There are many important points to conduct a meaningful Funeral. We would like to share with you some of the most important tips which will ensure you are putting your best foot forward and creating a lasting and touching tribute for the deceased and their loved ones.
1. Meet and consult with the family about the wishes of the deceased. This may seem an obvious tip, but so much goes into it. You’ll want to reach out to the family as soon as you are aware of the need for a service. The family will feel so many difficult and confusing emotions and they will need you to be there to guide them.
Ask the family about who their loved one was in this world, what they meant to each of them and how they want their departed to be best remembered. Always keep in mind, this is not for us to decide, but rather for the family. As a Funeral Celebrant, we are there to facilitate and support.
Work to get a picture painted in your mind, so that you can take your notes away with you and build a beautiful tribute
2. Music is a powerful thing. Have you ever been listening to a song and suddenly, a memory you thought was buried pops right up? Or perhaps you are moved to tears or find yourself feeling uplifted. Music is a very special tool we have in our toolbox as Celebrants. Talk to the family. Find out what music they’d like for the entrance, the committal, and the exit. If there is extra time, perhaps another song can be fit into the service. Music helps us to reflect. We like to think of music as a memory magnet. Once you hear a song, if you’ve heard it before, things coming flooding back. This is a way to not only honour the request of the deceased, but to help the family get in touch with their feelings in a very real and meaningful way. And because of that, music can be healing.
3. Poetry or readings from the family. Allowing the family, when time permits, to come up and share about their loved one is a wonderful way to bring everyone together. Always remember to ask your family if there are any special poems or speeches they’d like to share at the service. Add them into your timings for the Eulogy and invite them up when the time comes and introduce them. You will be nearby for any support they may need, as this is a very emotional step to make, although a very touching step.
4. Consider sharing a copy of the Tribute or Eulogy with the family. You can get special paper that you print the Eulogy out on, put it into a lovely envelope, or even role it like a script and tie with a ribbon. At the end of the service, give one to each of the family. It’s a very meaningful gesture. Think about how exhausted they will be, and they may not even remember all that was said at the time. They will always have the beautiful tribute to look back at when they need it.
5. Photo Displays. These can be done either via the Funeral Director by using one of the online tools / portal, or, if you want to do something more simplistic, ask your family to bring some of their favourite framed photos to set round the coffin and in the chapel. It brings such smiles and lovely memories to those who attend, when they can see and remember their departed family or friend in those lovely old pictures.
6. Always ensure you are working closely with both the Funeral Directors and the Crematorium. Communication is the key to the day of the service, and you will never go wrong to make sure you make yourself known early on. If you’re going to be a celebrant at a crematorium you’ve not yet attended to, make sure you take some time to drive over and introduce yourself. Share your business card and make sure you are all on the same page. The best way to avoid any mistakes is to communicate. There are no stupid questions. It’s OK to ask!
Of course, there are many other ideas you may come up with, but this list of the top 5 will help you go a long way in making your tribute one of beautiful memories and meaningful words.
Created by A.P.C Admin - July 2021