Select clergy and confirm availability

In some cases, there is a close personal relationship between a member of the clergy and the deceased. In these situations, determining the availability of that individual is a critical step in the funeral planning process. Having someone who knew the deceased well over a long period of time presiding over the ceremony can make it much more personal and special. That person likely will have great stories to share, will understand the needs of other family members in attendance, and will do an outstanding job of celebrating the life of the individual being honored with the ceremony.

Priests, ministers, rabbis, etc., also go to a great number of funerals so they are very knowledgeable about how things should be done. If they knew your loved one, they are likely to take an extra interest in ensuring that all of the details are right for the event.

In cases where the deceased is a person of faith but not affiliated with a church or other religious group, many members of the clergy will still conduct funeral services. The funeral director is a good source for contacts, as are the deceased’s family and friends who might attend a church, synagogue, etc. In these cases, you should make sure the clergy member has time to talk to you or a family member in order to learn a little more about the deceased before the service. They will likely want to know a bit about the deceased’s faith, if the deceased had any favorite prayers or stories from their faith’s holy book, and general details of the deceased’s life story to add a personal touch to the service. Members of the clergy typically charge a small honorarium fee to conduct services.