Monday, 2 December 2013

Funeral Planning (Part 2)

Find A Celebrant

Who will lead your funeral ceremony?

You do not need to have someone official to create and lead your funeral ceremony unless you or the person who has died wants a religious funeral, in which case you’ll want a religious celebrant, a priest.
You can create your own funeral ceremony and do it all yourself.
But creating a funeral ceremony from scratch may seem like a very daunting prospect. What’s more, you may reckon that, on the day, you simply won’t be up to standing in front of everybody and taking the lead because you may be overwhelmed by emotion. If that is so, you can employ a secular celebrant to help you create the ceremony and, if you like, lead it for you.

Celebrants – what do they do?

Celebrants have evolved to meet the needs of people for whom a mainstream religious funeral would miss the point. These people want a funeral which
·         expresses their own beliefs
·         focuses on the life of the person who has died.
Even if you don’t think you’ll be up to speaking, you can still make sure that every word spoken is yours or approved by you. A good celebrant will work with you, to your instructions, either to create, or help you create, a ceremony that is right for you. Celebrants have expertise and experience that will almost certainly be very useful to you. They know what works. Their advice is worth taking.
If you want to create a particularly elaborate funeral, or if you cannot find a funeral director who can interpret your wishes, you might like to consider employing an event organiser who specialises in funerals:
·         Sentiment Farewells
·         The Fantastic Funeral Company (Also plans funerals with people with life-limiting illnesses.)

How do I choose a celebrant?

Your celebrant works for you, not your undertaker.
Most undertakers will not offer you the full range of celebrants available locally. Rather than let you decide who you like the look of, they like to assign someone to you – because they think they know best. This is obviously unsatisfactory. Only you know who is best for you

Here’s who you’re looking for

Your celebrant will be your chosen representative at the funeral. In short, you are looking for ‘my sort of person’. You want a celebrant who shares your values and is demonstrably good. Evidence of training and commitment to best practice and professional development may also be important to you.
Here are most of the attributes and qualities you are looking for. Choose which are most important to you:
·         gender
·         personality
·         appearance
·         training
·         membership of a professional body
·         accent
·         social class
·         education
·         ethnicity
·         performance style
·         fee

Where do I find a celebrant?

It’s worth asking around your friends and finding out if any of them has been to a well-run funeral.
Alternatively, search for "funeral celebrant"on the internet or visit Ceremony UK who are registered with the United Kingdom Society of Celebrants and they can find an Independent Celebrant for you.

 

Questions to ask when you phone

Is it worth choosing a celebrant before I choose a funeral director?

Yes. A good celebrant will be pleasedWhen you make contact with a celebrant, find out how busy they are. Those who do more than four funerals a week are probably spreading themselves too thin to be able to give you best value.
Be sure to ask the questions that are important to you:
·         How many funerals do you do a week?
·         Will you come and see me at home?
·         Will it be easy for me to reach you to talk to during the day and in the evenings?
·         Can we go on working on the funeral, making changes to it, right up to the day of the funeral?
·         Will you check every word with me before the funeral?
·         Will you give me a presentation copy of the script afterwards?
·         I’d like to speak to one of your clients. Can you give put me in touch?
·         How much do you charge?

How much do they cost?

Celebrants work for a fixed fee, but may add on mileage if they have to come far. You can contact them as many times as you want for no extra charge.
Reckon to pay from £120-275. At these rates, none of them are getting rich. 
Most undertakers will pay your celebrant’s fee on your behalf and invoice it as a disbursement. You may prefer an alternative arrangement. to guide you through the business of identifying, then negotiating with, a good undertaker. He or she will even go to the undertaker with you, if you like. This will cost you money, of course, which you may well recoup by not buying more than you need.

Can I plan a funeral before someone dies? Before I die?

A celebrant will be pleased to come and see you before you or someone else dies. Highly recommended.
If you have a life limiting illness, or simply want to plan your own funeral, it is a good idea to have the support and agreement of those who will take over where you leave off, so be sure to have your next of kin or a good friend with you when you make your plans.

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