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Planning a funeral for a loved one who has died is the final chance to honour them and reflect on their life, values and beliefs. So if you’re choosing a funeral celebrant to lead the service, it’s important that they are the right fit to honour your loved one's memory.
At Bare we don’t believe there is a single way to say goodbye to a loved one, which is why our Bare Funerals are flexible to ensure you say your farewell in the way that’s right for you and your loved one. Whether that’s a more traditional funeral service, or a memorial-style service that takes place after a direct cremation. Both options provide meaningful ways to remember and honour a loved one, and the choice ultimately depends on individual and family preferences. Choosing the right celebrant for the service is a key step in both options to ensure the most fitting farewell for your loved one.
With a Bare Funeral service, your dedicated funeral arranger will walk you through the process of choosing a funeral celebrant for your loved one’s service, but you might want to come to that conversation prepared. To help you choose the right funeral celebrant, Bare’s Customer Experience Manager, Daphney Adams, shares her top tips.
How to choose a funeral celebrant.
If you’re arranging a funeral service as part of a Bare Funeral, your dedicated funeral arranger can help you choose one of our excellent partner funeral celebrants to lead the funeral service. We screen and select our celebrants carefully to ensure the families we work with are served by Australia’s best. To find out more, visit the Bare website or call 1800 071 176.
So, how do you select the right funeral celebrant?
First, ask yourself the below questions to form an idea of the type of service most befitting to honour your loved one. From there, we will help you narrow down the type of celebrant that best meets those needs, and book them in for you.
1. Is religion or spiritual belief important?
When considering a funeral celebrant, a good place to start is by considering your loved one’s beliefs and lifestyle. Were they religious or spiritual? Were they agnostic?
Some funeral celebrants specialise in religious or traditional services, while others only do non-traditional ceremonies. Civil or independent celebrants are adaptable and can include spiritual or ritualistic elements into their service if requested. If Bible readings, hymns or religious ritual is important, ensure your celebrant can facilitate those elements.
2. What personality traits complement those of your loved one?
Next, think about your loved one’s personality traits. Were they conservative and traditional? Or were they more of a joker with a sense of humour? Choosing a funeral celebrant that complements your loved one’s personality will help to set the tone for the service.
3. Is personalisation important?
A Bare Funeral is a celebrant-led service, personalised to celebrate the life of the deceased person. When you arrange a Bare Funeral, your dedicated funeral celebrant will work closely with you and your family to plan the funeral service, every step of the way.
The celebrant-led service differs from a traditional funeral director-led ceremony, where the funeral provider takes ownership of all elements of the service. Generally, this means the ceremony follows a standard format with minimal personalisation. But if the family would prefer to be less involved with the planning, and personalisation is not important, having a funeral director plan the entire ceremony with minimal input may be preferable.
Bare Funeral celebrant Lemise Kassim said celebrant-led services provide the opportunity for her to connect better with families to create a more personalised celebration of life. The hands-on approach means she takes on more work than funeral director-led services, but it means she can also take far more responsibility for how the service runs.
“It was great to be able to suggest different ideas, and not to be constrained by the time limits of a conventional funeral,” she said of a recent Bare Funeral service she led.
“I am more unconventional than many celebrants, and like to give the families involved a bit more freedom to tailor their farewells and memorials any way they like! Some of them have no idea about what to do, or what is possible, and some have very firm ideas. I see my role as facilitator and educator.
“My experience and training has prepared me for this way of working, and I am so pleased for the opportunity that Bare has given me.”
4. Is the funeral celebrant committed to storytelling?
Celebrants generally work closely with you and your family to piece together the story of who your deceased loved one was and the legacy they left behind. An excellent celebrant will tell your loved one’s life story as if they knew them as a personal friend. They should also offer suggestions on how the ceremony might be tailored to honour the deceased person’s memory.
5. Can an ashes ceremony be included as part of the service?
Families who plan funeralsafter a cremation has taken place often include an ashes-scattering ceremony as part of the service. This could be a tree-planting ceremony, interment of ashes, or scattering at someplace that was significant to your loved one. If you would like to include an ashes ceremony as part of the farewell, it’s important to ensure your celebrant can include it as part of the service.
6. What sort of reviews have they received?
As with any service provider, online reviews can help form an idea of the type of service a funeral celebrant provides. Reviews come from real people who have previously worked with the celebrant. They can provide an insight into how they work with families, what sort of a storyteller they are and how well they celebrate a life.
You can look for reviews on the celebrant’s Facebook page. You might also find reviews by Googling their name.
Other considerations when choosing a funeral celebrant, once you have narrowed down or chosen your celebrant, it may be helpful to ask them the following questions:
- Will you be available to meet either in person or via video chat before the ceremony?
- What is your process for writing the ceremony? Is it collaborative with the family or do you work from a standard template?
- Can we read over the draft ceremony and suggest changes?
Final thoughts on choosing the right funeral celebrant.
Ultimately, you just have to trust your gut when it comes to choosing the right funeral celebrant. And Bare are here to ensure your celebrant is the right fit for you.
It’s important to remember there is no one way a loved one must be farewelled. A funeral or memorial is the chance to celebrate your loved one’s unique life, so choose a celebrant that you are confident will help honour that memory.
Let us help you say the perfect goodbye by providing the highest quality services to make one of the hardest times of life just that little bit easier. We would be honoured to support you in planning a beautiful funeral service with our dedicated celebrant team. To learn more about Bare Funerals or arrange a Bare Cremation, click the below button or call 1800 071 176.