County Clare, Ireland-based certified celebrant, Orla Cronin trained in our funeral celebrant training course and now conducts funeral ceremonies and memorial services holding space in a private, respectful and reflective way for families, with their loved ones at the very centre.
Read on to learn more about Orla's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
I was a High School English Teacher before and I'm now a Yoga Teacher and Celebrant.
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
Reading a lot and enjoying writing tasks. Enjoying the company of children and families. Enjoying doing things a little bit differently!
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
I became a Mom and wanted to be with my kids. I wanted to work and have the work be related to writing! I love children and families and saw this as the perfect career for me. And it really is.
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
Some initially questioned me leaving a 'pensionable' job but mostly everyone was, and still are, very supportive (I became a Wedding Celebrant in 2017 and just recently qualified as a Funeral Celebrant with The Celebrants Collective). My friends now pass on dresses and coats to me, now that I dress up a little bit! My glamorous Mother is delighted!!
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
I heard wonderful things from Clara Malone, my friend, colleague and founder of Coastal Ceremonies. I wanted to train as a funeral celebrant and once I spoke to her about it, there really was only one route for me.
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
Yes, definitely. The content of the course is so helpful, but it was more the feeling instilled by the course and tutorials that have combined to give me so much confidence. I have never before taken a course where I trust myself as much! Thank you x
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
I loved the Tuesday morning tutorials with Claire. I enjoyed the conversations and the little writing tasks, as well as meeting other experienced Celebrants. I learned loads through the assignments and by tuning in to watch a funeral that Claire had taken. I enjoyed chipping away at the course in my own time and gathering the resources as I went along. Really really enjoyed it all.
Has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
Quite honestly, I think I evolved as a person! Claire's influence was such that I notice that I trust myself more now. I qualified as a funeral celebrant in March and although I have not yet taken a funeral ceremony, I feel that trust, experience and confidence seep into my other ceremonies. I have a little more awareness and just overall 'you got this' kind of feeling!
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
It is so interesting and the learning and evolving never ends! And the training is so nourishing (there's the word I was looking for)! This training has reiterated what I always knew but needed reminding of; that kindness is everything and sensitivity is a superpower!!
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
One who is open-minded, calm, trustworthy and authentic.
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
We had professional photos taken (there are 3 of us at Coastal Ceremonies) and have them featured on our website along with a blog I wrote about becoming a funeral celebrant. There is a funeral page also. I have checked in with local funeral directors and delivered many business cards. I have met with the owner of the local Crematorium. Next month, I will become a member of IECS (Irish Ethical Celebrants Society) and be able to be featured on online directories such as RIP.IE.
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
Get yourself off to this positive, supportive, personable and professional group of women at The Celebrants Collective!
We are so proud and excited to have Orla in our Celebrants Collective community and we know she'll be a fabulous celebrant ambassador.
If reading this makes you really excited about training to be a celebrant, make sure to check out our homepage for more on our celebrant training online and in-person courses.