What is a funeral celebrant?
A person who has been trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. A Funeral Celebrant serves by providing a funeral service, memorial service or tribute that is personalized and individualized to reflect the personality and life-style of the deceased after consultation with the family and loved ones and coordination with the funeral home.See more
Andrea Schenck has been a certified funeral celebrant since 2009. She lives in Pasadena, California and serves the Los Angeles area. Her strengths are listening, empathy, writing, and public speaking. It has been her greatest honor to serve families when their loved ones have passed on. Andrea meets with families prior to any service, this time together is one of the most important steps to learn about your loved one, share stories and begin the grieving process in a safe environment. Next she will research, write, and design a eulogy that reflects your loved ones personal beliefs as well as respecting the families requests. Finally, she will officiate the service, deliver the eulogy, encourage family participation, and create a personalized remembrance for your loved one and the families involved. Services can be held at funeral homes, private residences, outdoor venues and grave-side.
Why do I do this?: When my father-in-law John suddenly passed away in 2009, which was early into my marriage, my mother-in-law was so sad, lost and didn’t know what to do and asked for help. I loved my father-in-law but I did not have the history my husband and his family had shared with John since I had only known him for a few years. I was able to assist with the planning and participate in the service. This was a really powerful experience and I remember sharing this with people. A woman had said you should be a “Celebrant”. I had no idea what that was and had to get on Google immediately. A few months later I completed my training through the InSight Institute and didn’t look back.
During this time I immersed myself in researching the perfect eulogies, poetry, music and rituals and was brought back to the time my own father Joseph had passed away when he was only 48 years old from cancer. It was a really sad and tough time. In addition to my personal loss there was a lot of dysfunctional family issues going on. My father had started a new family while I was still in grade school and unfortunately his new family did not like his old family. This included my mom, brother and me. So when my father passed I had prepared a speech and really wanted to be heard. My father’s new family did not include my brother or me in the obituary and we were not allowed to speak at the service. I was 19 years old and had a really hard time being silenced and in my mind history was being re-written. In hindsight this was an amazing gift – I learned services are to honor and celebrate loved-ones but they are also for the survivors, families want a voice and want to be heard. I never want a family member to go through what I had and I want to document the true family story.
What are In-Sight Institute Certified Celebrants?
- Over 2700 individuals from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Trinidad, Guatemala & the Philippines have been trained to provide unique, individualized services.
- In-Sight Institute Certified Celebrants meet with the family to gather the stories and listen to the memories. The funeral experience is built around these stories.
- In-Sight Institute Certified Celebrants spend 8 to 10 hours preparing a Celebrant funeral experience and act as a partner with the funeral director to create a funeral or memorial service that fits the family and encourages healthy grieving.
- In-Sight Institute Certified Celebrants are prepared to create a Life Tribute that fits the person who died and his/her family. These services are not only personalized but also individualized.
- In-Sight Institute Certified Celebrants present funerals in parks, gardens, beaches, mountains, boats, homes, funeral home chapels... whatever best meets the needs of the family.
- According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, one in five Americans claim no religious identity. (Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press, 2007-2012. Number of respondents: 9,443 in 2007 and 17,010 in 2012.)
- This group, called “nones,” is now the second largest category after Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists.
- One in three (32%) of the population under the age of thirty is unaffiliated and unlikely to age into claiming a religion (USA Today 10/9/12).
- There are more people over the age of 65 in our population than teenagers. The number of Americans over 65 is expected to grow by 2030 to 65 million; nine million will be over 85, compared with four million today.
Who Needs a Celebrant?
- Your families who identify themselves as “Spiritual But Not Religious”
- Your families who do not have a minister or church affiliation
- Your families who want a unique, personalized service
- Your families who want a Life Tribute experience the evening before a liturgical service
Celebrant Funeral Service
Next she will research, write, and design a eulogy that reflects your loved ones personal beliefs as well as respecting the family’s requests. Also included: unique poetry, readings, Psalms (if appropriate), and music that will further personalize the memorial.
Finally, she will officiate the service, deliver the eulogy, encourage family participation, and create a personalized remembrance for your loved one and the families involved. Services can be held at funeral homes, private residences, outdoor venues and grave-side.
Eulogy Writing – Similar to the details outlined above for a full Celebrant Funeral Service except once the eulogy is written, it is handed over to the family, Andrea would not be officiating the service.
Funeral Programs – Designing and printing personalized programs for the service.