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Sharon Hunter - August 2021

The Final Say

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A lot of meaningful moments happen at the funeral service. We speak of our love, respect, and admiration for the one who has died. We also express our grief.

A Great Goodbye that’s not constrained by time provides many opportunities for people to say a few words. Yes, we get anxious if someone rambles on, but if we’re not working to a deadline, it lowers the stress. You might be surprised what crazy, moving stories you hear.

Anchor the service with speakers who shared life’s important moments with your loved one, and think about how each might cover different aspects of their life. A sibling, a mate, a colleague, a son or daughter.

When it comes to leading the service, some will ask the leader at their place of faith to do the honor. Others will choose an experienced officiant or celebrant. But there is no rule that says you must delegate this to a professional; a funeral is not a legal event and does not require a licensed person to officiate.

You might have just the right person within your family or friends. Their leadership will likely give the funeral a unique and personal feel.

If there are limited speaking segments at the service, think about opening the floor at the wake. For many, speaking in this causal environment will suit them better. It can help to have a bit of structure, so to get things going, have someone pre-arranged to speak first. Soon you’ll be away with lots of storytelling.

Don’t forget the written word.

If speaking doesn’t come naturally to someone, or if they’re unable to attend, they could write out their eulogy and have it read aloud by someone at the service or wake.

"A funeral is not a legal event and does not require a licensed person to officiate."

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