Funeral Services

Nothing beautiful in this world is ever really lost. Those we cherish will always live on in memory. Gone from our touch, but never our hearts.

Cath Flavell - Sydney Civil Marriage Celebrant Funeral Services

As a Funeral Celebrant, I understand the task of organising a funeral for a loved one is always challenging and daunting for immediate family and friends. Many have never organised a funeral before and they have no idea where to begin, let alone what needs to be done. After all it is not easy to say goodbye and often we are still in shock when we learn of the death of a close and much loved family member or friend.

As a funeral celebrant, I offer a calm and personalised approach, thoughtfully guiding those who are arranging the funeral service.

To begin our process, I meet with the immediate family members and/or friends. This meeting with the family can often take up to 2-3hours, all depending on what they would like to have included into their loved one’s funeral service. At this meeting, I go through and explain:

  • the order of a funeral service

  • the difference between a eulogy and a tribute

  • the importance of including music and readings into a service

  • I will offer suggestions for their consideration but most importantly I will listen and learn about their loved one by encouraging them to tell me their stories and memories. I find my time with the family truly invaluable and a privilege that they are sharing their memories with me and allowing me to get to know their loved one.

    Together I will work with them to create the service they would like to have for their loved one or a service that will reflect their loved one’s character and personality. This could be:

  • playing their loved one’s favourite songs or music during the service.

  • perhaps family members may want to place something special and significant of their loved one upon their coffin.

  • inclusion of a ritual relevant to their loved one’s culture.

  • inclusion of prayers where relevant to their loved one’s religious beliefs.

  • This list of options is endless as to what they can include to make it a really personal and still a dignified farewell for their loved one.

    After all, a funeral service is not just a farewell, it is also a celebration – a celebration of a loved one’s life, celebrating their achievements, their successes, their friendships and most of all, their bond of love between family members and friends.

    On the day of the funeral, the service that I deliver will be the meaningful service that joyfully celebrates the spirit and character of their loved one - enabling family members and caring friends to find closure and move on without the physical presence of our beloved.

    Some helpful information

    The difference between the Eulogy and a Tribute is:

    Eulogy

    It is the loved one’s life story – covering all aspects of their life – beginning with when/where he/she was born, details of growing up, school age/educational years, working life/career achievements, their personal journey of love and family, friendships made, their character and personality, any hobbies and interests, any community service work etc. It can be prepared and delivered by a family member, friend or the celebrant. Time allowed for a eulogy is generally between 5-8 minutes.

    Tributes

    Sometimes some family members or friends would also like to say a few words at the service. This could be in the form of a recollection of their friendship which can include one or two anecdotes or the reading of a poem which suitably describes their departed loved on. It is important to be aware that crematorium services are only 30 minutes in length, so the number of speakers are limited at best to two with each speaking for no more than 2-3 minutes. Should there be many others who wish to speak, it is best to allow them to speak at the wake where there will be less restriction in time.

    Music and Readings

    The inclusion of music and readings into a funeral service allows mourners to gather their thoughts and emotions between each section of the funeral service.