FAQs for funerals

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inside Tempietto Egizio

What is an independent funeral celebrant?

A funeral celebrant is a person who liaises with the family and the funeral director in order to produce and conduct a tailor-made, sensitive and dignified funeral service.

What training do Passaggi funeral celebrants have?
Passaggi independent celebrants have attended an intensive residential course in the UK and have gained a diploma with the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants (FOIC). We are also in contact with Richard Brown  (www.ritolaico.com), a humanist celebrant and the really the first person to introduce celebrant funerals to Italy, and we use his book Funerali senza Dio (Richard Brown & Jane Wynne Willson Edizioni Omnilog, 2010) as a resource.

What kind of person or family would contact a funeral celebrant?
The kind of person or family that would contact a funeral celebrant can vary. They may be people who have no religious beliefs or who have lost contact with their local church. They may also be people who have a strong spiritual approach to life but do not belong to any particular religion. They may be atheists or people who feel they are not represented by the Church. Finally, they may just be looking for a ceremony that celebrates the life of the deceased in a personalised manner.

Is the celebrant an alternative to the Funeral Director?
No, the celebrant is not an alternative to the Funeral Director. The family will work with the Funeral Director for all the practical and legal aspects, as well as the extras such as decorations and flowers. Celebrants work with the Funeral Director and the Family to make the ceremony extra special. Passaggi has worked with Cristina Zega (www.zega.it) and is also in contact with Massimo Scifoni (www.scifoni.it)  and we are working together to give families a meaningful alternative to a church funeral. We can be contacted directly or through your funeral director.

tempietto egizio al verano
outside Tempietto Egizio at the Verano Cemetery

Where can celebrant funeral services be held?
In Rome there are several beautiful places where ceremonies can be held. These include the Tempietto Egizio at the Verano Cemetery, a new Mater Admirabilis hall at the Verano cemetery, the Non-Catholic Cemetery at the Piramide, and the Chiesa Valdese at Piazza Cavour or in Via IV Novembre. By Italian law, non-religious funeral services can be held anywhere but in a Catholic church. This means the service can be held in a hall or a hotel, outside, at the graveside, at the scattering after a cremation, or in a private home.

Where can ash scatterings be held?

Ash scatterings in the sea can take place anywhere more than 50 metres from the coast. Some City Councils indicate a suitable place such as on the Pier in Ostia, or from the rocks in Santa Marinella. Hiring a boat is another possibility which affords more privacy and freedom. For scatterings on land the only stipulation is that if the property is private permission must be asked.