David Bryant becomes a Certified Funeral Celebrant

David Bryant of Bryant Funeral Homes & Crematory in Berlin, has become a certified funeral celebrant. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BERLIN — David Bryant of Bryant Funeral Homes & Crematory, recently attended a three-day workshop to become a certified funeral celebrant. The training was held at the Omni Louisville Hotel in Louisville, Ky., prior to the Cremation Association of North America 101st Annual Conference.

The funeral celebrants training is a new approach to personalized funerals presented by Glenda Stansbury, CFSP and Matthew Bailey, CFSP of the InSight Institute. The class reached the milestone of 4,000 funeral celebrants throughout the United States and Canada.

A funeral celebrant is a lay-person, clergy person or funeral director who has been trained in the specific area of conducting funerals for families who wish to have a personalized and individualized funeral service experience.

This practice is used widely in New Zealand and Australia. In some cases, civil celebrants, who are licensed by the government in those countries, perform over 60 percent of the funerals and weddings. Doug Manning, one of the leading speakers and authors in the area of bereavement, toured these countries several years ago and brought back the idea that people in the United States and Canada needed this option.

Celebrant services can be utilized in addition to a traditional religious service, or as a secular alternative. Many people are not affiliated with a religion or theology and do not have a clergy person on whom to call in times of death. Therefore, the need for funeral celebrants has become more apparent. Celebrants can be utilized for all types of funeral, memorial, graveside and life celebration services.

"Celebrants are not intended to replace any form of traditional religious ceremony", said Bryant. "However, many people come to us today and do not attend a church regularly yet still want a funeral service. This is where a celebrant can be really valuable. Prior to this training, we had very few options to present to families who have experienced a loss. Now, when someone comes in and shares that they really don’t attend a church or do not have a faith-based background, we can now truly tailor a funeral service to the deceased individual and the needs of the family."

The three-day training included people from all over the country who will either offer these services to families who come to their funeral homes or individuals who will contract with firms to offer these services to the community. They meet with the family to help them design a service that reflects the life and attributes of their loved one. On average, celebrants spend eight hours designing the funeral service.

Being a funeral director, embalmer, certified pre-planning consultant and certified crematory operator, Bryant is in a position to answer questions families may have about the funeral and cremation process while simultaneously gaining insight on the decedent's life.

For more information, or questions about celebrants, contact Bryant at (603) 752-1344 or by email at david@bryantfuneralhome.net. You can also find additional information online at insightbooks.com/celebrants.

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