Peter is a Fellow of the Society of Bereavement Practitioners and a past president of the Association of Independent Celebrants.
What do I do?
I am normally recommended by the funeral director who will do their best to match the most appropriate celebrant to the family.
1. The first step is to meet with the family to discuss what you want. This family meeting usually takes between 1½ - 2 hours.
2. Then I will prepare a service which meets your requirements and, usually, write a fitting tribute / eulogy for your loved one.
3. I will liaise with your funeral director to ensure that all the details are communicated to them and also with the funeral location to make sure that such elements as Music are booked in advance.
4. I will be available to you to answer any questions and to help and advise throughout the time of preparation.
5. Finally, I will conduct the funeral service.
What can be included in a funeral service?
Firstly let me say that this is YOUR service and there are no "right or wrong" only what is "fitting and appropriate" for you and your loved one. What is right for one family won't necessarily be right for another and what would work well at one location won't be possible at another.
Over the past few months we have had one burial where the family wanted fireworks at the end, another where they wanted to have me dressed as Charlie Chaplin (well, in the bowler hat with cane and moustache) as I led the family into the chapel.
Clearly what can be achieved in a crematorium chapel will be different to an open green burial ground but we have played wartime songs, pop songs, rock music, and classical music and even had the sound effect of a rifle shot. We have had serious verse and comedy poems; we have left the chapel with the sound of Vera Lynn singing "We'll meet again" or the Goon's "Ying Tong" song ringing in our ears.
You might like to consider these ideas for either crematorium or burial:
* Special music to be played on entrance and exit
* Music for a period of reflection
* Special sound effects that reflect some element of the person's life.
* Have a beautifully framed picture of your loved one standing on the coffin or at the head of the grave.
* Hymns or songs
* Would members of the family or friends like to speak or take part?
Even if they don't feel they can speak, maybe they could write something to be read on their behalf at the service?
* How would you like attendees to dress? Would you like to avoid black and, if so, would you like to ask people to dress in a particular way?
Also think about ideas for ceremony:
* Have children or others write a special letter that they can place on the casket.
* Have outline paper hands cut out to be dropped into the grave to symbolise the person being surrounded with the family's hands of love.
* Light a candle or candles to symbolise the light of their life
* Using flowers or petals and having family and friends scatter these in the grave.
* At the end, releasing balloons or doves; even letting off a rocket or other fireworks
Call me or email me to find out exactly how I can tailor a service to your requirements - check out my website for more information.
40 The Manor, Billing Garden Village,
The Causeway, Great Billing
Services provided within a 50 mile Radius.
Listen to Peter on the Meet Your Funeral Celebrant Podcast.
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