IIOC Funeral Training and Information Pack
What is a Funeral Celebrant?
A Civil Funeral is one where the wishes of the deceased and their family make the decisions concerning the funeral. There is no agenda or pre-decided ritual.
A civil funeral celebrant facilitates the
ceremonial part of the funeral, in accordance with the wishes of the deceased and family. Every funeral is unique and the celebrant will help the family decide what kind of funeral they want, how they wish the deceased to be honoured and remembered, what music to play, what type of words to be said and whether there should be any special elements, religious, spiritual, or otherwise. The profession of the civil funeral celebrant is to support and help those at this difficult time and to create a meaningful and appropriate ceremony for all those involved.
This is both an honour and a
privilege and is a highly skilled profession.
People who hire Celebrants are generally spiritual but not religious and want a ceremony that combines their cultural backgrounds and symbolic traditions with their own unique identities. They want a ceremony that tells the story of who the deceased was. They want a ceremony that is meaningful and poignant, perfectly reflecting the life that has passed.
But Celebrancy is not for everyone, it takes a special kind of person to be able to officiate at a ceremony in a warm, vibrant and professional way – and we at the IIOC know all about helping a potential celebrant become a wonderful celebrant, someone who can communicate a personal story, engaging everyone in the room, making them all feel welcome – as well as performing intimate and meaningful ceremonies. If you think a career as a Celebrant might be for you, please read on … Checklist - Is Celebrancy for you? Are you? o Socially and psychologically insightful o Confident in public speaking situations o Warm and engaging in your personal approach to people o Able to be self-challenging and prepared to learn o Capable of common sense o Compassionate o Intuitive o Responsible o Dedicated o Conscientious o Organised o Dependable o Intelligent o Ethical o Intuitive
Are you prepared to? Work with a range of different people, whose attitudes and values may be different to your own Commit to ceremonies, often at the last minute Be unavailable for your own family and friendship activities and responsibilities, when celebrancy commitments must take precedence Face the challenges of IT - using computers, digital cameras, using websites, doing internet searches, using email and web forums Enter into other people's lives in a respectful and supportive manner, to ensure their personal, family and social needs are met responsibly, responsively and appropriately
Do you have? An understanding of the importance of ceremonies and celebrations as healthy ways to strengthen individuals, families and build communities A feel for the performing arts and well as verbal and visually based arts A passion for the important role of independent civil celebrant in a multicultural society such as Ireland An ethical value system based upon universally agreed civil and human rights A curiosity about other people's lives and the importance of story-telling and ritual in the lives of families and communities
Do you possess? Excellent health and good physical and mental fitness Computer and other small office business equipment A reliable car
What does a funeral celebrant do?
They will discuss whatever requirement the family has in making the arrangements for the funeral ceremony.
They will build up an idea of the life to be remembered. They can suggest poems, songs, readings, hymns, prayers and more.
They will help to write a eulogy or tribute, using professional skills to represent the deceased and his/her life.
They will available at the end of the phone. Where possible they will always meet with you and your family.
The celebrant will draft a ceremony which will be sent to the family for approval.
On the day of the funeral, the celebrant leads the ceremony.
They can deliver the tribute or eulogy if that is what the family want, or can help a family member deliver it.
Funeral Celebrancy Training
How do I train as a Funeral Celebrant? We run courses in Dublin throughout the year. Our training programme is rigorous and professional, taught by the very best experts in their field, from award winning actors teaching voice
established funeral directors and experienced celebrants, you will benefit from years of professional experience and guidance. Training You must complete a 2 day weekend training course plus assessment. You must attend workshops throughout the six month period in order to practice your skills and improve under mentorship and guidance from our experts. The workshops are included in the initial fee.
NB: There is no guarantee that you will become a Probationary celebrant and the IIOC reserves the right to deny full Celebrant status at our discretion. We also reserve the right to allow those with previous experience to become fully accredited Celebrants at our discretion. This will be judged on a case by case basis.
The IIOC make no apology for setting the highest standards for our
accredited Celebrants. The expectations of a couple making commitment vows are very high, and our celebrants must meet that high standard.
Funeral course outline - Module Breakdown
Module One: History and modern context of funerals A brief history of funerals. What and who is a funeral for? Current social and cultural trends on funerals. Re-visioning funeral ceremonies
Module Two: Creating Ritual Theatre What makes a good funeral? How to create ritual. The importance of ritual space. The ceremony as a means of transition. Appreciating the importance of the place. Orchestrating all the elements of the funeral. Managing yourself and your emotions. Creating a safe emotional space.
