Celebration of Life, Memorials, and Committal Ceremonies

When a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life is informed by the story of a life lived, it becomes a powerful and inspiring force.  Our ceremonial vision as Funeral Celebrants is to always create an atmosphere of profound connection so you, your family and friends can find the courage to live in a world without your loved one. That’s why it’s so important to help you give voice to your memories in a way that illuminates them in the fullness of their personality… all that made them who they really were.  No two Modern Celebrant memorial ceremonies are ever the same. How could they be? Each life and the way it is lived is wonderfully and uniquely different!

We won’t ask you to be ‘spiffy’ with us.

As experienced and deeply kind Funeral Celebrants, we don’t want you to apologize for the tears that roll down your cheeks or pretend to be okay when you can hardly brush your teeth.  We want to hear you talk about the ways your loved one sparkled, but also about the contradictions and quirks that made them — ‘them‘.  This is what makes the narrative of their life SO COMPELLING to write about and share in ceremony. Humans yearn for stories… real stories about real people who lived perfectly and imperfectly.  Your loved one’s story matters, and it needs to be told. This is what will help you begin to heal.

The days after a death are mysteriously suspended. There is a certain quality of time being slowed down. In this sacred space we listen as you remember and tell your stories, absorbing what you say not only with our pen on paper, but in a place infinitely much deeper. And when we weave your thoughts, words, and memories into this memorial ceremony, we create moments that you could never get if we just asked you a few standardized questions, didn’t look beyond the sparkly bits of your loved one’s personality, and filled in the blanks with their name.

It’s an unusual ‘job’ but we LOVE it!

For Michele Davidson, Modern Celebrant’s founder, the call to ceremonial practice came as a result of the sudden traumatic death of her dearest friend. Grief stricken, finding a way forward ultimately meant transforming her sadness into something of service to others. She left a perfectly lovely career for an even better one, founding Modern Celebrant to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.  Whether through birth, marriage, or death… Modern Celebrant exists today to tell the real life stories of the remarkable people who find their way to us. Funeral Celebrants Janis Horne and Marcia Thomson on our team feel exactly the same way.

It is a tremendous privilege to be of comfort to families and friends following a death. Please call Funeral Celebrant Michele at 604-992-4217 to talk about how we can work alongside you to create a memorial ceremony that will really matter.


Cremation and Burial Care:  Many of our clients reach out to us prior to a death, when their loved one is nearing the end of their life’s journey.  Our wish always is to help ease this transition.  With our whole hearts we recommend Ngaio Davis of KORU (formerly Classic Cremation). Ngaio and her colleague Michelle Pante recently tended to one of Michele’s dear ones and they have also worked together professionally. Wondering about her name? She’s part Swiss, Scottish and Maori. Ngaio is Maori for a tree found only in NZ. And it’s true, she has quiet calm strength. Reach her at 604-324-8285.


“The day after my husband’s Celebration of Life, I find myself writing to thank you for being the answer everyone needed at a time like this. Your strength and assurance highlighted Percy as a one-of-a-kind man, immensely appreciated for what he was. Thank you for being with us as our Funeral Celebrant on this important day!” — Angie & family

“Thank you so much for the amazing Celebration of Life service for Dad. I’ve received many many compliments on the sincerity of the ceremony and how totally appropriate it was for Dad. As a Funeral Celebrant and immensely gracious human, I appreciate how gracefully you walked the line between honesty and respectfulness.” — David

“Your words really captured the complexity of our relationship and feelings in a sensitive and thoughtful way. You have a really beautiful and calming presence which so helped us through a difficult time. I wish you so much happiness and peace! – Chandra