Ceremonies of Heart

Rev. Mary Joy Leaper | Celebrant and Wedding Officiant

"May God hold you in the hollow of his hand."

~ Irish blessing

Funerals and Other Ceremonies for Healing

Perhaps the most difficult transition of all is the journey through loss and grief. Ritual and ceremony assist you with finding meaning in the loss and support from those around you.

As a certified funeral celebrant and an ordained interfaith minister, I stand ready to conduct a respectful, unique funeral, memorial or celebration of life. We will need to find some time to be together. You will acquaint me with your loved one, offering memories and anecdotes that truly personify him or her. Perhaps that person will have left some instructions for special elements to be included in the service. Our goal is to create a ceremony that honors the one who has passed, reflecting character, beliefs, life legacy. Our meeting will not be time-consuming or stressful, but rather will provide gentle moments for sharing and expression.

Once I have a picture of what your loved one was like and what would best convey that, I will write your ceremony. It may include ritual, readings, poetry or other elements along with the eulogy. A draft will be e-mailed to you or read to you on the phone so that you may make any changes you wish. No celebrant ceremony is ever performed without complete approval by the client.

On the day of the service, I will work closely with the funeral director to orchestrate the ceremony and assure that it runs smoothly. I will then officiate the service. If there is also to be a graveside service or scattering of ashes – again, you will have complete approval – I will conduct that as well.

There are many kinds of loss. Loss of good health may prompt the desire for a hospital, nursing home or hospice observance of some kind. Some people now are opting for end-of-life celebrations, taking the opportunity to rejoice in their life with family and friends in the weeks or months before passing. As an adjunct to this, I also can help with the preparation of an “ethical will,” that is, a document intended to pass along such intangibles as personal ideals, values, insights, regrets, and hard-won wisdom.

Other types of loss all too common in our time include the loss of a job or the loss of a spouse through divorce. A celebrant ceremony can be a unique way of taking some of the sting out of these experiences.

Loss of a dear pet is another occasion to be commemorated.

Whatever the loss, I can create a heartfelt, at times even joyful, observance that will help you meet these difficult moments.

May you find your personalized celebrant ceremony a memorable one, one that brings solace and healing to you and your family and friends. Please contact me at Ceremonies of Heart to hear more.