Module Three: Being a Working Funeral Celebrant What working as a celebrant is like and what does the role entail. Values and ethos underpinning the practice. Offering an authentic and supportive service. Identifying and developing trainees skills and capacities. Moving from theory to practice. Skills needed.
Module Four: Writing ceremonial scripts How to structure a funeral ceremony Preparing opening and closing words How to write a good eulogy or life story Choosing words and poetry Using poetic, elevated language and idiom Words for the committal to reflect individual beliefs Reflecting the character and beliefs of the person who has died Devising a ceremony collaboratively with the family.
Module Five: Listening and communication Working with bereaved people. Active listening skills and practice. Keeping with the agenda of the family. Working with families in conflict. Developing personal presence and appropriate authority. Different types of funeral ceremonies for sudden, early and complicated deaths.
Module Six: Ceremonial Public Speaking Voice Coaching and performance Being a calm and reassuring presence Leading singing
Upskilling Workshops These will be held one Saturday every two months. There will also be shadowing of accredited and trained celebrants, as well as working directly with funeral Directors throughout Ireland.
Dealing with Grief Eulogy & Tribute Writing Ceremonial Public Speaking Working with industry professionals Dealing with sudden, early and complicated deaths Shadowing Funeral professionals & Celebrants
Funeral Training Tutors Dr Lorraine Mancey O Brien, PhD, Trinity College Dublin, MA Social Anthropology, University of London, BA (Hons) Newcastle University. Rose Swaine,. BSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dip. Counselling and
Psychotherapy, Certificate in Integrative Supervision, MIACP. Karen Dempsey, MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, Dublin City University & Turning Point, Dun Laoghaire, BA UCD, CNM, - expert in dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and sudden infant death. Neill Fleming, Award Wining Actor and Senior Voice & Performance Coach
To become a Celebrant you must: Step One: Complete the contact form on www.iioc.ie requesting training Step Two: Be interviewed by our Ceremonies Training Coordinator by phone. Step Three: Be prepared to pay the course fee/deposit to secure a place. Deposits are non-refundable.
All first year workshops are included in the training fee, if ongoing workshops are required in subsequent years, there will be a nominal charge of 50 euro per workshop.
Some Kind Words about our training courses... Dear Dr Mancey O'Brien, I've just read all about you in the Irish Examiner. What an extraordinarily talented and learned team you have assembled. I have no doubt that you will be sending out into the world exceptionally well-qualified, thoughtful, high-calibre celebrants. There can be no other course which sets quite so high a quality standard. I wish you every good fortune. With best wishes Charles Cowling Director, the Good Funeral Guide (UK) My experience of the training? It has being foremost a personal journey of self discovery. It is reflective, interactive, fun and educational - November 2014 trainee. On a more personal level, I wanted to get myself out of my comfort zone and try something completely new to me. I'm naturally a shy person and wanted to improve my confidence - January 2015 trainee. The training so far has been a very positive experience for me. It's been a new challenge that I am thoroughly enjoying. I've made new friends and discovered a voice in me that I didn't know existed. My confidence is improving and I'm learning new skills. It's a fun and friendly atmosphere to be in. I'm enjoying hearing love stories and crafting wedding ideas. Highly recommended! - May 2015 trainee From the first moment I met the training team I knew I was in good hands, I really enjoy each workshop and feel like the entire marry me Ireland team are both supporting and willing me on to achieve this dream. its been really brilliant. - January 2015 trainee The training was exhilarating, challenging, interesting and thorough. The IIOC have put together a very well thought and creative out course that delves deeply into all of the elements that will make you a great celebrant. It is one thing to learn about the different types of ceremonies and how to put them together but we learned far more. We learned about connecting with and making couples and their families feel comfortable, about telling stories that are very personal to the couple, about presenting and projecting to large group of people and mostly that what we will be doing is very special and each event needs you to be personal and perfect - March 2015 trainee. Being a celebrant is an intense responsibility. For the people involved a celebration is one of the most important days of their lives. Being a celebrant is for me the chance to respond to the wishes of the couple, to be able to listen and find the most important parts of their love story. I think that our society needs to put new kinds of rituals at the centre of our lives, rituals re-invented and relevant for every story. Being a celebrant is the chance to participate in this new adventure and to create links between human beings. The training is for me a great experience. It is a complete training in what a celebration is, not only theoretically but practically through training in various theatrical techniques. Story telling, voice and presence are so important for a celebrant in order to be able to capture the attention of the audience and so to create a unique and memorable moment. The trainings of marry me Ireland have a background in sociology that brings a deep comprehension of what is a union in our times. It s a great human adventure March 2015 trainee.
Certificate in Funeral Celebrancy