What is a Funeral Celebrant?
Anita Larson is an Independent Certified Funeral Celebrant who will meet with you in the comfort of your own home or location of your choosing to gather the memories of your loved one. This time together is of utmost importance to truly get to know your loved one. The sharing of stories and memories begins to bring some comfort to grieving hearts. Typically, Anita will invest 10-15 hours creating a meaningful, memorable, personalized funeral experience and officiating at the Venue you select.
Who needs a Funeral Celebrant?
Those who wish to have a unique, completely personalized service. Families who may not be affiliated with a church and want enhancements from traditional services. People who identify as “Spiritual but Not Religious”, agnostic, or atheist. An interfaith family that would like to bring different beliefs into one Remembrance.
What venues are available for Funerals, Memorials or Celebrations of Life?
We are fortunate in Colorado to have a multitude of outdoor and indoor Venues. Visit my Resources page to see some unique locations for Memorials and Celebrations of Life.
How long will the Ceremony last?
On average about 45 minutes. If it runs longer than one hour, that is too long for most people.
Who will speak at the service?
It is nice to have designated speakers and/or open it up for anyone to share their memories. This can be a particularly memorable and healing time for those who wish to speak about someone who meant so much to them. I recommend that those speaking keep their Tributes to two minutes. If someone becomes too emotional or is uncomfortable speaking in front of a group – I am happy to read what they have written and speak on their behalf.
Do you create the Photo Tribute?
No, usually a family member or friend creates the slideshow or Photo Tribute. Often it is accompanied by the loved one’s favorite songs or playlist. Approximately 30-50 photos are about right. I recommend this be played as guests enter, pause during the service, resume playing afterwards or at the reception following. It is too distracting to play it during the service while people are speaking.
Will you design and print the Funeral Programs?
Yes, when time allows, I can provide professionally designed and printed programs for an additional fee. Click here to see some examples.
What’s your Story?
Growing up on a farm in southeast Nebraska, death was very much a part of life. While most fear death or prefer not to talk about it, no topic was off-limits at our dinner table. Losing crops, livestock, pets, and loved ones was not easy and did not make sense. There was a lot of heartbreak and tears learning about the cycle of life. I am comfortable talking about death and being with those experiencing deep grief.
One of nine children, I understand complex family dynamics, conflicting beliefs, and estrangement. I liked reading Obituaries to learn interesting facts about someone’s life. Sadly, the majority of small-town funerals were anything but personalized. We heard the same templated “insert name here” funerals for every person that passed away. I have been to more funerals than anyone I know who is my age. It’s important to “be there” at a funeral for the family and also for yourself to be with others who are grieving.
Fast forward to 2012 when I heard the word Celebrant for the first time and knew this meaningful work would be my encore career. It is truly an honor to become part of your family for a brief time and help you create a personalized fitting farewell. Every life is important; everyone leaves a lasting legacy and the final words leave a lasting impact.