Planning the ceremony
Planning a funeral can be a daunting experience, particularly at a time which often feels painful and overwhelming. Whilst there are decisions to be made, this is an opportunity for you to say farewell, to share memories and to focus on the person who has died. With support, this can also be a positive experience, as your choices, and the life of the deceased, are honoured.
A farewell ceremony can be held anywhere that is prepared to host the coffin. It could be a crematorium, a woodland burial ground, your home or a community venue. The actual burial or cremation may or may not take place at the same time as the service of farewell.
The ceremony can have an upbeat tone which loudly celebrates the life of the deceased, or it may be a quieter, more reflective occasion. Working together, we will ensure that the funeral is meaningful and appropriate for you. It may or may not include religious content in the form of hymns or prayers; music, either recorded or live; poetry, readings and reflections; symbolic acts such as the scattering of petals. Most funerals will include a tribute to the person who has died and a time for contemplation. If the coffin is being buried or committed for cremation, then words of committal are usually included.
The planning process
Once you have appointed me as your celebrant, I will contact you to arrange an initial meeting. This meeting is often face to face, but can be via video or phone if you prefer. When we meet, we will talk about the lost family member or friend; about their life story and family history; their personality, interests and accomplishments. Memories and anecdotes will all contribute to the creation of a eulogy that is personal, appropriate and meaningful.
We will also discuss other aspects of the ceremony and you may already have ideas of music, poetry or readings that you would like to include. Don't worry if not, as I have a wide range of resources and suggestions which we can draw on.
Following our meeting: I will draw up a draft order of service based on your choices, including a tribute to the deceased. I appreciate that not everyone has led particularly happy or rewarding lives. However, everyone deserves to be given a respectful farewell, whatever tone you would like the ceremony to take. You will have ample opportunity to review the content and format of the ceremony, and to contact me with any questions or extra information you may have.
Throughout this period: I will liaise closely with your Funeral Director, and together we will ensure that the funeral service is fitting and properly prepared and delivered.
At the funeral: I will meet you at the venue. From the moment we enter the chapel, it is my responsibility to ensure that the ceremony goes smoothly and to time, until the ceremony is completed.
I can deliver all or part of the entire service, and facilitate others in their contributions.
After the ceremony: I would be delighted to send you a presentation script of the ceremony.