Read the testimonials below to see the value of the information within the pages of When It’s Time. You’ll also learn what the officiant’s role is and how her or she connects with survivors, digs for information, and invests time into message preparation.
We lost our mother four years ago
and our experience with the funeral director was one that was very positive and actually lead my family back to him when my father passed this last December. The only disappointment at our mother’s service was the Pastor we chose to officiate. The service was completely impersonal and as difficult as this loss was, it almost made it even more uncomfortable for my family to endure.
When my sister and I lost our father, we returned to our funeral director and requested a pastor who could personalize the service, allowing for a better experience. He advised us we would need to complete a lengthy questionnaire, but it would be well-worth our time and efforts. He was absolutely right! Our father was a man of great character and the 6-page questionnaire required detailed information. We were happy to complete the form with the expectation our Pastor, a complete stranger to our father, may be able to capture his personality and bring it forth during the services. Pastor Rick exceeded our expectations beyond comprehension. He was extremely prompt in his communication and once he received our responses, he quickly arranged to make a personal visit to our home. Pastor Rick is a very approachable and warm man that made a very difficult situation easier for us to handle. It was as if we’d known him for years and was a close family friend. He was so kind and placed us at ease. In fact, Pastor Rick repeated how much he would have liked to have met our father and how he would have enjoyed being a part of his life. He even copied one of our father’s recipes that was mentioned in the questionnaire and stated how much he looked forward to cooking one of our favorite delicacies. Pastor Rick allowed us to reminisce about our father for three hours, never rushing us and always remaining so present in our company. During such a difficult time, there were tears, but he brought us laughter as well from his dynamic personality.
Pastor Rick incorporated all of our conversation in a beautifully written and illuminated service. I believe he put everyone in attendance at ease and truly kept everyone engaged throughout the entire service. This was confirmed following the services as all of our friends and family abundantly complimented his role in our father’s celebration of life. He was able to balance the tears with laughter and that is a true craft. Pastor Rick even had lunch with us following the services.
Pastor Rick did not end our relationship that day. Instead, he kept in touch with us and sent grievance manuals to help us cope with this tremendous loss in our life’s. Pastor Rick is a great man and we consider him a friend as he spent countless hours reviving our father’s legacy.
Pastor Rick Craig,
Thank you so much for making my father’s service a perfect day! We really appreciate you accepting to do his service. Throughout this whole process, it’s people like yourself that make tough times like this easier. You are very appreciated!
Bob and Family.
Pastor Rick Craig officiated
at my father’s service and I was very pleased with his kindness and his warm, personal touch. He is skilled, easy to work with and has a winning smile which is comforting at these times of loss. His calm, relaxed demeanor made everyone feel at ease.
Each family deals with its loss in its own unique way. Pastor Craig’s skill and flexibility in crafting a personalized service to reflect my Dad’s wishes and the needs and wishes of the family was greatly appreciated.
Pastor Craig gave us a list of useful End of Life “things to do” which was very helpful.
I was very pleased with the way Pastor Rick Craig officiated at my Dad’s memorial service and I can recommend him highly.
Dr. Dan B.
“My dad was not a religious man, but we did want to have a service that included a spiritual aspect. Since we did not have a family pastor, the funeral home recommended pastor Rick.
Through his careful questioning process my brother and I were able to give him a clear picture of what my dad would probably like, plus what we thought should be included in the service.
The result of this process, was a very powerful and moving service, particularly given that Rick had never met my dad nor anyone in our family. His high level of emotional intelligence and ability to elicit what’s really wanted by the family helped him craft a service that was very personal and appropriate. Lastly, his delivery of the service felt very unscripted and personal. He was able to maintain eye contact with the audience and not just read from a piece of paper. He’s clearly committed to his work and did a fabulous job.
I would highly recommend using him if you have the need.”
Pastor Rick Craig was a godsend
to our family when my father died. Religion was never a large part of our lives so when my dad died, we knew we should have some kind of service that was religious but also celebrated family. So, when the funeral director suggested Pastor Rick to us, we soon found out this was the perfect fit for our family.
Pastor Rick first sent us a detailed questionnaire to help jog our memories and followed it up with a visit where we were able to convey to Pastor Rick the essence of our lives with my dad. Pastor Rick was genuinely interested in getting to know our family both how it was growing up with my dad as well as how we are coping as survivors. We spent an afternoon getting to know each other and reminiscing about family both his and ours.
When Pastor Rick performed the service for my dad it felt as though he had known our family for years and knew all the stories. It was a perfect ceremony
and when my mom unfortunately died a year later, we knew right where to go to help us put her to rest…back to Pastor Rick.
I laid my husband, Joe, to rest at
the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on October 5Th. I contacted Pastor Rick and asked him to officiate the service. Pastor Rick led the service with prayers, a eulogy, and to our amazement, a message detailing Joes life and military service, I realized after the service the importance of the 38-Question Questionnaire© and our phone conversations were for him to be able to speak of my husband’s life with such detail and accuracy.
Thank you, Pastor Rick. You are a very special person.
June and Family
Greetings Pastor Craig,
Thank you for the presentation for the Alliance on Aging event here at Aegis of Napa. You were very informative and articulate in a somber and morose subject often ignored. You made it palatable and enjoyable.
