Funerals & Memorial Services
To mourn a death, to celebrate a life and to bring comfort to the living
When we lose someone we love and begin planning a service for them, we would love that ceremony to reflect the wishes of both the deceased and the loved ones left behind.
Imagine them through the words that have been written. Hearing music that reminds us of them. Feeling their presence once again through the emotion of the day.
We understand that you only get one chance to say goodbye and that you want to make this occasion perfect.
Planning a funeral service is a daunting task, especially as it is usually done in a relatively short period of time. Whilst each person involved is dealing with their own grief, there is generally one thing that family and friends have in common – they all want a personal, fitting and unique service for their loved one. This is exactly where we as Celebrants are here to help.
Even if you have family and friends supporting you, it can still seem like you are alone, and everything is down to you. You can feel overwhelmed by the responsibility.
You may have a set idea what to do and just need someone to lead the ceremony. You may have no idea where to start the process.
All of our trained celebrants can assist you with understanding the process
From the moment there is contact with the Celebrant, you will feel their compassion and desire to help you.
They will spend as much time as needed with you prior to the service, usually within the comfort of your own home, building a relationship with your family, listening to your wishes, hearing your stories, your memories and the significance of your grief, to gain a true sense of the person who has died. They will work alongside you and with great care compose a truly uplifting service which is totally unique to any other. This service will reflect the true character & nature of the person who has died, sensitively respecting and acknowledging any challenges they may have faced along life’s pathway, but most importantly celebrating the life which has been lived.
Our Independent Celebrants do not have any professional affiliation to any church nor humanist organisation which means they will lead the ceremony in accordance to your beliefs and wishes and those of the deceased. On many occasions our celebrants conduct funeral services which are totally non-religious, but on other occasions a family may request that an element of religion or spirituality is still to be included, in which case our celebrants can help and advise you in choosing suitable content such as readings, hymns, prayers or blessings.
You may wish for family, friends or colleagues to participate in the service by means of spoken tributes, readings or live music. There are no set rules to this, our celebrants will welcome and encourage all those who wish to take part to do so in a way which has significance for them and for all those present. On the day of the ceremony, many people are just too emotional to be able to stand up and speak. Our celebrants will step in and support them, either by offering a gentle guiding hand or taking over if they feel unable to stand and speak.
Our celebrants can also suggest symbolic elements which are meaningful to you and inclusive to all those present. Just a few examples of such symbolism may be: a candle lighting ceremony, placing single flowers on the coffin during a reflective piece of music or as you leave the chapel, or releasing balloons outside of the chapel directly after the service.
Where can a funeral take place?
Funeral services normally take place at a crematorium, cemetery or natural burial ground. However, either prior to or following a cremation or burial it is possible to have the ceremony itself in a more unusual or intimate location. For example, a football club or scout hall, in your own home, or even in a care home if the deceased has been a resident, allowing other residents to be present who may otherwise not have been able to attend another venue such as a crematorium.
Our celebrants also conduct:
The deceased may have left their body to medical science, or in the tragic circumstances of a body not being located, or maybe your loved one decided to opt for what is commonly known as direct cremation. You may still want to acknowledge their passing and celebrate the wonderful life they lived and our celebrants can work with you to create a personal service to help you say your farewells. These services can take place anytime, anywhere, with absolutely no restrictions on time or what you can and can’t do. For instance, you may wish to go to your favourite pub, use a hotel or other venue, a field in the great outdoors, how about your local football or cricket club? A Funeral Director does not need to be involved in the memorial service, giving you complete freedom to celebrate your loved ones’ memory.
Scattering or Burial of Ashes
Once you have your loved ones’ ashes returned to you, you may decide that you wish to inter or scatter their ashes and would like to acknowledge this phase of the mourning process with another short ceremony, to say that final farewell. Our celebrants will work with you to craft an extra service for you to say farewell.
• Christmas Remembrance Services
• Honouring the Armed Services
• World AIDS Day
• Charities, such as those who support families affected by cot deaths and stillbirth
Our celebrants take much pride in their work, and it gives them great joy to be part of creating a perfect day for you.
Independent celebrants like ourselves can offer total flexibility and on all occasions will both respect and reflect any religious or spiritual beliefs which you may (or may not) have. The choice to include content such as hymns, prayers, blessings or religious readings is entirely down to you.
Our motto is “Your Voice, Your Choice, Your Ceremony”