Your Funeral Celebrant in Canberra
Death is a part of life and coping with the death of a loved one is difficult.
I’m privileged to support families through this challenging time.
Families have told me they appreciate my quiet, calm and supportive approach.
They appreciate the opportunity to discuss options so that together we can plan and design a ceremony that reflects their loved one.
Where To Start With a Memorial or Funeral Service
Feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what's next is something many of us experience. You're not alone!
Grief is a challenging and individual journey with no set rules about how we experience it. There is no legally prescribed format for funerals or memorials. This means you have the freedom to personalise and honour the life of your loved one in your own way.
Saying your final goodbye is never easy, but I'm here to offer help, support, and guidance as you navigate through the funeral or memorial process. Take your time to consider where and when you want the ceremony to take place, and how you want your loved one to be remembered. To help, I've added a list of thoughts and questions below.
Now is the time to honour the life of your friend or family member. You have the chance to make lasting memories and offer your personal tribute to their life. Take your time- careful consideration should go into selecting the right place and time for the funeral or memorial service, and deciding how you would most like them to be remembered. You could plan something special or opt for something more understated but still meaningful - the choice is yours. Consider all the options available to you and make a decision that is the most fitting to pay tribute to who your loved one was.
What is the Difference Between a Funeral and a Memorial Service?
A funeral ceremony is when the loved one is present in the coffin during the ceremony. Traditionally, a funeral is held in a crematorium, a chapel of some type, or at the graveside, although it’s important to understand that there are options outside of these traditional venues. I’m happy to speak with family and explore other options to reflect their loved one.
A memorial service is a ceremony without the body of the loved one present. Their ashes may be present, or we may create a focus area using a photo, or items symbolising your loved one.
Memorials can be held anywhere, meaning that you can choose a venue that truly reflects your loved one.
What is Involved?
Firstly, I’ll meet with you, all the people are involved in planning the ceremony. We’ll spend time chatting about your loved one, I can only help plan an authentic ceremony if I have a good sense of who they were. We’ll chat about what the person wanted as well as what you the family want (and don’t want – that’s so important!) Finally, we will start planning and designing the ceremony.
After meeting with you, I’ll start drafting the ceremony. Depending on what we agree, I might send a draft outline, identifying who is doing what, so everyone is clear on next steps.
I’ll draft the areas I’m responsible for, and when completed, I’ll ring you and read it to everyone involved. I want you to hear it first, and have the opportunity to change or update anything. After reading it to you, I’ll email it to you for further editing.
This is often an iterative process as people begin to finalise their eulogies and tributes. The draft is refined to ensure there is no duplication of stories.
When the ceremony is finalised, I prepare a run sheet which I’ll email with the full ceremony to all the other people involved (the Funeral Director the Chapel Attendant/Venue etc). This ensures that everyone is ‘on the same page’ with their involvement in the ceremony.
On the day, I brief those involved in the ceremony. I make sure that everything is ready and working, and everyone knows what they need to do and, importantly, when.
I have all speaking parts printed and ready for those reading tributes. I make sure there is water and tissues for those speaking.
I will lead the ceremony and invite others to speak according to our agreed ceremony plan. Following the ceremony, I will make sure everything that needs to be done is done, before checking in with you and then leaving you to spend time with your family and friends.
What Role Do I Play In The Funeral or Memorial Ceremony?
My role varies, depending on what the family needs and wants.
Sometimes, I speak on behalf of the family, other times, I provide the link between the different speakers and parts of the ceremony.
I provide support and guidance to those speaking to ensure that everything flows smoothly.
How Much Do My Funeral Celebrant Services Cost?
The cost of funerals and memorial services is $550 (GST inc).
That includes all meetings, drafting, phone calls, sharing of ideas and resources and travel. It is an all-inclusive price.
What Families Have Said About Me.
“We were all delighted with how well things went yesterday and really appreciate your contribution to making a tough day easy.”
M – her mum’s funeral
“We truly appreciate the assistance you provided throughout the process. Many of our guests even mentioned how impressed they were with you.”
E – her mum’s funeral
You … “had multiple people all talking at once and somehow managed to listen to it all and blend it beautifully … it’s a rare talent these days”
S – her husband’s funeral
“the whole day was fabulous and mum would have been very happy with the respectful send off. Thank you … for a great experience”
T – her mum’s funeral
“You were fantastic Deb … Everyone said how much they enjoyed the service and the music in nature’s chapel.”
R&T – their mum and grandmother’s funeral
“We were so fortunate to have you as the celebrant you smoothed what could have been troubled waters with style grace and professionalism we are eternally grateful.
D&S – their brother and brother in law’s funeral
“whilst you did not know Ken, after our chat the other day, you were able to capture the person that he was very well. Your support of us both, but particularly N at a very emotional time, is much appreciated. … thank you for your kindness and professionalism”
D – her husband’s funeral
“thanks so much for everything you did for the family. I was saying afterwards that you were the perfect person for the job, so caring.
K – her sister in law’s funeral
“Many people have asked if you were a friend of the family – I feel you are!”
M – her partner’s funeral
“Yesterday was exactly what dad would have wanted. We were faced with a challenging task and you took us under your wing and helped us get through this difficult time. We could not have done it without your professional, friendly guidance and help”
T&D – their father and father in law’s funeral
A Few Key Thoughts for a Memorable Funeral or Memorial Service
Do you know your loved one's preferences for their funeral or memorial service?
Where and when would you like to have the ceremony?
Will your loved one be cremated or buried?
Would you like to live stream the service for those unable to attend in person?
Would you like to decorate the coffin during the service or beforehand?
Are there any specific artists, poets, or authors whose words you or your loved one found inspiring?
Did your loved one have a favourite colour, favourite clothing item, or theme that you would like everyone to wear in their memory?
Did your loved one have any specific interests or hobbies that could be incorporated into their funeral or memorial service?
Would you like a slideshow of photos or videos during the service?
Would you like individuals to share with you their photographs or cherished memories?
Who would you like to have speak during the ceremony? And ... what aspect of your loved one will they speak about?
Would you like to include a service booklet or a bookmark?
Would you like to mention anyone or any particular group?
Do you have any religious, spiritual, cultural, or symbolic ceremonies you'd like to include?
Would you like to commemorate the memory of the departed by planting something?
Would you prefer people to donate to a charity or organisation instead of sending flowers?
What lasting impression would you like to leave on people? Is there something you wish to impart or share with them as they depart?