You have a lot of knowledge and I applaud you. Thank you for sharing your experiences and talking about your family as well in the process. We look forward to inviting you to a future event here at Aegis of Napa.
Aegis Living Napa
Pastor Rick, our officiant for our
Father’s service, we enjoyed working with him during such a difficult time; he was compassionate and very helpful. He really took the time in understanding who are father was and his end of life wishes.
Following a 38-Question Questionnaire©, which helped in many ways, Pastor Rick came and met with us to further understand our wishes, our expectations and again, understanding who our Father really was as an individual.
Pastor Rick was kind, had lots of compassion and knowledge of our Father, which reflected in a very personal experience and a lovely service for our family, friends, and my sister and me. He focused and cared on making our Fathers service one he would have liked.
It’s important to know one’s “end-of-life wishes.” Our Father did not want a whole lot of “blah, blah, blah.” He simply wanted to Thank everyone for coming. Pastor Rick was able to honor his wish. Everyone in attendance felt a profound connection!
We miss you every day, Papa ~
Thank you, Pastor Rick,
In the span of five months,
our family twice partnered with Pastor Rick Craig in the planning and organization of memorial services for both my mother, and my husband’s mother.
I use the word “partnered” because Pastor Craig spent considerable time with each of our families, getting to know us, and discerning our needs and wishes in regard to providing meaningful services for our mothers.
Through a questionnaire and in-depth interviews with family members, Pastor Craig drew out of us recollections and details of our mother’s lives that allowed him to fully understand these remarkable women. He searched for the “nuggets” as he called them, those unique bits and fragments of their experiences that made them who they were.
He deftly navigated the differences in expectations between family members to craft services that were personal and meaningful, and that exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Pastor Craig’s guidance, during times of unimaginable loss, enabled our families to honor lives well lived, provided solace and comfort, and allowed us to give our mothers one last heartfelt gift.
“I was so pleased to have selected Pastor Rick
to officiate my father’s burial and memorial services. I was concerned that, not having known our father, he might not be able to personalize the service to the extent I wanted. However, Rick sent me a detailed questionnaire in an effort to learn more about my father and then discussed it with me extensively.
In addition, he communicated with me regarding what he intended to say and which bible verses he recommended. Ultimately, he allowed me to dictate the tone of the services, the order, and the message.
A burial or memorial service is a final way to honor a loved one, and you only get one chance to make it right. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pastor Rick.”
Our experience with Pastor Rick has been
phenomenal and we are grateful to have had him guide us through the various life events our family has faced. Rick’s presence during every circumstance, whether good or bad, from weddings to funerals, exceeded all our expectations.
When we approached him to officiate a funeral for a family member, he took the time to personally get to know the individuals in the family and their stories of the deceased. He then took those stories and memories forward and shared them in a moving way to demonstrate the life, love, and legacy that the deceased had left behind which brought great comfort to the family. His personable nature during this process made everyone comfortable, and he went above and beyond with things such as coming to meals after the funeral with the family and helping coordinate with the funeral home prior to the service. His attention to personal detail, kindness and compassion was noticed by us all and made a difficult day easier.
He had the same love and professionalism during the wedding he officiated. He took time for counseling the couple prior to marriage and to get to know them. He makes each interaction with a family member personal. With a spirit filled service our family could not think of anyone else to walk with us through these important life events and blessings.
Choosing Pastor Rick for my mother’s service was the best choice ever!
Part of Pastor Rick’s process is to have you fill out a questionnaire, this is to get a better sense of who your loved one was. At first, I thought I didn’t know if I could do it, but, in the end, it was very therapeutic. I got my laptop, found a quiet place with a great view of the sunset, and went through the questions one by one. After a little time and some tears, it was complete. Once I completed the questionnaire, Pastor Rick had a few additional questions to clarify answers and to help finalize his thoughts.
The service was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Pastor Rick was able to take all of my answers and write the most comforting eulogy that was heartwarming and so spot on who my mother was and what she stood for. My family couldn’t say enough about the words that Pastor Rick spoke and how soothing his delivery was.
Thank you for making a really hard time a little easier with such a great service to honor our mother.
Working with Pastor Rick
to plan my sister’s memorial service made this difficult time easier to walk through. The time spent through phone calls and emails “getting to know” her and plan her service was beyond my expectations.
He created a service that was personal to my sister. Although Rick had never met her several family members thought that he had. They commented on how beautiful and personal the service was and they loved how they felt included by Rick engaging them in the service.
He integrated scripture in his message that shared the gospel. We were all greatly comforted by the message that was given. I am so grateful for his help and service to our family.
In February 2020 we had the pleasure
of meeting you while officiating at the memorial and internment of my sister, and her husband.
Our many thanks for your wonderful memorial to my sister and brother-in-law, we appreciated all of it, it was so endearing.
I also appreciate the complete copy of your memorable service that you sent me. I will pass it on to family, I know they will love to have a copy.
Before I started writing this letter, I reread your memorable, uplifting and special service remarks with tears in my eyes, and I know my sister now better than ever before and never to be forgotten, she was so special to us all.
With much appreciation in all that you do, a facilitator and special Pastor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
With blessings to you and your family.