We help families in their time of need by providing personalized funeral and memorials services.

Welcome to celebrant dave

Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

Hello, I'm Dave, and I'm truly sorry for your loss. I have a passion for helping families cope with loss and grief. I know firsthand what it's like to lose a loved one, having lost my precious 5-year-old daughter (Jackie) to an inoperable brain tumor. I became a Funeral Celebrant to help grieving people. My mess has become my ministry.

Saying goodbye is one of the most important days in someone’s life. I will help you say goodbye to your loved one. I am a Certified Funeral Celebrant (Life Tribute Professional), who enjoys serving families by performing personalized eulogies and life tributes in Southern California. I truly believe a meaningful Celebration of Life service can be the first step toward healing.

CERTIFIED CELEBRANT / ordained minister

Dave Page

WELCOME

dr. david e. page

Thank you so much for a wonderful memorial service for my father. Everybody loved the service and your words about my father. Most importantly, my mother was especially pleased, which I think helps her with her grieving and acceptance. I am grateful that you were able to help us through this very important step in the process.
 
~ Patty Miller - Santa Barbara, CA

“Everybody loved the service and your words about my father.”

TESTIMONIALS

I can't begin to tell you how much your service meant to me and my family. You found a way to capture my dad's life and spirit that was genuine and pure. You've received many compliments from those in attendance! Thanks for making us feel so special.

~ Jessica Pinto Nedick - Burbank, CA

“I can't begin to tell you how much your service meant ...”

TESTIMONIALS

Words cannot express the feeling in our hearts. You helped us put together a very difficult day and we are deeply grateful for your support and guiding hand. Thank you for all your kind words and for sharing in the celebration of my dad's life. 

~ Sandy Schaub - Calabasas, CA

“Words cannot express the feeling in our hearts.”

Testimonials

Thank you for making a beautiful and memorable service and celebration for my dad. Thank you for listening to our stories of my father, sharing your life, and indeed, helping us cope and start the healing process. Thank you for making us all feel so comfortable. My family is so happy with the help you gave us.

~ Linda Harvey - Simi Valley, CA

“Thank you for listening to our stories of my father.”

TESTIMONIALS

We want to thank you for a lovely ceremony. We felt you knew my dad from the way you spoke about him. It was more than we asked for, and better than we ever expected. On behalf of my family I'd like to say it was a pleasure meeting you and spending time with you.

~ Cher Woywod - San Dimas, CA

“We want to thank you for a lovely ceremony.”

TESTIMONIALS

Dave truly puts his heart and soul into helping families. He's faced the greatest loss of a child in his own life and answered that loss by helping other people who are grieving. I entrust my families to Dave, because I know they will be cared for and well-served. As I've spoken with families that Dave has served, he is a man who is making a difference in lives every day!

~ Pam Vetter, Celebrant - West Hills, CA

“Dave truly puts his heart and soul into helping families.”

TESTIMONIALS

I recommend Dave to you. He's a person who has been through grief and sorrow. He knows the journey and will be a companion with you on yours. He is genuine, deep, personable and a man of integrity. At the time of planning a funeral you need someone who will listen to you and combine your memories and needs creatively into a powerful and meaningful service. That is what Dave does.

~ Dr. Galen Goben, Grief Support Director - Forest Lawn

“I recommend Dave to you. He knows the journey of grief.”

TESTIMONIALS

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Jackie's Story

Los Angeles Funeral Celebrant Dave Page has been a pastor for more than 20 years. But, ten years ago his life changed forever with the death of his five-year-old daughter. "Our youngest daughter, Jackie, was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor. It was so fast growing that the neurologist said it probably wasn't even in her head three months earlier. He said he couldn't do a biopsy on the tumor because of its location in the brain stem and that Jackie would die within the next three months," Page said. "She died peacefully in our home in our arms six weeks later." Page admits that words cannot express the pain and sorrow of losing Jackie as he and his wife faced anger, doubt, depression, sadness and grief.

ARTICLE FROM THE AMERICAN CHRONICLE
"She was buried in her red ruby slippers"
by Pam Vetter

Jackie Page

In a broad sense, the term “celebrant” simply refers to one who celebrates anything. An InSight Certified Celebrant is a person who has been trained and certified through InSight to meet the needs of families during their time of loss and to celebrate the life of the deceased. A Celebrant will meet with the family to offer guidance and consulting while planning a personalized and meaningful funeral to honor the loved one, as opposed to taking a “cookie cutter” approach to funerals. A Celebrant will have a Family Meeting Time for sharing of stories and memories. A Celebrant has a wide library of resources for readings, music and other special ceremonies to help the family design a service that honors the life.

Celebrants will work directly with the funeral director on the arrangements and elements of the service and are dedicated to the notion of providing a tribute that reflects the lifestyle and beliefs of the individual. Your service can have any elements, music and readings that are right for you and for your family.

