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What is the difference between a funeral celebrant and a funeral director?  


By Martin Moroney

Generally speaking, the funeral celebrant conducts the funeral ceremony the funeral director organizes the logistics of the funeral, the coffin, the venue, the hearse and all that sort of thing.

  • Most funeral directors appoint your funeral celebrant and don’t offer you a variety of choice in ceremonial guidance, usually because you don’t know that you have a choice.
  • By the time the funeral celebrant gets involved, most, if not all of the details of the funeral have been arranged – the venue, the coffin, cremation or burial and so on.
  • However, when you think about this, this does not make sense. That’s like ordering your materials and starting to build your house before you consult your architect.
  • Would it be obvious to you that the most important thing that happens at the funeral is the funeral ceremony?
  • So surely, it would be better if your funeral celebrant, your architect, met with you first, and drilled down into what you truly want and designed the funeral ceremony as a tailor-made event with you – and that’s before you start spending money and making commitments on the time, the venue and so on.
  • It might not be obvious to you that an “off the shelf funeral” is often more expensive than a tailor-made funeral where you have been given more options and more choices.
  • Our experience as a funeral director, is that even the choice of flowers is important to your experience of the funeral. Fine details matter.

Where is this going? I hear you ask.

  • Many, many accomplished funeral celebrants, dislike, even hate, being creatively constrained by funeral directors who prevent them from designing and delivering the amazing funeral ceremonies they are capable of providing.  Celebrants who work in a collaborative way, in order to best serve the grieving family’s needs.
  • At Picaluna Beautiful Funerals, the celebrant is actually the funeral director or works closely alongside their talented team-mate.
  • The roles are reversed so the celebrant and funeral director plan the funeral ceremony as one and recruit the team who deliver the best ceremony on the day.  Like having the architect and builder in the same company.
  • And the team are all Picaluna funeral celebrants themselves, so the quality of the work is outstanding.

They work with you from your first call to the time they deliver the ashes to you. 
Picaluna are able to give you options you never knew existed.

  • You can have a “traditional” funeral at the crematorium followed by a wake.
  • You might decide (and more and more people are doing this) to have a non-traditional funeral somewhere else. Can you think of a funeral that feels more like you and the person who has died?
  • What about the surf club, the golf club, in a place where they loved to be? Funeral Venues
  • Yes, you can do this with the coffin present, and hold the funeral service and the wake right there in the surf club after you have conducted the funeral ceremony and sent the coffin off on its final journey.
  • What about the coffin? An eco-friendly cardboard coffin, or something more conventional?
  • What about the funeral service? What tone do you want for the service? There’s so much to think about.
  • A ceremony designed for a person who has lived a long life and left a great legacy can often have a touch of a life celebration.
  • A ceremony designed for a sudden or unexpected death, can have great grief that needs to be addressed appropriately, and should be designed to help people heal in their own way.

Who needs a funeral parlor anyway? 

  • Most people find a visit to a funeral parlor or funeral directors office to be very strange and intimidating.  At Picaluna we don’t have funeral parlors or shopfronts where you have to come to us to make funeral arrangements. 
  • We come to you, and we usually make all the arrangements in your home or somewhere you feel comfortable.  This often allows those involved to feel heard and to equally give them a chance to have their say.
  • Functionally, the funeral arranger becomes the team leader of your team. This is a real stress-buster for you.

Funeral celebrant or funeral director?

  • The great thing is that with Picaluna, we are often the same person, both the funeral celebrant and the funeral director.  Or we work closely together to share the responsibilities.
  • The celebrant and funeral arranger are responsible for looking after you, and for the design and the result.
  • Picaluna’s core business provides the hearse, the mortuary, the coffin maker, the florist, the multimedia presentation – everything for the tailor-made event designed for your needs. Funeral live streaming? No problem.
  • Our fellow Picaluna celebrants, assistants and other professionals make-up the team on the day.
  • It’s a team thing. 

Now – that makes sense!

Want to know more?

Talk to our Picaluna team.

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