Celebrating the Life of...
The death of someone close to us is one of the most painful and traumatic things that we experience in life.
They were a unique individual and their funeral service should reflect that uniqueness.
It should be individual, personal and inspiring. It should be a celebration of their life, their character and their personality and reflect their hopes, their aspirations, their joys, their achievements.
It should also be an opportunity for all who knew and loved them, to say their thank you and goodbye in a meaningful way.
During the service, their life will be reflected in your choice of music, poetry, readings and tributes.
The service has three main purposes - to say thank you and farewell to your loved one, to celebrate and honour their life and character and and to support and help you to begin your healing process. It can be completely non religious or semi religious, to include hymns and prayers.
As a Civil Funeral Celebrant I am able to help you to create a service which really does celebrate the life of a very special person in a respectful and caring way. (see Feedback)
(or phone call/video call)
However we get together, the meeting will generally be in three parts.
COVID-19 restrictions still make it difficult to meet, but if we can meet over Zoom or FaceTime or WhatsApp,
we can have a very personal meeting at a time that's convenient to all.
This should help you to understand the process.
If you are hearing impaired, there is a chat feature on the website (PC - bottom left, Phone - chat icon - bottom left)
1. The Day
There are things that need to be decided - generally, your funeral arranger will have already talked to you about them, but you may not remember.
I will check that I have all of the correct details - name/time/date/venue/charity etc.
We will discuss going into the chapel - there is no right and wrong - in a church, the congregation gather first. In a crematorium, the coffin enters first - the choice is about you feel most comfortable with. Entering first is generally a calmer way to start and allows the congregation to stand, making a respectful and dignified beginning to the service. If you are having a webcast, this also makes the experience much more focussed for viewers.
We will talk about where you will sit in the chapel - I have pictures of most of the chapels that I work in. (see Gallery)
Unless the service is followed by a burial, I will ask you about the curtains. Generally, the question is do you want them left open or closed at the end of the service? Some sites have a voile curtain - less harsh than full curtains.
Open is less painful, closed gives some people some closure. There is no right or wrong way.
Are you having an Order of Service printed? Who by? What deadlines are there?
Do you have a reception venue?
A charity? If so how will people make a donation?
2. The Service
We will talk about the service, its length and how it should flow.
What are your music choices?
Are you having hymns?
Is there anyone else who will be speaking? What will they be saying? How long will they speak? Will they supply their words?
Are there any readings for the beginning and end of the service?
Do you want to include the Lord’s Prayer?
By the end of this part, we should have the structure, content and the order of the service decided.
3. The Person
My opportunity to get to know your loved one through you.
“Thank you so much for your time and support last night. You made what would have been a gruelling task far more bearable and I for one will always remember with a smile on my face!”
“I would just like to say how lovely it was to talk to you today, both Carole & I were dreading it but you made it so easy, so thank you.”
“Steve, thanks very much for the draft. My sister and I have read it and think it is perfect and can’t thank you enough for the effort and professionalism you have put into this for us, and our late father.”