When a family asks me to act as celebrant for the funeral of their loved one, first and foremost I recognize that each and every time I accept this work I am being tasked with a sacred responsibility.
As an independent celebrant, I am not bound by a rigid doctrine as I am neither a humanist on one hand nor a priest on the other. What this means in practice is that for each family I can write the ceremony exactly according to the beliefs and values of the person who has died.
Sometimes I will write a ceremony whose only Christian element is the Lord’s Prayer. At other times, I might write a full Christian service, or then again I might be asked to create a ceremony that speaks more about Mother Nature and the indomitable human spirit, than about God.
After sitting down with each family in person and talking at length about their loved one and the ceremony that they want, I will go away and hand write each and every ceremony (and eulogy should they wish). Once I have done this, I send a draft to the family which they read over well before the day of the funeral and this ensures that what I have written is pitch, tone and word perfect.
I will sometimes advise families with music and poetry choices and will liaise with other family and friends if they are contributing a poem or a tribute to the service.
During the service itself, I am always on hand to seamlessly and without fuss step in on behalf of anyone who is feeling too emotional on the day to stand up and speak.
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- On behalf of everyone who was at the commemoration and celebration of mum’s life, a very big thank you for handling the ceremonies with such insight, sensitivity and integrity. Everyone commented on how well you pitched the occasion and how thoughtfully and inspiringly you held the events together. We all valued your input and found your support throughout so comforting.We think mum would have been really pleased with the send-off and one can ask for no more than that. It has been a privilege to have you involved in this most sensitive and challenging of times for our family and thank you for helping to make the process bearable and indeed uplifting. We shall forever be grateful.(Jennie Meadows)