What is a Celebrant?

Celebrants

I can't begin to tell you how much your service meant to me and my family. You found a way to capture my dad's life and spirit that was genuine and pure. You've received many compliments from those in attendance! Thanks for making us feel so special.
~ Jessica Pinto Nedick - Burbank, CA

“I can't begin to tell you how much your service meant ...”

TESTIMONIALS

Thank you so much for a wonderful memorial service for my father. Everybody loved the service and your words about my father. Most importantly, my mother was especially pleased which I think helps her with her grieving and acceptance. I am grateful that you were able to help us through this very important step in the process.
 ~ Patty Miller - Santa Barbara, CA

“Everybody loved the service and your words about my father.”

TESTIMONIALS

Thank you for making a beautiful and memorable service and celebration for my dad. Thank you for listening to our stories of my father, sharing your life, and indeed, helping us cope and start the healing process. Thank you for making us all feel so comfortable. My family is so happy with the help you gave us.
~ Linda Harvey - Simi Valley, CA

“Thank you for listening to our stories of my father.”

TESTIMONIALS

We want to thank you for a lovely ceremony. We felt that you knew my dad from the way you spoke at the service. It was more than we asked for and better than we ever expected. On behalf of my family I'd like to say it was a pleasure meeting you and spending time with you.
~ Cher Woywod - San Dimas, CA

“We want to thank you for a lovely ceremony.”

TESTIMONIALS

Dave truly puts his heart and soul into helping families. He's faced the greatest loss of a child in his own life and answered that loss by helping other people who are grieving. I entrust my families to Dave, because I know they will be cared for and well-served. As I've spoken with families that Dave has served, he is a man who is making a difference in lives every day!
~ Pam Vetter, Celebrant - West Hills, CA

“Dave truly puts his heart and soul into helping families.”

TESTIMONIALS

I recommend Dave to you. He is a person who has been through grief and sorrow. He knows the journey and has the ability to be a companion with you on yours. He is genuine, deep, personable and a man of integrity. At the time of planning a funeral you need someone who will listen to you and combine your memories and needs creatively into a powerful and meaningful service. That is what Dave does.
~ Dr. Galen Goben, Grief Support Director - Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA

“I recommend Dave to you. He knows the journey of grief.”

TESTIMONIALS

what we do: 5 WAYS we help celebrate your loved one

Dave takes the time to listen to your families' stories with a focus on how you want to say goodbye to your loved one. At a time when words are difficult for your family, Dave becomes your voice.

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01. We LISTEN to your stories

02. We MEET with your family

Prior to the funeral, a private family meeting time is arranged between the loved ones of the deceased and Dave to discuss the life stories, experiences, and character of the deceased with those who knew and loved them best.

5 WAYS WE HELP CELEBRATE YOUR LOVED ONE

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03. We CREATE a unique service 

Dave will research, write, and design a eulogy that reflects your loved ones personal beliefs as well as respecting the family’s requests. Also included: unique poetry, readings, Psalms (if appropriate), slideshow, and music that will further personalize the memorial.

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5 WAYS WE HELP CELEBRATE YOUR LOVED ONE

04. We LEAD the service  

Dave will officiate the service, deliver the eulogy, encourage family participation, and create a personalized remembrance service for your loved one and the families involved. Services can be held at funeral homes, private residences, outdoor venues and gravesides.

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5 WAYS WE HELP CELEBRATE YOUR LOVED ONE

05. We CARE for the family 

Dave will help your family begin the grieving process in a safe environment. He will care for your family by empathetically listening to your stories and relating to your pain. Dave will provide a meaningful Celebration of Life service, which is the first step toward healing after a loss.

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5 WAYS WE HELP CELEBRATE YOUR LOVED ONE

A celebration of life
@Lake mission viejo 

Every life is special
Every life is significant
Every life should BE CELEBRATED  
Every life should be remembereD


SUBMIT FORM

I'd love to hear from you! Please fill out the form, or call, text, or email me directly. I'll respond within 24 hours, Monday through Friday.

Phone: (949) 449-5426
PastorDavePage@gmail.com

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Funeral Celebrant Dave Page: 'She was buried in her red ruby slippers'

As difficult as that time was, Page remembered, "Her funeral was amazing. Our family, friends, and staff at the church I pastored all worked together to create a personalized funeral service that celebrated and honored Jackie's short life. She was only 5 years, 2 months and 24 days old when she died. I'd never been to a personalized funeral service, but having planned many creative worship services and weddings before, my staff really knew what they were doing. Some of the women made a rainbow balloon arch over the casket, which was on the stage.

