Funeral Celebrant Training and Testimonials

Funeral Celebrant Training and Testimonials

We offer these comments from some of the people we have worked with, to help you feel and understand what is possible with information, knowledge and assistance.  This is our inspirational dream at work.


Elyjah McLeod – Celebrant

Zenith has been an inspiration and heartfelt support to our community for many years.
Her steadfast commitment to bring vital practical, secular and spiritual guidance about death and dying is simply fantastic.
I have attended her training and came out the other side empowered to not only contemplate my own journey towards death but she has given me courage to face the the inevitable journey I must face with all my family, friends and beloved animals.
Zenith touches on all you pretty much need to know and holds a workshop space with Care, respect, integrity and honesty.
Walking with death seems a lot more accessible and do-able  for me now.

Anna Parker, Celebrant

Zenith’s rich experience and passion in the field of death and dying makes her a wonderful teacher and guide. Her ability to convey her message with humour, humility and honouring of this transition in life is unsurpassed. I would recommend learning from Zenith at any opportunity provided. What she has to offer will enrich the soul life of a community and bring great meaning into people’s lives, whether it is preparing for death, living with someone dying, or understanding the grief process once someone has passed.

Inara Kent, Celebrant

Back in 2005 I attended the Funeral Celebrancy course with Zenith Virago. It was a transforming 6 weeks in my life.
Not really sure about why I wanted to do the course except for the earnest wish to be available to those in my community as a resource for these times, often the most emotionally distressing times in a person’s life.
Given Zenith’s generous sharing of her knowledge and lengthy experience, I learnt many things about the legalities of the death procedures, the processes in arranging a funeral, the essential information, how to provide clarity and gently provide suggestions to the bereaved families, friends “left behind” and about what is possible to have at a funeral.
What really was amongst the most important things I learnt was about myself ; acknowledging and understanding my own fears about death and how to “be fully present” for whatever is happening. Zenith helped to open this door……… to trust whatever will be, it will be perfect.

Anand Anderson

Dealing with and facing our own death or that of another can often be scary, challenging and literally life changing. Zenith’s workshop gives a detailed and clear explanation of the legal aspects and issues associated with dying and the handling of a funeral.
It gave me clarity and a powerful sense of empowerment of preparing for my own death and those of friends and family. With this came a wonderful sense of freedom by embracing the dying process.

Cathy Zheutlin, Filmaker

If this work calls to you, a training with Zenith is among the very best things that you can do for yourself and all the people you’ll be helping. Zenith is full of light, sensitive, no-nonsense, generous, knowledgeable, courageous, honest, and pioneering. I would trust her with my life or my death.

Those who lost loved ones

Mark Winstone

Zenith was a great help for my son and me at the time of the advanced illness and death of my wife Rene. She bought an understanding and knowledge to the process that made a huge difference, so I could rest in the knowing that we had all the important details covered.
I felt Zenith connected with me, by understanding all of me and my intense feelings, I felt I could speak my truth and she had an insightful acknowledgement and acceptance of exactly how I felt.

She helped with the structure of the funeral and officiated in a very loving and caring manner as the funeral celebrant. I felt very supported and cared about through every step of the way. Zenith’s realism, caring, sensitivity and down to earth manner bought a blessing to the process.  I am in gratitude.

Sjha’ra Sacha Taylor

The journey my family and I travelled through with my mother’s dying process and her death was not only beautifully supported by Zenith, but also profoundly deepened and enriched. Zenith helped us to be both brave and fragile and to honour the sacredness of her passing in a way that was most meaningful to her and us. For which I am forever grateful.

Kerryn Meanwell

For me, facing the impending death of my beautiful husband Warren, after a long battle with cancer, Zenith’s practical , compassionate and trusted guidance empowered me with knowledge and strength and gave me the clarity to remain totally focused on the now. By feeling calmer and knowing what was ahead I was able to give all my love and energy to my soul mate in those last weeks, allowing him a most peaceful and beautiful death – in our home. After he passed , his body remained in our home for 2 days. During this time friends and family came and went and gave their final farewells. It was a very uplifting experience for our community and no longer is death a secret. I feel totally honoured to have given him his last wish – that amazing experience is something I will cherish forever. However, I could not have done any of it without you, Zenith. You are blessed with a beautiful gift. Thank You for being part of our journey.

Ann-marie Little

I am writing to share my experience of Zenith’s work and to explain how her wealth of knowledge helped me and my friends and family in a very highly charged emotional time.
My husband Tim died after a prolonged illness and so we had time to discuss his wishes for after his death. He wanted his body to remain at home until his cremation and his friend to build his coffin. As I had no experience of the laws or ways to keep his body in tact. It was summer on the North coast. I was able to ask Zenith these questions. She was well informed and passed on the information quickly and efficiently.

It was so comforting to have her as an advisor at this stressful time. I’m not sure if I could have fulfilled my husband’s wishes if it was not for her. It was very important for me to be able to do as he had asked and it was made so easy because of Zenith’s composure and knowledge. The community really needs this service and there seems to be a growing awareness around death and dying. People need to be supported and empowered and educated on this subject.

David Hauserman.

Zenith came into my families life when my Mum Jenny, was terminally ill with Cancer. Mum reached out to Zenith when she was facing her last few months and it was time to make the decisions about the options in those last days and beyond.

Zenith guided my Mum into making some brave decisions such as the choice to die at home, with family. Options that were unknown to us, such as the opportunity for us, Mum’s immediate family to prepare the casket and place her body inside it without the need of an undertaker, were also explained to us. We even drove the casket to the crematorium ourselves. We were there for every step, we didn’t outsource anything to unknown people.

But Zenith’s guidance went well beyond the practical, she gave us the calm wisdom that was already within us but we were too fearful to feel. She sat beside my Mum many times in those last few weeks, and Mum felt so graceful and trusting during that time – here she was facing pending death, and she was calm and peaceful.

I thank Zenith for her tenderness and her wisdom, her gentle nature gave our whole family warmth and assurance in the hardest journey that we’d ever faced.

Little did we know that soon after our Mum died, we would have another death, my brother. This time without warning, a car accident overseas. We were shocked and in grief but we knew our path, we knew our options, and we knew how to support ourselves and each other with care and comfort.

Zenith had instilled in us the skills and wisdom we as a modern society have mostly forgotten. At some point we all face a death in our family and will ultimately deal with our own departure, thank goodness there are guides such as Zenith to assist us on our way.


Ona Winter-Irving.

Zenith came to me to provide support two years after the death of my husband. She was incredibly caring and compassionate and her visit was a great help to me. The calm she brings and her ability to listen and quietly share the grief provided great solace. Her gift comes from her compassion and the depth of her experience with those confronting death, be it their own or that of someone beloved.