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.

Leave a comment
Please enter the letters you see in the image.


Please wait

Previous Posts

10 Facts about Grief and Grieving

The following is an excerpt from a great article on our website written by Dr. Bill Webster One reason that we often find grief such a difficult challenge is that we have never learned what to exp...

Support for Losses Through Miscarriage and Stillbirth

All of the deaths we encounter through our clients are difficult, but it’s those that deal with the loss of an infant that really hits home. Our funeral directors in Bellingham and Ferndale take ex...

Helping Men Cope With the Death of a Loved One

Everyone grieves differently and there’s no right or wrong way to do so. As funeral directors in Bellingham and Ferndale we’re very familiar with this. There’s one major aspect of grief that’s quit...

Remembering the History of Funeral Cookies

Are you familiar with the old concept of funeral cookies? If you aren’t, that’s probably because they haven’t been used in many years. The use of funeral cookies was huge during the colonial age bu...

Everything You Need to Know About Urn Towers

If you read the previous blog post you may already be familiar with the term urn towers. If not don’t worry, you’re going to learn all about them now! Since we plan to incorporate them at Greenacre...

Love Lives On

Those we love are never really lost to us-- we feel them in so many special ways- through friends they always cared about and dreams they left behind, in beauty that they added to our days . . . in...

How to Personalize an Obituary

Writing an obituary for your loved one can be a challenging task considering the short amount of space. Making it a true reflection of how much your loved one meant to you and communicating that in...

The Importance of the End-of-Life Talk With your Loved Ones

An end-of-life conversation with your loved ones in important to ensure you gather all their wishes and desires to hold a memorial that honors them and celebrates their life. Having this conversati...

How Does a Celebration of Life Differ from a Funeral?

For many people, the passing of a loved one is marked in just one way; a funeral service. But in recent years, there have been additions of alternatives to the traditional funeral that have helped ...

How to Plan a Celebration of Life If No Instructions Were Given

While there is no easy way to deal with the loss of a loved one, some things can make the experience a smoother one, such as advanced planning that lays out exactly how the deceased would like a fu...