Funeral Elements

In our complex society, no single ceremony could suit everyone.  I specialize in helping you create something both personal and meaningful.  The components (and their arrangement) are completely up to you.  Your service may be long or short, somber or joyous, straightforward or filled with storytelling, readings, and favorite music.


  • Opening words and welcome
  • Readings of poetry, prose, or scripture
    Personal favorites or inspirational readings that reflect the life/beliefs of the deceased
  • Eulogy (life tribute) to the deceased
    Describes the life and achievements of the deceased
  • Additional remembrances
    Family/friends share their thoughts (composed in advance)
  • Music  
    Performed live and/or prerecorded
  • Formal words of goodbye, and a closing

Celebrants provide as little or as much support as the family needs.  I may write the eulogy, deliver readings, and conduct the service… or simply organize the order of the speakers. I encourage families to take an active role in developing the eulogy and choosing readings and music.

On the other hand, some families prefer to be offered appropriate options, rather than create something from scratch.   I have broad experience to pull from and can confidently recommend suitable songs, poems, and inspirational readings.


  • Thoughts on life and death
  • Rituals performed by the family and/or the mourning community
    (Lighting candles, placing flowers on the casket, etc.)
  • A moment of silence and reflection
  • A display of photos or other personal objects
  • Video of family photos, set to music
  • Military honors
  • Encouraging mourners to stand and share their thoughts
    (This sometimes works better as part of a post-ceremony reception)
  • Friends/family singing or playing music
  • Committal ceremony – either at graveside or prior to scattering cremated remains
  • Keepsakes for the mourners 
    (Flower seeds, a favorite recipe, copy of personal poem, pebbles, golf balls, etc.)