Celebrant or Clergy: Who Should Conduct the Funeral?

While some Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin families who meet with us at Krause Funeral Homes have made funeral arrangements for a loved one in the past, many are new to the planning process.

They often have questions about the details involved, including how to make the send-off personal, whether they should have a visitation and reception, and how to choose the location of the final resting place.

Another question that comes up – especially if the person who died didn’t preplan and make these decisions on their own ahead of time – is this: “Who should conduct the funeral? A pastor or priest? The funeral director? A celebrant?”

While these professionals have a similar role during a funeral, there are notable differences. Allow us to delineate so when the time comes, you can decide on the best fit for you and your family.

Member of Clergy

Those who want a traditional religious funeral frequently ask a member of the clergy to officiate the funeral and burial services. This involves leading prayers, reading or introducing passages of Scripture, giving a sermon, and setting the pace for the rest of the funeral including songs, eulogies, and the sharing of special antidotes or personal stories.

People of faith also may rely on clergy for personal support before, during, and after the service though pastoral counseling or spiritual guidance. Involving a much-loved minister, perhaps someone who has known the family for many years, adds a level of comfort and peace many find irreplaceable.

Certified Life Celebrant

A certified life celebrant acts as a kind of master of ceremonies, opening the service, transitioning between different elements, and providing general leadership and direction. Our own Certified Life Celebrant and Interfaith Minister Jeannie Davis spends time with families to glean those stories and special moments that will make the farewell perfect. She has the compassion and expertise to design a service that genuinely reflects a loved one’s passions, hobbies, and accomplishments.

Celebrants are trained to create a meaningful farewell through incorporating unique anecdotes, interests, and memories. At Krause Funeral Homes, we make sure our celebrant has access to a library of resources, including readings, music, ceremonies, and other personal touches.

Funeral Director

A funeral director meets with the family to arrange details and handle the logistics of the funeral. Oftentimes, families who choose a funeral director prefer a traditional religious service. Both parties work together to establish the location, dates, and times of the visitation, funeral or memorial, burial, and reception. Funeral directors also coordinate funeral transportation, help prepare obituary notices, and handle the paperwork involved with a person’s death.

We invite you to reach out to our caring team anytime to learn more about how these professionals can customize a meaningful tribute. We see it time and time again – it’s the highly personal details that add so much to a service, creating a healing experience for family and friends.

Don’t hesitate to contact us anytime. We are always available to answer questions and provide the information you need.

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