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How to Create a Personalized Tribute for a Loved One: Q&A With a Certified Celebrant

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Certified_CelebrantWhen someone we love passes away, we want a chance to say goodbye in a meaningful and memorable way. For some families, that means arranging services with a funeral home to serve those purposes.

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) reports that more and more families are seeking a way to personalize funeral or memorial services to make them unique celebrations of life.

That’s where a Certified Celebrant comes in.

A Certified Celebrant can help you and your family plan a celebration of life, so the focus of the service is not on the death of your loved one, but rather, on the joy that the person has brought to others. 

To help you gain a better understanding of personalized services, we spoke with one of our very own celebrants, Cathy Nichols. Continue reading below to learn more about her role, plus ways to create a personalized tribute for your loved one.

“Every life is unique—and thus—the service should be too.”

Q: What is a Certified Celebrant?

A celebrant is a trained professional who works directly with your family to create a personalized tribute that reflects the life and legacy of the deceased. The celebrant understands the many ways the value of your loved one’s life can be communicated and offers ideas that reflect the passions and interests of the deceased. 

While most services are held at a funeral home, services may also take place in locations of special significance to you and your family.

Q: How does a Certified Celebrant differ from a funeral director?  

A funeral director helps families arrange end-of-life services. After establishing a mutually agreed upon time and place for the service, a celebrant meets with you and your family—often at home—to listen to stories about your loved one. From there, the celebrant is in charge of designing and conducting a unique tribute that honors your family’s beliefs.

Q: Does every funeral home have Certified Celebrants on staff?  

A funeral home that’s committed to honoring your final wishes will offer celebrants as a way to uniquely memorialize the deceased.

Q: What are the benefits of working with a Certified Celebrant?

From customized memory boards showcasing special photographs to music and mementos, a celebrant offers suggestions to make end-of-life services truly unique. This is important as it gives grieving families a chance to add special touches to the service that remind them of their loved one as they say their final goodbyes. 

Q: What is personalization?  

Personalization can deepen the meaning of your loved one’s tribute to help celebrate the life lived rather than the life lost. Service options include, but are not limited, to:

  • Display of cherished belongings.
  • Flowers.
  • Multimedia tribute.  
  • Music.
  • Photo collage presentation.
  • Unique requests.

Celebrants can also incorporate religious or secular items, such as hymns, prayers and readings into the service.

Q: Do you have to personalize services?

Just as you would personalize a birthday or wedding celebration, you can personalize a funeral service, too. But, the level of personalization is entirely up to you and your family. You can include as much or as little as you wish. Often people don’t see the value until they understand their choices.

Q: Does personalization cost more?

Upon meeting with a funeral director, families can indicate their preferences for personalization to enhance services. There are options for personalizing caskets, urns and floral arrangements that cost an additional fee. However, there are many ways to personalize a service that cost you and your family nothing. Eulogies, for example, are a priceless way to pay tribute to the deceased.

At Busch, we have a service fee for our celebrants, which includes their time and creativity. Our celebrants often conclude services with a special memento for guests to remember the life lived. This may include shells, ribbons, buttons or other items of remembrance at no extra charge.

Plan a Celebration of Life

At Busch Funeral and Crematory Services, we believe every life is worth remembering in its own unique way. Our celebrants are trained to listen to families and honor their wishes. No matter your request, we will work hard to exceed your expectations. With seven convenient locations in and around Northeast Ohio and options to arrange offsite, we invite you to arrange services with our caring staff to celebrate a life.

Contact us for funeral planning.


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