A very important type of ceremony that I am proud to offer is a funeral ceremony.
These are all totally individual and every word that is said, every reading, every piece of music is chosen by, or in any case approved by, the people concerned. In this case I would come to see you normally at your house to find about your loved one and discuss what sort of readings and music you would like. If family members or friends wish to speak at the ceremony we would discuss that too.
The ceremony is not a church service but can be non religious or semi-religious. A prayer or hymn can be included for example as you wish. I would then write this up and, if possible by email, consult you until you are happy with everything. A funeral of this kind is often held at a crematorium but can equally be a burial in a municipal cemetery or be a woodland ceremony. Normally the funeral director will deal with the practicalities, including charges, and may have suggested a civil celebrant to you if you do not have, or wish to use, a priest or minister. If not, please tell the funeral director that you wish a civil celebrant to conduct the ceremony and give him or her my details if that is appropriate.
A wedding designed and delivered by a civil celebrant can be whatever and wherever you like!
For this kind of wedding ceremony the couple can write their own vows, choose their own music and readings and have those readings delivered by the wedding celebrant or by a friend or family member or by themselves if they are brave enough (weddings are very emotional occasions!).
They can wear whatever they like and have a theme if they wish. (e.g. a hoedown, an Indian marquee, a Midsummer Night’s dream, a 20s/30s theme, or very romantic with a traditional white dress with all the trimmings.)
The venue can be a hotel, a garden, a wood, a barn, a tent, a boat, a beach, the top of a hill if your guests are up to that, wherever you like. All couples are welcome, including of course same sex couples. The only proviso is that they should be serious about the wedding and marriage and intend it to be a lifelong commitment.
I can also conduct a memorial ceremony, a less formal occasion than a funeral with fewer time constraints too. This could be instead of or in addition to the funeral and as soon or as long after that event as you wish. You could invite as many people as you like to speak either by pre-arrangement or just to say something improvised on the day if they wish. This could be held anywhere from your own home to a hotel or other event venue.
Other ceremonies can include a baby naming. A ceremony to welcome a new baby into his/her family and society. As this is an alternative to christening it would normally be non-religious but that is not mandatory by any means. A nice custom some people adopt for these ceremonies is for two adults nominated as special friends (equivalent to godparents) to write a letter to the child, to be opened when the child reaches the age of say ten years.
Renewal of Vows
Another type of ceremony I could help you with could be a renewal of marriage vows, perhaps associated with a special anniversary. This could be similar to a wedding ceremony and like those could be a simple or as lavish as you wish, including words, music, readings and perhaps theme, to suit you.
It might seem odd to some people but it is possible to feel that an amicable parting of the ways should be marked by a ceremony to show that the two people concerned are still friends and in particular that they wish to do everything to ensure the welfare of any children. This can be particularly reassuring for grandparents. I would be very happy to help with this.
Thank you very much for yesterday. It was something we had been dreading, but the sensitive and sympathetic way in which you conducted the ceremony helped us a lot. Several other people said the same thing. The good which came out of it was that so many friends, both from the present and the past, who could remember our daughter as a child, came along. At the hotel afterwards it was possible to catch up with them, so in a strange way it was an enjoyable occasion too. Thank you again for your part in it.
Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job at Semington Crematorium for our family today. On such an emotional occasion, your voice was strong, steady and yet full of empathy. We could not have asked for anything more fitting.
The ceremony was delightful and completely appropriate to the occasion, as the pictures show. We loved you as the celebrant.
Thanks again for starting our wedding off so wonderfully – it helped to shape a perfect day.
We all had a wonderful day, the ceremony was absolutely perfect, I would not change anything thank you so very much for all the help and advice – it came together so well. I loved your gentle sincere approach, just right for the occasion. I can’t imagine the afternoon without you now, so once again from us all thank you very much.
Thank you so much for all your love and support.
Thank you so much for a wonderful ceremony.