A LETTER FROM REV. DR. PATRICIA D. BROWN

Hello Present and Future Colleagues, 

Fewer and fewer people have a religious affiliation nor a pastor, rabbi, iman or other faith-based professional to help them in their grief and officiate at end-of-life events.  This is why those who feel called to the work are now being invited to step forward to fill this needed compassionate service.  

 As a pastor, theologian, university professor and hospice and hospital chaplain I have gained a sound background in the history of ritual, ceremony and funeral traditions in many cultures and religions. I believe that every life has meaning and deserves to be mourned and celebrated. Nothing can take away the grief, but a genuine, well prepared tribute can be a valuable source of healing and ease the pain. 

As a burial, funeral and memorial officiant you will learn to create a ceremony that reflects the wishes, beliefs, cultural background and values - religious and non-religious- of your client's loved one and their family.  

Through this educational program you will grow proficient at creating an event in an unhurried way with designated family and friends. In collaboration with the family, you will carefully craft a eulogy and create a ceremony that can include music, quotes, readings, unique symbols and rituals. Family and friends may choose to participate in the service or not. Each detail will be cared for and finally approved by the family. Nothing is imposed by you. They have complete choice of and final approval over the ceremony. Above all, the burial service, funeral or memorial will reflect the wishes of the family and the deceased. A funeral allows them to grieve their loss, honor their loved one, and celebrate life.  

With compassion, sincerity and great care, you will then officiate at the ceremony in their home or yard, funeral home, crematorium, cemetery or memorial location of their choice.  Following the event you will give them a copy of the ceremony as a keepsake.

If what I've said here rings true for you, go to www.spiritworks.org and click on the link that lays out the complete practical participatory program that begins the evening of March 27, all-day March 28, and 9:00AM -1:00PM on March 29.  

**Additional work is done on your own timeline and schedule. When certified your information will be posted on the Spiritworks website listing and sent to regional hospices, nursing facilities, hospices and funeral homes.