Many people do not relish the thought of public speaking – in any forum. When a loved one dies, the prospect of ‘holding it together’, standing up and speaking at their funeral can be even more daunting.
Preparing and delivering an eloquent address to family and friends can be too much to put onto the shoulders of a grieving family member – especially at this busy and emotional time.
That’s where I can help you.
As your funeral celebrant, it becomes my role and purpose to take away that stress. I will manage the coordination and content of the funeral service and eulogy for you.
It is vital that any funeral celebrant does justice to the departed person. My approach involves ensuring their funeral is a memorable celebration of their life, rather than a sombre affair.
Most importantly, each service must be a fitting tribute – tailored to the individual – whether that involves a traditional farewell or a send-off that is personalised and unique.
How does a ‘stranger’ do this?
I may have made a living by talking – but I am also a really good listener.
I learn about your loved one by asking ‘key people key questions’. Their stories give me a full and rounded picture of the person concerned.
I write up their story – in a sincere and genuinely reflective way.
I write accurately and inject light moments and humour, where appropriate.
I check it over with you and confirm your wishes for all other aspects of the funeral service proceedings. (I can also advise on these and explain options.)
On the day, I can co-ordinate the funeral service for you; help greet guests; deliver the agreed eulogy; introduce other speakers and manage other aspects of the ceremony, as you require.
“At a recent funeral, several people said to me afterwards ‘I didn’t know you knew ‘Bill’ (the deceased).’ When I explained I didn’t actually know him they expressed surprise, saying the way I spoke they felt I must have known him well. Such feedback is exactly what I aim to achieve.”
– John McBeth
We chose John McBeth as the Funeral Celebrant for our Mother’s farewell. Mother was 94 so there was a good ‘life story’ to tell – including being a Wahine survivor. After briefing John with the various stories he surpassed our expectations . . . it was comforting to hear from those attending about ‘what a lovely service’ for our Mum. We would recommend John as a very professional, well prepared funeral celebrant.
. . . thank you once again for doing such an awesome job of Celebrant at Dad’s funeral on Monday. So many people have since said what a beautiful service it was – a true celebration of Dad’s life. Those who didn’t know Dad well before, felt they really knew him by the end of the service. You were so easy to talk to and listened well (journalism training eh!!) and really captured the essence of Dad throughout the funeral . . .
Our family would like to give you our sincere thanks for your gracious and kind manner in handling our Father’s funeral service last week. Your friendly and relaxed personality made this so much easier for us all. We’ll now always view your friendly face fronting sports with a special warmth.
Just to say thanks again for doing such a great job as the celebrant for Barbara’s funeral yesterday. We were very impressed at how you summarised all the reminiscences from Sunday and brought them together in a masterly fashion yesterday, giving Barbara the sort of farewell she wanted . . .
My niece sent me the video of my brother’s funeral and I just wanted to thank you for officiating so professionally and with such well-chosen words. I felt as if I was there with everyone…
Our family was delighted that John was able to look after Mum’s funeral . . . In all our dealings he was sensitive to our wishes and totally professional. He was thoroughly prepared after consulting our family and was able to put the issues into perspective, something that is often difficult in a time of grief. Many remarked that they were impressed with his ability to talk in plain and simple language, and to promote the highs and lows which are part and parcel of any funeral eulogy. Everyone truly felt it was a proper celebration of Mum’s life, with love and lots of laughter, and John made this feel very comfortable . . .