We can all recall funerals that didn’t ‘feel quite right’ – somehow the service didn’t ‘fit’ the person whose life was being remembered. As a professional funeral celebrant I work to ensure that each funeral that I have the privilege of being part of is specifically written, in close consultation with family & friends, to accurately reflect their loved ones life.
A properly prepared funeral enables us to acknowledge our grief as we honour our loved ones achievements, the impact they had on our lives and the hole their passing will leave, whilst recounting their life stories with warmth and feeling that can spark laughter and tears in equal measure. A good funeral can help ease the pain for those who loved, will miss and must go on living without their loved one.
Thankfully we’ve come a long way from the days when everyone dressed head to toe in black for funerals, suppressed their emotions (both tears & laughter) and the name of the deceased was inserted into a ceremony read from a book. Today family and friends can choose their own Celebrant, venue (home, garden, church, club rooms, park or beach etc) and the order, length and style of ceremony… in short they can and should expect a funeral, memorial or unveiling to reflect their loved ones wishes and who they were.
As a professional funeral Celebrant this is what I am committed to:
- Meeting at your home or a location of your choice to discuss and plan the funeral you want in depth. In general, one in depth meeting is sufficient for me to craft an individual, meaningful ceremony, but if you would feel more comfortable I am more than happy to meet again. I re-check details via phone and email prior to the ceremony to ensure the facts are correct.
- Working with family and friends to craft a ceremony that accurately honours their loved one’s life
- Offering suggestions (if required) on readings, music and symbolism that can add depth
- Encouraging and helping family and friends to put into words treasured stories and feeling about their loved one for a life narrative or eulogy, or if you prefer I can write it with your help
- Incorporating your religious and non-religious beliefs with dignity
- Encouraging family and friends to take an active part in the ceremony if they feel they want to
- Working in conjunction with the family, friends and funeral directors to deliver a dignified ceremony
We all see each other and the world through the filters of our values, beliefs and faith but the common denominator with each of us is love.
Music, Readings and Symbolism during a Funeral
The death of a loved one or the contemplation of one’s own death brings intense emotion, and for many it’s difficult to express feelings and grief openly. This is where a reading, poem, playing specially chosen music or displaying items the loved one cherished (surf board, embroidery, garden tools etc) can speak more eloquently than one’s own words. If you are struggling to find just the right piece then I can offer a broad range of suggestions and a diverse resource kit which will help you get started.
Testimonials from recent Funerals
Lloyd’s Funeral – ‘Thank you Melinda for the lovely service you created to honour and remember our Dad and Grandpa, Lloyd. We are very grateful for the time you spent listening, reading and then writing his eulogy. He would have been proud to hear some of his achievements and adventures told so well. Thank you for helping us to bridge the gap between his life and death and now the time of remembering.’
Jack’s Funeral – “Melinda, you were the celebrant recently at an old friends funeral. I was hugely impressed by your detailing of the family history and the sensitivity of your role in seeing the mourners through this occasion…there have been funerals I have attended (religious and otherwise!) where one wishes the minister or celebrant would get to the point, and others where one wishes one was taping the wonderful memories – YOURS is definitely in the latter category!. The service was very well planned, and you have left us all with happy memories. Your kindness towards ………(the widow) was so very thoughtful.”