Our Journal

Featured funeral celebrant – Klara McMurray

Meet Klara, our celebrant partner, ‘The Funky Funeral Celebrant!’

Melbourne Funeral Celebrant Klara McMurray

At Tomorrow Funerals, we believe in creating remarkable memorials that are as unique and quirky as the life we’re celebrating. To truly personalise the funeral, we will carefully match you with an experienced funeral celebrant who’ll fit right in around your kitchen table and listen carefully to the stories that are shared, then turn them into a heart-warming, love filled ceremony.

Our celebrant-led service is centred around us working with the most experienced and empathetic celebrants. So, if your person was into rock’n’roll and rocked a leopard skin suits, (or was just a really, wonderful down to Earth soul,) then perhaps Klara is your gal!

As one of her clients recently commented, “Klara managed a complicated family dynamic, put everyone at ease, and spent time getting to know the person we were mourning. She then wrote and officiated over a funeral that was truly a celebration of life. Her ceremony had space for tears and for laughter.”

Klara McMurray is one of our wonderful partner funeral celebrants in Melbourne. We asked her some questions about her work.

How did you become a funeral celebrant? 

I thought there was more of a need to celebrate rather than commiserate and that the funeral industry was just too beige as it stood. I wanted to offer ceremonies that allowed for both laughter as well as a chance to grieve and begin the healing process.

Why do you think you’re a great funeral celebrant?

I’m patient, non-judgemental and a good listener. I’m also happy to have a laugh as well as a cry and most families really appreciate the different facets of the energy I bring.

What special skills do you have that make you a good funeral celebrant?

I come from a performing background, so I’m completely ‘au fait’ with holding a crowd and taking them on a journey. I’m confident and skilled at going with the flow and if people need a moment, or a tissue, I’m ready to facilitate that too.

Tell us a little about your (funeral) celebrant career.

 I’ve been marrying people since 2014 and have loved every second if it. I wanted to move into funerals for a year or so before I achieved it, (it’s a pretty closed industry) but now that I get regular funeral work, I love that I can help families during such a shitty time and make it just that tiny bit more bearable.

What’s the strangest question anyone has ever asked you about working in the death industry? 

Well I get asked a lot if I’ve worked with anyone that died of Covid. I haven’t, as yet. I also get told often that others couldn’t do what I do as they’d find it too upsetting.

What is your impression of the funeral industry in general?

Beige beige beige, and non-transparent in regard to price, choice and what is legally required as opposed to what has merely been done before. The sooner funerals are taken out of the traditional chapels and placed in more inspiring places, the better! 

At Tomorrow we concentrate on creating ‘dignified cremations & remarkable memorials’ in one simple package, what do you think of this model?

I think there’s definitely a market for it, even if the public are not aware just yet. Tomorrow offers the chance to re-educate and re-think the best ways to bid farewell.

What do you like about the idea of working with Tomorrow?

  • More respect for the person up front who sets the vibe and can make or break the day, ie. the celebrant.
  • More clarity and transparency for families.
  • More exciting venues.
  • An exciting bunch of endless possibilities!

What advice would you give to a family who needs to organise a funeral?

Try not to feel pressured to rush decisions or default to a funeral home that may not suit your needs.

What’s one thing you wish every family knew?

That you have much more power than you realise.

How do you suggest families choose a funeral provider? What’s important?

It’s a really difficult time to be surfing the net looking for the right company when you’re in such grief (which is what’s currently taken advantage of) but if you have the heart space, look for someone that reflects what you want to do. Someone that’s open to hearing and facilitating your ideas and that you gel with. If they don’t get you, they’re not going to get what you’re after either!

What’s the most important thing in planning a funeral for someone you love?

Make sure you’re honest with yourselves in regard to what your special person would have wanted and make it happen!

What’s the most incredible memorial that you have ever created / been a part of?

I performed one for a young woman (24) who had a leopard print coffin and I wore my leopard print suit. It was up at Monselvat, a stunning space, and the room was packed with mourners and revellers alike. The atmosphere was infectious!

The other great highlight was for a woman who was an artist. We held it in an art gallery, everyone had a drink in their hand, and I stood on a large wooden chest to be seen above the heaving crowd.

Such a fabulously warm environment to say goodbye.

What do you get out of being a funeral celebrant?

 I like helping people, especially when the really need it. I love using my creativity to put together something that’s perfect for the family and the person they’re farewelling.

Weddings are a hoot, but funerals feel like I’m really doing something good for people and making the world a better place, in my own tiny way.

Which funeral are you most proud of? Why?

I conducted a really great funeral for a young man who took his own life. As sad as it was, his family were so grateful for the honest celebration that we made and I felt like I touched many of the young folk who were also there, about the need to reach out when life gets too much. It was very emotional and fulfilling.

How do you want your own funeral to play out?

Oh don’t start me!

Well, it won’t be in a funeral home for one thing. Maybe at The Astor Theatre?  Or in a country barn where everyone can stay and party on all night? There will be music – lots and lots of music, you might need to hire a funk DJ… just saying. There will be a feast and champagne, margaritas and espresso martinis and cups of teas for those that don’t partake in the stronger stuff. I’d love some video footage played of my highlighting moments on the stage, stories told and photos shared. Basically, it will be EPIC!

Have you planned your own funeral?

Yes, to a degree. I have filled out an extremely detailed end of life plan and encourage everyone to do the same thing. It’s not just about your funeral, but what you want done with your body, and if you’re in a coma etc. All the little details that no one wants to think about should the time come.

I think it’s extremely important to help your loved ones by making decisions now that they won’t have to.

Do it; after all – it won’t kill you!

Take your time and remember, you are in charge!

Klara McMurray Photographer Anna Taylor Funeral Celebrant

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