FDChat #13 – Celebrants and the Funeral Process

Funeral Director's Chat

FDChat #13 – Celebrants and the Funeral Process

with nancy

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Nancy Burban talks with Ruthann Brown Disotell about performing funeral ceremonies and leaving an impact on friends and family. Ruthann is a second generation funeral director, ordained minister and funeral celebrant. She has helped design and build a funeral home, assisted in two funeral home start-ups, is a speaker at funeral groups and an active member of her community in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

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Show Notes

Contact Ruthann Brown Disotell:
Celebration of a Lifetime
On Facebook

American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service
Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science

Interview Excerpt:

Ruth Ann: There are a lot of different celebrant trainings that are popping up all over the country. I can't speak to the value of each of them, because I haven't been to all of them. But I think it's important to understand that when you hire a celebrant, it should be somebody who has background in grief. There are a lot of people that go and do celebrant work because they want to do a good thing. That's nice and people should do a good thing. But to go from being an event planner to being a celebrant is a jump. I think there's a lot to be said for having education in psychology on some level and grief in particular. Because you're dealing with people that are going through a very traumatic time. And a funeral home does not want to take their family and turn them over to just anyone. I would caution people, when selecting a celebrant, to keep that in mind. That you really want somebody who has a background in understanding how to deal with a grieving family.

There are a lot of funeral homes who are having people trained to be an in house celebrant. That's a wonderful thing. To have somebody that is from your staff is perfect. Because they've been in the funeral home, they've seen the situations, they've come to understand what a grieving person is. To give them a little extra training is not a bad thing.  

Leave a Comment

  • http://dianedyer.com/ Diane Dyer

    Hey RuthAnn,

    Thanks for this wonderful interview. As a Celebrant in Seattle, I so appreciate your insights and wisdom.

  • http://www.celebrationofalifetime.com/ Ruthann Disotell

    Delighted to be receiving excellent feedback from this podcast. My desire is for the public to know the options available to them and funeral directors to create conversation that guides to the most comfortable choice, for those who would honor their relationship with someone who is a true original.

  • http://www.peterbillingham.com/ Peter Billingham

    Hi There – although it’s a couple of years old, I just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed the podcast discussion on this episode. As an independent celebrant in the UK, we are perhaps more of a secular society than in America and the trend for nonreligious services is considerably high. Really enjoyed the chat about how you see storytelling and the importance of honouring the person’s life, I too really think that that is so important when conducting a funeral service. Thanks again for a really interesting and an informative episode.

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