Funerals and memorials
Everyone’s reaction to losing a loved one is personal as we are all different.
Funerals are an important way of coming to terms with a death. But for those without religious or spiritual beliefs, a funeral can sometimes lack meaning, respect or ritual. Following my own experiences of loss and grief, I decided to become a funeral celebrant to help people have a meaningful ceremony for their loved ones.
Beautiful, poignant, joyful, simple - whatever your interpretation, I create non-religious end-of-life ceremonies, funerals and memorials that are supportive and personal.
the Family visit
The process of creating a funeral starts with a family visit. If you have plans, I’ll help you bring them to fruition. If you don’t, and many people don’t, together we'll collaborate to create something personal and meaningful.
We start with a blank page. There is no fixed structure or order of ceremony and I make no assumptions.
First we talk, usually over cup of tea, at your home or online. We talk about the person who's died. We talk about the family and friends. We talk about what might be appropriate and we talk about what might be possible. As I begin to get a feel for the person, I get an idea of what sort of ceremony we might create. We build it together to reflect their life - the ups and downs and your memories of them.
I draft a ceremony and the family check and amend it.
On the day of the funeral I arrive at the crematorium or burial ground before everyone to check everything is in order, minimizing the pressure on you. I check the venue is presented appropriately, the funeral assistant is briefed and the correct music is arranged.
I meet the family, give the readers their scripts (printed large and on card for easy reading) and I’m there to keep things calm and deal with any last minute issues. When the funeral director arrives I introduce them to the family (if they haven’t previously met) and check that all instructions are clear. I conduct the ceremony, supporting those who speak, if necessary.
What if I don't know what I want?
I can suggest a structure based on my experience. I can also suggest music, readings and poetry if necessary, but usually people tend to have an instinct for what is right.
Often, soon after the visit, the family make decisions on who will read, what will be said and what music might suit.
How do you work with the funeral director?
I liaise with the funeral director and any other interested parties on your behalf, to make it easier for you.
I send the structure and running order to the funeral director so they can print the order of service in plenty of time.
Can I have something religious in the ceremony?
Although, as a humanist celebrant, I don't lead acts of worship, I will include a hymn, religious reading or a prayer if you feel these are significant. Often, a family member or friend leads this part.
I charge £275 (which, is usually paid through the Funeral Director as part of the funeral costs).
This includes a presentation copy of the ceremony.
I do not charge for a child's funeral ceremony.
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