How to Officiate at a Funeral

January 31, 2016

Up until recently, with the passing of a loved one, people would contact a minister to perform the service. No license is required to perform a funeral service, and in fact there aren’t many regulations specifying how a funeral service should be conducted. But still you need to know exactly how to officiate at a funeral.

A funeral service can be religious or non-religious which means that a minister can perform the funeral service but so can a layman.

Nobody is alike and therefore not everyone will have the same kind of funeral. Funeral services are influenced by different religions, different cultures, different budgets and different preferences. They can be extravagant or simple, public or private, religious or secular, and anyone can officiate at them.

How to Officiate at a Funeral – Officiating at Funerals of Different Beliefs

How to Officiate at a FuneralOfficiating at a funeral requires knowing exactly what kind of funeral it will be. If the deceased left no plans for a funeral, the family will need to discuss plans. A humanist officiant performs secular funerals and they are familiar with all the procedures of burial and cremation. A civil funeral is different to a humanist funeral, catering essentially to the belief of the individual and not following a script at all. With a civil funeral for instance, people are appointed to give their clients the funeral ceremony the client wanted.

  • The idea is not to impose on someone anything that might be offensive to them.
  • The funeral celebrants provide a service based on any leaning and which will reflect the beliefs of the individual.
  •  The celebrant will provide a transcript of the service for approval by the family.
  • The content of the service will include anything the deceased wanted, whether poems, readings, pop music, classical music or hymns.

There are actually no confines to the content of the service, so long as the total wishes of the deceased and the family are adhered to. Whether the service is religious, semi religious or non religious nature, it is done with total respect.

How to Officiate at a Funeral – Trained Officiants Conduct Themselves Appropriately

There are ways to prepare a celebrant for performing a funeral ceremony with the family in mind. This training isn’t compulsory, but it prepares the officiant to conduct a funeral with respect. Some of the things they will learn relating to how to conduct a funeral are:

●   Learning to do effective public speaking.
●   Communication techniques – how to be sensitive with the bereaved.
●   The skills to take accurate verbal and written instruction.
●   Planning an order-of-services in keeping with the wishes of the family.
●   Ability to work with diverse cultural backgrounds.
●   Be able to work with funeral directors and other funeral related professionals.
●   Being familiar with the growing trend of green funerals.

How to Officiate at a Funeral – Honour the Requests of the Family

Funerals help everyone, regardless of beliefs, to bring closure. The funeral officiant works closely with the family to plan the funeral service, select music, get details of the eulogy and generally prepare the order of service. Officiating at a funeral service requires bringing peace of mind to the mourners, and by adhering to their requests surrounding the type of funeral it should be. Allowing the family to see that you honour their requests will inspire the family to trust you.

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All info was correct at time of publishing