter the Certified Funeral Celebrant.
This person works with the family in order to learn the story of their loved one. They ask questions about their favorite hobbies, sports, education, and relationships with family and friends, among many others things. This allows the celebrant to focus on telling the life story of the deceased. While many funeral directors are Certified Funeral Celebrants, it is unlikely that your funeral director will be able to perform both functions.
Like the clergy person, the funeral director is overloaded with many other responsibilities and can not accept the precious task of translating a person’s life into a meaningful story to present at the funeral.
Please ask you funeral director for more information if this type of enhancement is right for you and your family.
By, Kelly Keddie, L.F.D.