Many people struggle when faced with putting together the funeral of a loved one, yet, with the right combination of support and guidance, a funeral can be a moving and heartfelt way to say farewell. I am a qualified funeral celebrant, based in North Surrey.
From the moment we meet, it is my privilege to offer that guidance and work with your chosen funeral director to create a lasting tribute for a cherished member of the family. Sometimes people approach me separately, and then I will make myself known to the funeral director and work alongside them so that your day goes smoothly.
In our meeting, I listen to your stories and recollections of the departed and, at such a traumatic time, when your thinking may be all over the place, help put together a service that is fitting. The ceremony will highlight their achievements, the life they lived and the friends they made, the family connections and can include favourite music, hymns, readings and poems. (See below for separate memorial events).
The main restriction will be the duration of the service. These are usually limited to about 30 minutes. In a celebrant led service you are free to choose the music and readings which most fit the individual. There is an overwhelming choice of poetry, so I have recorded some well-known examples of words of comfort and posted them on this page as a starting point. Feel free to share these readings with others. I can help you choose something appropriate, and your funeral director will also have sources of popular and well-loved readings or you might be inspired to write something yourself or from within the family.
Friends and family often wish to write tributes and share memories to give as full a picture as possible of your loved one, and it is lovely to hear new stories and memories. It is of course one thing to write a tribute and quite another to get up and speak at such an emotionally charged time.
As an experienced performer who has sung and read at many funerals, I can share my tips for speaking your tribute/poem/reading in a calm and natural way. A funeral is a pressured environment in which to speak. If you feel unable to read on the day, even if just before the service, I am on hand to take that up for you and relieve you of the stress. In such emotionally traumatic times, it is always challenging to undertake any public speaking, but I am there to offer a steer through.
As the day approaches, I will keep sharing with you what I have created and put together so we continue to collaborate in the tribute and get the tone just right. At a time when there is so much to think about, it is good to know that there is somebody there, working on your behalf. When it comes to the day, you will see a familiar, friendly face who is 100% ready to honour your loved one.
During the following weeks, from me to you, you will receive the ceremony words and order and the tributes and poems from the ceremony from me, so you can absorb what was said or put it away for future generations to know what a contribution this individual made.
Increasingly people are turning to celebrants to help create a memorial event after a funeral, where stories of the deceased can be shared and favourite music played. A popular inclusion is an ‘open mic’ style section, where anybody can spontaneously get up and speak about the individual. While you can of course set this up yourself, the guiding hand of a celebrant can help provide some structure and draw an event together. Please ask for details.
All my fees are inclusive of travel, so what you see is what you pay. No hidden extras.
Fee for funeral ceremonies: £275
Janet is very happy for fees to be paid by instalments
Death is nothing at all
by Canon Henry Scott Holland
Gone from my sight
by Henry Van Dyke
Miss me, but let me go
Then joy stepped in
by Wilhelmina Stitch
When I'm gone
by Mrs Lyman Hancock