Doug McCleary: Celebrant, Officiant, Musician

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Information for funeral directors

If you are a funeral director, it is difficult to decide whether to use a celebrant or chaplain whom you have not used before.  You don't know them, their experience or if they will reflect well on you and your business. The following information is provided to assist you in your decision whether to use my services:



  • Bachelor's Degree in Music; Master's Degree (M. Div.) in Pastoral Ministry and Speaking

  • Ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA and 8 years in Parish Ministry before Becoming a Celebrant

  • 12 years as a Celebrant, serving local (Portland Metro) funeral homes and families



  • The philosophy that drives my work is the belief that the ritual of planning and participating in a funeral or memorial is one of the most healing gifts the survivors can be given.  To have someone who genuinely cares for them listen to their stories, their memories and their pain, and reflect that back to them in a meaningful, connected and hopeful way starts the survivors on the right path towards grieving well, and ultimately moving forward with a greater appreciation for life.  I am not merely a "functionary"--someone who is planning a service.  I am--for the time the family and I work together--their "pastor"...offering compassion, empathy and humor to help them through the important ritual of honoring and saying goodbye to their loved one.


What To Expect: For a single fee I provide any or all of the following:

  • Facilitated family meeting to gather stories and plan a personalized service which "fits" their personality and needs

  • Personalized, narrative eulogy honoring the decedent, with opportunity for the family to “proof” for inaccuracies prior to the service

  • Burn music to CD or Provide Live Music (Piano and Voice) if desired

  • Officiate the Funeral or Memorial Service (and Committal if family desires) with a distinctively personal touch

  • Maintain communication with Funeral Directors prior to the service

  • Assist Funeral Director(s) in any way they deem helpful

What Not to expect:

  • “Cookie Cutter” services – I work hard to make every service personal.  While I offer a "template" when meeting with families, I always prioritize a family's wishes.

  • Last minute or late arrivals – I typically arrive ½ hour prior to service.

  • Preaching and Altar Calls – unless specifically requested by a family.


I guarantee that my work will contribute to a family's satisfaction with the service (and referral) you provide. I maintain a full refund policy if a family is not satisfied with my work.