What is a funeral celebrant?
A civil funeral celebrant takes the place of the minister or priest at the funeral. They are dedicated to composing and conducting a ceremony focused on the life of the deceased. A good civil funeral celebrate will create a bespoke ceremony for the individual that truly reflects the life of the deceased. They will work closely with the family to ensure that the ceremony is how they envisaged it to be and support them as they journey through the process of preparing for a funeral during a time of grief.
What is included in your fee?
My fee includes the following:
How do we hire your services?
For most funerals I can be contacted through your Funeral Director. If you let your Funeral Director know that you would like me to be your celebrant then they can contact me and make the relevant arrangements. They will also organise my payment.
Alternatively, if you are arranging the funeral yourself, then I can make the arrangements directly with you.
Where do we meet to discuss the funeral arrangements?
This is completely up to you. Once I have been contacted to officiate at the funeral, I will contact you to arrange an initial meeting. This meeting can take place at your home or other convenient address of your choosing. If this is not suitable for you we can arrange to meet at the Funeral Director's Office. If neither of these options are possible for you we can arrange to converse either by phone or via Skype.
What happens during the initial meeting?
The initial meeting allows me to get a clear picture of the deceased and the type of ceremony you would like. During our conversation I will collect details about the deceased's family, friends, school, work, hobbies, likes and dislikes and anything else that you would like to include about their life. We will also discuss any particular readings, music or prayers you would like included.
What happens after the initial meeting?
After meeting you I will write a first draft of the ceremony. I will then either email you a copy or deliver a copy to a convenient address. This will give you the opportunity to read through and make any changes to what has been written. Simple changes can be made over phone or email or, if you would prefer, we can arrange to meet again. You can make as many changes as you see necessary up until the day of the funeral. Nothing will be said at the funeral that has not first been agreed by you.
I will also liase with your Funeral Director, particularly if you have any special requirements for the ceremony e.g. Skype link, collage of pictures etc.
Are there any restraints on what can be included in the ceremony?
The main restraint is time, particularly if the ceremony is taking place in a crematorium chapel. I will discuss with you the best way to make use of the time we have.
Do you allow hymns and/or prayers at the ceremonies you conduct?
Yes. You can decide how much or how little religious content you wish to have at the ceremony. This can range from nothing at all to hymns, prayers and readings from Scripture. I can discuss with you suitable religious content if you wish.
Can other people be invited to take part in the ceremony?
Absolutely. It can really add to the ceremony if people close to the deceased take part. This could be by reading a poem/piece of writing, making a tribute or performing a piece of music. I will work with anyone who is to take part in the ceremony to make sure best use of the time we have is made.
If you would like someone else to deliver the tribute I ask that I have a copy of the tribute at least 24 hours before the ceremony to ensure that we keep within the time allowed to us.
Can you help me prepare my own funeral ceremony?
Of course. Talking about death, particularly your own death, can be difficult for some however, there is no one better than yourself to plan your own funeral. You know exactly what music and readings you like and a pre-prepared funeral can take the stress and worry away from those you have left behind.
If you wish to prepare your own ceremony before you pass away then I would be more than willing to meet with you and guide you through the decisions that have to be made. I will then ensure that a copy of the ceremony is kept safe until the time that it is needed. A percentage of my fee will be required at the point of planning with the remainder being paid at the time of the funeral.