Jackie's favorite movie was the 'Wizard of Oz' so it was a beautiful contrast with the rainbow over her white little casket. The service began with a video tribute set and a live solo of 'I Believe I Can Fly.' This was followed by some contemporary worship songs, the reading the clergy record, a prayer by an associate, and a song by contemporary Christian recording artist Bryan Duncan who flew up from Southern California to sing at the funeral. Next we had some hope-filled Scripture reading, a eulogy by me, and a recording of Jackie and one of her Sunday School teachers singing together."

During an open forum, where anywhere was welcome to speak into the microphone, something special happened. "An 8-year-old friend shared how much Jackie meant to her and how much she would miss her. It was touching," Page said. "We had a couple more songs and a closing prayer by Kay Warren, wife of Pastor Rick Warren. Up front they had a large photo of Jackie that was 3' x 4'. Jackie looked a lot like Shirley Temple, but even more beautiful. What many didn't realize is that Jackie had always wanted red ruby slippers like Dorothy on the 'Wizard of Oz.' So, we made sure she was buried in her ruby red slippers. She had a beautiful dress my wife picked out along with her ruby red slippers at the viewing. She looked like she was sleeping just like a cherub.

At the memorial service it was a closed casket. She was buried in the New Auburn Cemetery in Auburn, California." Page and his family felt comforted as more than 1,000 people turned out for Jackie's funeral service. "The love and support were overwhelming. I will never forget that day as long as I live. They ended up having a impromptu reception line for our family after the service was over and people came up to us and hugged us or kissed us for a long time. People were unbelievably kind to us and compassionate.

Until I lost my daughter, I never knew how important it was to have a personalized funeral that reflects your loved one's life," Page explained. "My daughter was so full of life and joy. She was the life of the party type of girl. She ran everywhere she went. I wanted everybody to know what a special little girl she really was and that her life was not in vain it was significant. Although her death was a tragedy, there was a purpose in it. The planning of her funeral service was a real group effort. I did not know if I could do the eulogy for my own daughter but God gave me strength. The service turned out just beautiful. It really was the beginning of our healing. We were able to laugh and cry and feel the pain and feel the joy at her service with family and friends," Page said.

"I now view funerals as one of the most significant events in a person's lifetime." Even though Jackie was only five, Page says she lived a storybook life. While it's hard for Page to put into words how special she was, their little girl brought joy to the family every day. "You never really recover from a loss like that. Life is never the same again. It's different, but life can be really good again. I don't understand why my daughter had to die. I know there is a purpose in it somewhere. I also know that God is a mystery and I am learning to celebrate the mystery. The Old Testament writer Job after losing his children said, 'The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' (Job 1:21). Job's faith led him to trust that God was in control even when it didn't make sense."

Many healing things happened after Jackie's death. "The funeral service was healing. Talking with, laughing with and crying with family and friends. Joining a grief support recovery group. Going to Hawaii with my wife for a week a few weeks after her death also helped. Talking with and getting to know Dr. Jerry Sittser, author of the book, 'A Grace Disguised.' Grief is universal. It is probably the biggest felt need that everybody deals with at some point in their life regardless of whether they are religious or not." In 2007, Page took Celebrant training through the In-Sight Institute joining 4,400 Certified Funeral Celebrants in the United States and Canada. Celebrants help grieving families plan a personal funeral service that reflects a loved one's personality and life story.

"Celebrant training taught me to listen to the family. One of the most important parts of the funeral is what happens a few days before the funeral, the Family Time, where the Celebrant sits down and listens to the family tell about the deceased. This forms the nucleus of the personalized service. A bonding occurs, and healing begins. I also learned how significant every life is. Everybody has a story and each story needs to be told. I think pastors could learn a lot about how to create an environment for healing through doing a funeral service. They would learn to personalize it to reflect the deceased's life without bringing their own bias into it," Page offered. "I have a Doctor of Ministry degree from a top seminary and I can assure you that they don't teach you this stuff in seminary. Many people attend funerals that don't attend any church. The funeral service is a time for the minister to connect not only with the family of the deceased but also with those from the community as well. The funeral service can be the first point of contact for unchurched people and a bridge to helping reach them." While Page says there is some training offered in seminary on funerals, it's old school. "It's about preaching a message and singing special hymns. Some even encourage the use of an altar call at a funeral. I personally think that is not being sensitive and can even be manipulative. People are hurting, we need to be part of the healing not add to the pain. I believe a funeral is about bringing comfort not conversion," Page explained. "Seminaries don't train people in how to conduct personalized funerals. I wish they did. I hope to be part of a movement that brings training for personalized funeral services to seminaries. This training would include how to conduct personalized funeral services for people from all faiths and cultures, and for people who have no faith."

Since becoming a Celebrant, Page has been busy helping families. He has conducted many meaningful services and he remembers each farewell. "One happened just a few months after I became certified as a Celebrant. I did a funeral for an eight-year-old boy who had died. His name was Adam. He was a beautiful child and his parents were in shock as you can imagine. I met with the parents and other family members and we planned out a unique and meaningful service for Adam complete with professional musicians from the L.A. Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as Adam's mom was a top violinist. The parents appreciated that I could relate somewhat to what they were going through since we also had lost a child. We stayed in touch after the service and I recommend Sittser's book to the family," Page said.

