Many Funerals today, families are requesting a Celebrant rather than the Church to officiate; in part I am sure it is to honor the wishes of their loved one who has passed but as importantly it is because they wish to participate and to have a large degree of input into the service content.
Many know what they don’t want, but they lack the knowledge to link it together to truly honor the life of their beloved. Where I can, I seek to involve the family as much as is possible. If the family have sufficient time in which to plan (with the celebrants guiding hand) a service befitting their departed then they want to participate themselves. It can be such a healing process for them all.
Recently I had the privilege of officiating where without exception each sibling together with each of the grand-children spoke.
As well, the husband decided it was something he needed to do. Rather than worry that his emotions might stop him completing the job so to speak, he with the help of one of the sons decided to record his story of how he and his wife met, wed and lived their life.
That was a first for me. He got a hearty round of applause, which set the tone for each speaker and they too received applause.
The funeral; all who went will remember as truly fitting.