A good funeral is the thing we humans do when someone dies. It is an act of faith in the face of human frailty, hope in the face of heartbreak. It is an act of love and letting go.
-Thomas Lynch, Author & Poet
What is a Celebrant?
A celebrant is an individual trained to address people’s emotional and spiritual needs during a time of loss. He or she works with families to create a personalized remembrance ceremony, reflecting the unique attributes of a life and when relevant, particular faith tradition. Celebrants can assist those who are either not affiliated with a faith community or wish for a funeral or memorial service incorporating unusual, creative, and perhaps non-traditional elements.
Meet Hall-Wynne’s Celebrant
At a time when words may be difficult for your family, the celebrant acts as your voice. Debra Brazzel, our celebrant, is especially gifted to do just that – for those of any faith tradition or of no religious background. Debra is a longtime resident of the Triangle and well known in many professional circles. She is an ordained United Methodist Minister, having been Assistant Dean of Duke Chapel and for several years, Director of Religious Life at Duke University. As founder and operator of her own company, Minister for All Occasions, Debra has extensive and diverse experience in worship and ritual leadership, spiritual direction, yoga instruction and mindfulness. She brings remarkable listening skill and sensitivity to every family that enables her to capture the unique life of the person and to tailor the ceremony in a way that reflects that uniqueness. Debra’s website is www.debrabrazzel.com.
What can a trained celebrant offer you and your family?
- The celebrant meets with your family to listen to stories, gather remembrances, and create a tribute that honors your family member’s life and conveys meaning. He or she will often serve as ceremony facilitator with others who may participate in the services.
- The celebrant has a library of resources for readings, special music, ceremonial outlines, and personal touches, and will consult with you and your family to help design a ceremony best reflecting the life and legacy of your loved one.
- A celebrant coordinates the elements of the ceremony with the funeral home, making specific requests, and suggestions to the funeral director on your behalf.
- Celebrants are bound by a code of ethics to ensure strict confidentiality.
Why choose a trained Celebrant?
Celebrants will provide a context and structure to memorial services to ensure ceremonies are seamless, well-choreographed, and inclusive of other participants and ritual elements that enrich the experience for family and guests.
At what locations will the celebrant conduct services?
There are choices for the venue of a memorial ceremony, and a celebrant can accommodate families in virtually any setting. Many prefer the convenience, sizable space and parking when using Hall-Wynne’s non-sectarian chapel. Additionally, the adjacent location of our crematory lends itself to a private committal ceremony following services. The celebrant can also conduct memorial rites at one’s home, at graveside, an alternative outdoor setting, club, or community center. On occasion, the celebrant may be requested to assist clergy for those holding services in a worship space.
What can Hall-Wynne offer to enhance the ceremonial experience?
Our staff works in concert with the celebrant to offer distinct and personal touches to the celebration of a life, including:
- Photo collages
- Video Tributes
- Live musicians, including bagpipers and harpists
- Personal memorabilia displays
- Military rites
- Dove or balloon releases
- Favorite foods and beverages
- Crematory committal ceremony
- And more…..
We encourage you to share your creative ideas, customs, and wishes with us. Please call today to learn more about these and other options.