"Another service involved a man named Richard, who worked for the movie industry and died while hang gliding at 51-years-old. He designed sets for a living and helped design sets for the 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' The family time was special as we sat outside the family home in a circle on a warm summer evening, eating and talking about the Richard. People laughed and cried and we continued on for two hours. Nobody noticed, as time just seemed to fly by. At the memorial service, they didn't open the doors to the church until 5:07 pm (like the theater) and as people entered, there was smoke coming up from the ground down the aisles due to some dry ice. The song, 'Yo-ho Yo-ho A Pirates Life for Me' was playing as people walked in. Actors acted, singers sang, we viewed a video tribute and I took people down a journey of Richard's life."

Page is moved by the stories he hears and the families he meets as a Celebrant. "People have been so appreciative. They say things like, 'That is exactly how he/she would have wanted it.' 'That was perfect!' 'Thank you for designing a service just for us.' My role is to come along side and bring comfort and love but not to force any agenda on them. I am there to serve them and help them plan a personal service, which honors their loved one. My guidelines are that I will not do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. Other than that I'm pretty wide open," Page noted.

Clear on his vision, Page is hopeful for the future of funeral service. "Personalization. Care. Compassion. It's my hope that every person can die with dignity and have a fantastic personalized funeral that reflects their unique life." Page added, "Every time I do a funeral I think of Jackie. Her legacy gives me strength and hope. She inspires me and motivates me inside and reminds me of the importance of honoring our loved ones who die." Beyond his work as a Celebrant, Page is currently a pastor at Saddleback Church. Dave is married to Carrie Page and has two other children besides Jackie and the Page family resides in Orange County, CA. 

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Celebrant Information

WHAT IS A CERTIFIED CELEBRANT?
A Certified Funeral Celebrant (Life Tribute Professional) is a person that seeks to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. They are trained to assist families plan personalized funeral and memorial services that celebrate the life of their departed loved one. Celebrants reflect on the person being honored, designing a service that may or may not be spiritual in nature, but will always be deeply moving, and a meaningful tribute.

WHAT DOES A CELEBRANT OFFER?
A Celebrant offers an alternative to a service provided by a clergy member for families who have no church or ministerial affiliation or who don't wish to have a traditional religious funeral service. However, some Celebrant services are highly spiritual in nature, it all depends on the wishes of the family. Celebrant Dave is also an ordained pastor and has a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree.

A Celebrant has been specifically trained to design a service that is completely personal, incorporating unique stories, songs, and experiences that defined the loved one. A Celebrant will schedule a special Family Time meeting when the family can share memories, anecdotes and defining moments in the loved ones life. The essence of the service will be based upon the remembrances of the family, and family and friends will be encouraged to participate. A Celebrant has developed a library of resources available for readings, music, ceremonies, and personal touches. He will consult with the family to help them choose the different parts of the service that reflect their loved one. A Celebrant is bound by a Code of Ethics for complete confidentiality in all dealings with the family.

WHAT DOES IT COST?
A Celebrants's fee varies widely across the country depending on type of service, location, travel and other expenses. A Celebrant will spend approximately ten hours or more in preparation for a memorial service. Please contact Dave for a specific price for your memorial service.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE CELEBRANT MOVEMENT?
A recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that 56 million Americans have no religious affiliation, making “nones” the second largest religious group after evangelicals. And their numbers are growing. Americans who choose “none” as their religious affiliation have few rituals to guide them when a death occurs. Many don’t know what to do for a funeral or memorial service.

In addition to the “nones,” there are those who haven’t attended religious services in years and feel uncomfortable around members of the clergy. But when Mom or Dad dies, the kids may feel the need to have a religious official do a traditional funeral service. Unfortunately, a traditional religious service may not help the non-religious effectively process their grief. That’s where celebrants come in.

The civil celebrant movement started in Australia in 1973. The Anglican and Roman Catholic Church liturgy wasn’t working for the general population, especially those who were divorced. The government started licensing celebrants — non-clerics who could perform weddings and funerals outside of a religious ceremony.

The movement recognized that nonbelievers and secular people have a place of equal respect in society. Celebrants provide completely personalized memorial services that reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased. As opposed to taking a “cookie cutter” approach to funerals that have a predictable sameness, celebrants are trained to construct a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye” for all kinds of situations

Doug Manning, a former Baptist minister, brought the celebrant concept to the United States in 1999. He founded the In-Sight Institute to train and certify funeral celebrants. Celebrant Dave was trained by Doug Manning at the InSight Institute.

Celebrants