For some, a funeral service feels most comforting when conducted by a member of the clergy at a religious location. For others, religion was not the strongest influence in their loved one’s life and would like their passing to be marked in a secular way. This is where a Celebrant can step in.
Many people choose to treat a loved one’s funeral as a bright and breezy celebration of their life but for some it needs to be a quieter more reflective part of the mourning process. Either way, a celebrant will meet with you in your own home and help you tell the story of the deceased. Creating a true reflection of their personality, history, and everything special about them to share, and remember, with everyone that attends the event.
Over 70% of all UK funerals are now cremations. Cremation is the choice of many individuals for a variety of personal reasons, and certainly a crematorium offers many modern facilities that a church simply cannot. We have a number of crematoria in Devon and Somerset but arguably the most peaceful is the nearby East Devon Crematorium at Whimple, set in beautiful rolling countryside.
You may not be aware of how sophisticated the audio visual facilities can be at a modern crematorium. For example, web casting a funeral to those who can’t attend is easily done now, as is a playing a video during the service. The sky is the limit when it comes to music you can choose to have played. As a starting point, it is normally suggested to have a favourite piece played as everyone is entering, a second choice partway through the ceremony would allow everyone to have a moment of reflection. A final piece can be played as everyone leaves the chapel.
I personally have already selected Roy Orbison’s ‘I Drove All Night’ to enter, Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ so everyone can remember how fabulous I was and Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy In Love’ for everyone to dance out too!
Poems, song lyrics, personal anecdotes or even favourite jokes can all be included but most celebrants will also be perfectly happy to integrate any religious references you would like made.
And, if it all seems a little overwhelming, then your Celebrant is there to help you focus in on what is going to work and ensure that the ceremony is a real reflection of the person you , so sadly, have to say goodbye to.
Linda Brown and Emma Harris are a mother & daughter Celebrant duo based in East Devon, offering personalised Funeral, Wedding, Baby Naming and Vow Renewal Ceremonies.
Thanks to Emma for this helpful blog. And remember, Escot House is a wonderful venue for memorial services and wakes.