If the deceased made no suggestions as to who their preference might be to conduct their service, or they were not involved with a particular church or religious organisation, then an alternative is to use a professional funeral celebrant.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that approximately 60 percent of Australian funeral services today are performed by civil funeral celebrants. Whilst traditionally this means the service would be officiated without religious content, many contemporary funeral celebrants are happy to include spiritual references or specific prayer giving you a wide variety of choice.
The celebrant provides guidance and support to your family, and endeavours to fulfil your needs in planning and delivering a highly personalised funeral or memorial service, which places emphasis on the unique personality and life of the deceased. Many funeral celebrants also offer other ceremonies, such as remembrance ceremonies for occasions such as anniversaries and special milestones.
Please note that some registered civil celebrants perform wedding ceremonies only, whereas others perform both wedding and funeral services.
Planning a memorable and fitting funeral or memorial service for a loved one can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding and comforting at a time of loss. However, it is often daunting for family and friends to arrange, especially when each person is dealing with their own grief.
The funeral celebrant usually visits the person(s) charged with organising the service to gather background details about the deceased person.
Such information may include:
• full name, common name and/or nickname
• date and place of birth
• names of parents and siblings
• schooling and early life
• qualifications and professional/working life
• family life, marriage, children
• characteristics, personality, traits, common sayings
• community work and involvement
• hobbies and interests – including music, crafts, sports, pets etc
• lasting memories of family and friends
Choosing a suitable funeral celebrant can ensure a fitting and memorable service is arranged for a loved one.
You can contact funeral celebrants directly, if you would prefer to choose one who best suits the type of service you are planning. They will outline their services, fees, conduct an initial personal interview and continue to work with the family and the funeral director to deliver a quality service for you, your family and friends.
Alternatively, you may leave the selection of the celebrant to the funeral director.