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Lesson 3: Personal & Legal Aspects to Consider

Personal & Family

Something very important to consider is whether or not your family, or the person who will be handling your final arrangements, is Pagan or willing to give you a Pagan Passing Over ceremony. 


If they are, then no problem. However, if they are not, then you have a big problem. For this reason, specifically, is why you must have all your wishes written out, documented, and placed where others will find them and know what it is you want.


Another scenario is when a Pagan friend has passed. You are not legally able to make any decisions. Hopefully, that person’s family will know, and respect, their beliefs. Especially regarding the funerary ceremony. But let’s be honest here. If they’re not Pagan, and most likely Christian, then it is highly unlikely that any sort of Pagan ceremony will be permitted.


Your only option is to conduct one of your own. If your friend belonged to a coven or other Pagan group, then perhaps they could put together and conduct a Passing Over Ritual at a later time or even a little earlier, if at all possible.


There are ways around it, you just have to be creative and think outside the box!



Will the ceremony be held inside a building, if so who will acquire it? Or will it be outside in someone’s backyard? Or maybe a park? 


If it's held in a public place, consider the “looky-loo’s” who will be curious and may stop to take a peak and a listen.


Who’s Coming?

Will you have a large, “anybody & everybody you ever knew” kind of blow-out farewell? Or a private family affair? Granted this may end up being something that those who are doing the actual planning of the event decide upon, but if your wish is one and they want the other, then have it stated some place (in writing) that you would prefer that your wishes be upheld first, and whatever they choose to do afterward, is up to them.




As with anything major in life, there are legal aspects to consider for those who have passed. Newspaper notifications in the Obituaries. Burial or cremation requirements. Who’s responsible, or chooses to be responsible, for the costs. And of course, who needs the Death Certificate copies, such as banks, credit card companies, mortgage/lease companies, etc.


Pagan Officiate’s Pledge

The following pledge should be kept by both the person for whom it is intended and the officiate who has agreed to oversee the ceremony and other necessary needs. A copy of this pledge and other information, should also be given to family members so they know what your final wishes include. 


If you think there will be conflict, then place the pledge and other pertinent information in a sealed envelope that is not to be opened until the time of your passing. By notarizing the pledge (and any other papers) this becomes a legal document and cannot be disputed. The family will have to abide by your requests, provided they are viable and legal requests.


Modify the pledge for your own use as appropriate.



Pagan Officiate’s Pledge


I _______ (name) pledge to assist you, _________ (name) in the final rite of passage, by:


being with you in your final days, to ease your journey into the beyond

ensuring you get a Pagan funeral

ensuring you get a woodland burial/cremation/other funeral of choice

preparing your body for burial

(delete/add as appropriate)


Date:___________________ Signature:_________________________




Date:___________________ Notary:___________________________

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