How a Celebrant Helps a Family Heal

By: Brian Flowers
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Learn About Celebrants

What is a Celebrant?

To address the needs of families in grief and to help the healing process go forward, funeral homes are beginning to utilize the services and expertise of Funeral Celebrants. Initiated by Doug Manning from the Insight Institute, the training of Funeral Celebrants is changing how families are cared for in times of loss and how funerals are becoming avenues of hope and healing. Central to the role of a Celebrant is offering the compassion and care that families need in times of loss, as well as mentoring and guiding them in a meaningful tribute that reflects who they are as a family and honoring the person who has passed. Moles Farewell Tributes is pleased to offer this vital resource of celebration and remembrance to the families we serve.

Dr. Dale Pollard, Coordinator of Celebrant Services, along with Candy Mathews and Marilyn Rockwell-Bengen, are certified Celebrants dedicated to serving families and meeting their needs in times of loss. Trained and certified through the Insight Institute, they help craft funeral, memorial and graveside services that honor the life-story of the deceased, reflecting the deceased personality, thereby providing opportunities for families to mourn and celebrate the life of the person within their own unique family history and ongoing story.

What to Expect:

The Celebrant meets with the family (either at home or in another location) to listen to each person’s memories of the deceased. The “family meeting” shapes the life-story of the person who has died and is a central focus as the family and the Celebrant build a personalized and meaningful service together. At this meeting the family also gives voice to their loss and attends to their journey ahead.  A celebrant usually spends 1-2 hours with the family, 2-3 hours writing up the service and further planning, and 1-2 hours with the family at the service itself, for a total of 4-7 hours. The Celebrant conducts and coordinates the service with other clergy/officiants if desired.

Why Choose a Celebrant?

A trained and certified Celebrant assists a family by giving time, attention and direction in a time of loss and helps in the initial steps toward healing. A Celebrant serves the needs of the family as well as gives tribute to the person who is passed. Through family meetings and conversations, the Celebrant along with the family constructs a rich and meaningful funeral or memorial based on the life stories of the loved one describing what made her/him unique and loved. The funeral or memorial is shaped around the desires of the one who is passed and the needs of the family at present and is tailored to the particular individual and family. In that light the tribute can be as religious or non-religious as the family wants; be in any faith tradition the family is part of; and be conducted in any venue that is available and accessible. With compassion and understanding the Celebrant gently addresses the grief of the family, brings a listening and creative presence to the funeral and memorial planning and helps guide a family’s initial walk through sorrow and the journey ahead. For more information phone any of our Moles locations.

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