Some of us unordained ones will happily lead a prayer and sing a hymn, but most of us without one of these:
will stop short of a full-blown blessing or prayer in the deity's name, i.e. "In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I..."etc. That's big ju-ju. That's for the Cloth. Isn't it?
And yet some of us, without getting too spooky, do report a feeling of authority, a special responsibility and resonance, which comes from speaking about the Big Things of Life and Death, whether or not we are in an area of discourse referring to religious belief (such as a hymn or a prayer).
We have, perhaps, at some moments and if we are any good, a degree of hieratic function - that stops short, of course, of the power a priest has amongst those who believe in her faith.
But if we can't summon up at least a degree of authority - which comes only from doing the job well - then are we any good?
And how are we to work any ju-ju at all amongst people who have no religious belief, even if they will open their mouths just a little bit to sort of sing TLMS, if we can't find a semi- (?pseudo?) hieratic function?
This is nothing to do, BTW, with taking control away from the family and Doing Your Big-Shot Own Thing. (The sort of role assumption, happily less common than it was, that caused a lot of people to choose an Unordained Celebrant rather than a priest.)
Let me sum up: I think a funeral needs to be a transformative ceremony, even if it isn't, or is only in a small way, a religious ritual. To make it such, something special, apart, powerful, needs to happen, when possible. This may or may not involve words from a religious tradition, or indeed a new faith such as Paganism.
How far into religious form and usage should an unordained celebrant go?
1) No ju-ju
2) Little ju-ju
3) Big ju-ju, provided the celebrant is authentic in her role at that moment
And: can any of us create juju without any religious form and usage?
Or is it futile to try - is Ju-ju Tabu, unless you are
Dammit, I can't work my pictorial way round all the world's faith systems, I'm sure you get my point, so this is the last one: