Funerals are a much dreaded part of our lives, yet with the right combination of support and guidance, they can be a loving and heartfelt way to say farewell to a loved one. 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 alongside the Funeral Director to create a lasting tribute for a cherished member of the family. Sometime 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 is all over the place, help put together a service that fits. 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.
The only limits are to do with the duration of the service which is usually limited to 30-40 minutes. The beauty of a celebrant led service is that you can choose personal favourites which fit the individual. There is an overwhelming choice of poetry for example and so I have recorded some well known examples so you can listen in your own time to the words of comfort and it might even be something you wish to share with others. I can point you in the direction of websites which specialise in readings and poems for funerals and your funeral director will have a source of popular and well loved readings or you might be inspired to write something yourself or form 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 often lovely to hear new stories and memories. It is of course one thing to write it 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 share my tips for breathing and speaking your tribute/poem/reading in a calm and natural way. A funeral certainly offers a pressured environment in which to speak. And if you feel unable to read on the day, even if just before the service, I can take that up for you and relieve you of the stress. You may already have decided that you wish me to speak for the family and that is fine too. In such emotionally traumatic times, it is always challenging to undertake any public speaking, but I am there to offer a steer through.
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