Selecting the Right Officiant

The minister plays a pivotal role in determining how a memorial service goes, whether smooth, insensitive or touching. That’s why I cringe at a funeral when I hear the pastor say, “I didn’t really know the deceased, but let’s continue...” My internal response is, “You should’ve gotten to know them. It matters!”

Years ago I read the poignant poem The Dash by Linda Ellis, and it made me think about what kind of minister I want to be as I talk about another person’s life—their successes, struggles, joys and tears, and the legacy they intended to leave behind. Getting to know people has always felt extremely important to me.

Did you know?
Your time of transition can be much easier, as I can also be an End-of-Life Advocate for you or your loved one. Click here for more information

While a hospital chaplain, I once was asked to create and conduct a ‘Celebration of Life’ service for a 38-year old man who was deeply loved in his community. He told me, “Debbie, I want you to handle my service because you truly value a person’s life story and will give it your all.” Steve, rest well knowing that I did.

I have carried that commitment forward repeatedly by working closely with loved ones’ to learn the essence of another human being’s life. Each of us has an incredible story that deserves to be told. My goal is to honor your loved one, as well as attend to family and friends, by creating the most powerful service possible. And because I believe there are many spiritual paths, I am respectful of the deceased person’s path, be it agnostic, Christian, pagan, Buddhist or atheist.