FAQ: End of Life Ceremony

NOTE: Please check my resources page for COVID protocols. Did COVID19 force your family to delay a ceremony for your loved one? Please, review my post on timing the memorial event when it is safe to do so.

How can you Help us Nick?

I officiate at ceremonies related to a cremation, burial or funeral. First, I help families plan the content for the occasion. Then, I officiate at the event. I will collaborate closely with your funeral service provider. I’m never in a hurry. Feel free to call me when you feel ready.

Your family not now or never affiliated with a religion or church?

Many families are no longer or never have been part of a faith or a faith community. You may feel uneasy about traditional funeral or cremation ceremonies. They are often held in a chapel, at a graveside, or other formal setting. That’s what we see in the movies. However, most funeral homes today will be happy to accommodate other options. Please contact me to talk about new ways to honour your loved one. My goal is to help you honour and celebrate the life of your loved one.

What role does a celebrant fill during a funeral, memorial, cremation or burial?

Please read my blog post Six Key Tasks for A Celebrant at a Memorial.

What can I expect when I call you about being our funeral celebrant?

During our initial phone conversation, I will ask you some basic questions as follows:

  • The name and age of the deceased person.
  • Key facts you wish to share about the deceased person’s family and/or friends (e.g. names of surviving partner/spouse and any children, siblings, other significant individuals).
  • The name of your funeral home and funeral director.
  • We will set up a time to meet to further discuss the ceremony.
  • Other family members can be part of this discussion if you wish.
Can our family just attend the cremation or funeral ceremony while you do most of the planning?

Yes. For many different reasons, many families prefer for me to plan the cremation or burial ceremony. Contact me at any time. With your permission, I will contact your funeral home director to ensure collaboration and avoid overlap of activities and services.

How do you work with a Funeral Home?

I am not qualified to provide the many excellent professional services provided by Funeral Directors. I only help to plan the content of the cremation, funeral or memorial itself and will officiate at the event. For example, you may want to select music or think about some readings. Often, families ask me to say a prayer, read a reflection or share a poem. You need to give thought to who may wish to say a few words during the occasion. A funeral celebrant like myself fills a role similar to tasks completed by a “master of ceremonies.”

What are your fees?

My Officiant fees for cremations, funerals and burials are often handled by your Funeral Director. My fee will usually be included within the Funeral Home’s overall invoice to you. I accept whatever they normally give to their officiants. (It is generally within the $300-$400 dollar range).

If you are planning your memorial event after the burial due to COVID-19, I will invoice you or arrange an e-transfer.

Are there any other costs associated with your services?

Additional travel charges may apply for events located outside the city of Toronto. I serve the entire GTA, including Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Richmond Hill and other locations. Contact me anytime.

Other questions?

The Ontario Funeral Association has many resources listed on its excellent website or visit my resources page.