As a Celebrant, I offer the service of planning your Funeral with you. You may also have heard of Living Funerals, where you have a type of ‘This Is Your Life’ event that you are still there for! This is another Service that I can offer, and you can contact me for further details. But for now, let’s focus on planning ahead to your Funeral, and why it’s important.
Why Would I Want To Do This?
Everyone will have a Funeral or Memorial Service at some point. You are not tempting fate by being organised and practical. Once it’s done, it is a huge weight off your mind.
Having your wishes for your Funeral already known and recorded takes the guessing and anxiety away from your loved-ones at a time when they will already be overwhelmed. It avoids arguments and gives them the reassurance that they know exactly what you wanted.
They don’t have to stick to it, of course, and you may want to leave room for them to make their own decisions, or just provide a shortlist or guide. You may also like to discuss it with them, or invite them to our meeting.
Some clients are completely open about this with their nearest and dearest and want their involvement. Others prefer to plan this privately, and then leave it sealed up and ready for when the time comes.
You could leave your plan somewhere likely to be found, or with someone that you trust. It is entirely your choice, and depends on how you feel it would be received by your loved-ones. Whatever you decide, you can rely on my complete discretion.
How Can I Do This?
I will come to your home, or meet you in a convenient location, and together we will plan everything over a nice cup of tea (or glass of wine, if you prefer). We can meet anywhere from your place, or a hospital or hospice, to a coffee shop or local pub. Wherever you are most comfortable.
I will guide you through the aspects of Funeral Planning, and discover what tone of ceremony you would like, and what is important to you. I can even co-create your eulogy with you, if you wish. Sometimes, details such as parent’s names, where you have lived, what your father did for a living, your childhood and schooling, time in the forces, how you met your love, wedding dates, and career information are not always fully known by next of kin. Together, we can ensure that all the details are included and recorded.
What Things Should I Be Thinking About?
We can start by finding out your likes and dislikes regarding funerals. Then you can select the tone that you want to set for the ceremony. Do you want it to be Traditional? Modern? Sad? Uplifting? Formal? Relaxed?
Then we can discuss where you would like it to be held. Remember that the actual Funeral Service can be conducted anywhere. A chapel, a favourite venue such as a pub or social club, a care home, a hall, a house or garden. Is the environment an issue for you? Would you prefer a woodland burial, and not to have any embalming, for instance?
What sort of coffin would you like? From wooden to wicker to cardboard, there are many options and loads of colours and designs.
Do you want any religious or spiritual content? Are there any favourite poems, readings or quotes you want included? Music is very important in a ceremony. Are there any favourite pieces of yours, or do you have any in mind for the service? Would you like others to speak or write something? Who do you want to contribute? Is there a list of people to inform and invite, and their contact details? Do you want people to wear black?
Would you like floral tributes, or is there a charity that you want donations for? Where would you like the Reception held, after, if the actual funeral is in a chapel? Are there any favourite photographs you would like displayed?
Perhaps there may be other items that would give a personal touch, depending on your interests, pastimes and hobbies. Would you like things given out to those attending, as I can recommend some small keepsake items; from anything such as bulbs and seeds, to tealights, guitar picks, or books and dvds from your own shelves.
What Else Can I Do?
You may want to leave personal letters and photographs for your loved-ones. You could let them know what your favourite memories and times together were, and what you liked, loved and admired about them. If you chose cremation, you might like to suggest where you want your ashes scattered or interned. Depending on budget, perhaps you would like them to plant a tree, buy a bench, or even just have a certain rose bush or plant in their own gardens? You could suggest a charity for donation, or an annual get-together for those who remember you to do something in your name. This could be anything from collecting litter, to volunteering at a hospice or charity shop, to taking a special walk or trip, or having an afternoon tea, drinks, or your favourite dinner, where they simply share memories of you and support each other.
You may also like to investigate local Funeral Directors and suggest one/s that you like. You can also do the same with Crematoriums and Burial Sites, for instance. I can help you with these choices.
How Much Is this Planning Service?
If I have helped you create the ceremony, then, if I am able, I will also take the ceremony, should your loved-ones wish me to. This will also save them money, as all the planning will already have been done, and I will know your story and your choices. Therefore, my fee for conducting the ceremony will just be the remaining quarter of the price. To plan your Funeral with me, I charge three quarters of my fee. My funeral fee is the same as that of a minister or religious leader.
Using a Celebrant does not cost you any more, but you get so much more for your money. Take the stress and uncertainty away from your bereaved loved-ones when you die by having your wishes already known. I am tactful, compassionate and empathetic.
For the personal touch, get in touch.