Yes you may choose your own celebrant and inform the funeral director who that is to be. Your funeral director will have celebrants he / she will recommend but you are not obliged to use them.
Generally this is by phone. Whether you have contacted me directly or I have been given your phone number by a Funeral Director or a friend of yours, we will talk about the commitment involved and arrange our first meeting.
Usually I will come to meet with you in your home or the home of your loved one. However I am also delighted to meet with you and your family in my home if this is easier.
This is a special time where I can hear from you about your loved one and together we can plan all the components of a ceremony that will honour your loved one and tell their story well.
I allow 2-3 hours and I commit to being present and available to your family during this tender planning time.
My key role is to help you and your family find and design a ceremony that is what you want and to ensure that this is successfully achieved.
I have listed a few things below that if you thought about prior to the meeting would really help give me an insight into the life of your loved one.
If you would still like to include hymns or prayers, of course, we can include those elements. My aim is to help you develop a ceremony that reflects the faith of you and your loved ones and brings hope to you and your community.
If you have booked a Crematorium for an hour, for example, you will be constrained by that. However if you have a venue in the community with no time restrictions then I would advise you to take as long as you like and to be as creative as you like to honour the life of your loved one. Take your time, you only do this once for your loved one.
If you would like to read a tribute but are worried you’ll be too upset, together we would create a contingency plan. It might be that someone close to you stands with you and is prepared to take over should you need. I am also able to help if you would like.
By the end of our first meeting we should all have a clear overview of the ceremony from beginning to end:
After our meeting, using my skills, creativity and understanding of ceremony, I will prepare a full written ceremony and a summarised order or events.
This is a creative process that I will discuss with you via email / or phone to ensure that we create a service unique The day before the funeral I will confirm:
I will reconfirm on the day of the ceremony.
I will arrive early to ensure all is in place so that, together with you and the funeral director, we can ensure that this sacred moment for you and your family is everything that you would hope for and more.
It will be a joy to officiate at your ceremony and to use my strength, compassion, skill and insight to help “hold” you and those who mourn, making space for everyone to grieve, give thanks, honour and acknowledge.
Once the ceremony is completed this is a special time for you and your family, friends and community to gather, to share food and memories, reconnect, make connections, renew bonds, laugh and cry together.
Once this is underway I will slip away.
This so easily happens when someone is deeply loved and people want to speak in the moment. I feel this is important to discuss ahead of time, and to create a plan created that everyone agrees on, especially if you have a time restriction on the venue. This can then save embarrassment and upset on the day.
Shortly after the funeral I will be in touch with some brief reflections and would value any feedback from you. [Thank you for considering my for this precious and sacred task.]
I understand that this is a costly time in so many ways.
You may be charged for my services by the Funeral Director you are working with.
However if you have engaged me separately the fee for my service, including: service planning, writing, meeting (physical / Zoom), liaising with you, the funeral director and venue is $500. There may be some additional costs for example if there is travel outside of the Auckland area.