An increasing number of people say that they are non religious and will define their spirituality in many different ways or none. A funeral, memorial or celebration of life should always reflect the individual’s lifestyle and personality. Many families feel that they are left with the choice of having either a religious ceremony or a humanist one. There is a middle ground however, and that is the service that I provide. Whether you want a semi religious or completely non religious service I can help you with this. What I guarantee is that the service will be what you want and will reflect the beliefs and lifestyle of the loved one you have lost.
How Your Civil Funeral Will Be Created
As someone who has a wealth of experience in working with families and organisations throughout the UK, often in the most trying of circumstances, I understand how to write, create and deliver the right ceremony for you. My listening skills and pastoral sensitivity will reassure you that the right words will be said and in the right way. I will take good care of you. I know that every family is different and that sometimes there are complex family dynamics. Please be assured that your needs and your wishes are the most important thing to me.
My philosophy is simple: “To give families the service that they want and the service that they deserve”. Each family has different needs and that is why I create personal tributes which will reflect this uniqueness. I want to give all families of faith, and of no faith, a high quality funeral service. I believe that families should have the best funeral service possible. Funerals are the last dignified public ceremony of our lives and everyone deserves to be spoken of well. That is why I ensure that every service is unique, beautifully written and delivered with eloquence. The funeral ceremony deserves to be the best that human skill can present. Nothing can take way from the shock of death, but a genuinely well prepared ceremony, that you have helped to create and that you have seen in advance, eases the pain.
I will ensure that the following Standards of Excellence are delivered to you:
1. A phone call from me on the evening I am notified by the Funeral Director about the funeral so I can arrange a home visit or a visit at a place of your convenience.
2. This home visit will normally take place within 24-48 hours or, in exceptional circumstances, within a few hours.
3. A substantial chat/interview of 1-2 hours during which the many stories/facts from your loved one’s life will be written down.
4. A draft version of the ceremony will be written up as soon as possible after the visit and emailed to you or someone in the family (or possibly hand delivered) at least 24 hours before the service is due to take place so that you can check the draft and make any changes.
5. Your funeral service will be delivered in the most professional way, in the style and manner that is most fitting to your loved one.
6. A memorial copy of the eulogy to be given to you on the day of the funeral.
7. I also offer an option to have a memorial webpage created for your loved one which can be accessed by people overseas or from closer to home. This page would also have the facility for visitors to leave their own words of condolence or their memories.
How Your Civil Funeral Might Look
You can structure your service in any way that you want but a typical Civil Funeral Service may contain all or some of the following elements:
· Opening music—possible a track from a CD of your choice or organ music
· Opening words of welcome
· Reading—poem, scripture, other secular passages (optional)
· Singing of a hymn (optional)
· Main tribute or Eulogy
· Additional tributes or eulogies by family and friends (optional)
· Moment of quiet reflection (sometimes accompanied by music of your choice)
· Closing words of thanksgiving
· Closing music
Please remember also that if you want or do not want certain things to happen please let me know and I will ensure that your wishes are met. For example:
· The curtain at the crematorium not to be closed
· No ‘line up’ of family at the end of the service
A Civil Funeral is special as it allows the family to get involved in the ceremony as much or as little as they want or feel that they will be able to do. You can also really personalise the service and if you wish to have some religious reference to meeting your loved one again one day, you can. Your needs, your wishes and your beliefs are the most important, not mine. I will create the right words, for you. After all, you know best.
I will ensure that you get the service that you want
and the service that you deserve.
Specialist Funeral Services
With my wealth of pastoral experience I can offer invaluable advice in the most difficult of circumstances.
It is my policy not to charge for the funerals of babies and I also make a small donation from every service I do to charity.
Funerals for Babies and Children
If anyone is a lover of gardens they will know that even within the most beautiful of gardens, tended by the most skilled botanist, there is occasionally a rose that buds but never fully opens. This rose is like all others in its charm and smile but something prevents it from blooming to full maturity. The death of a baby or child is like one such beautiful rose that budded but never fully opened in all its splendour.
Ceremonies for those who have taken their own life
Love can be revealed and displayed in many ways. It has been said that when someone takes their own life it is, strangely, just another way of showing love. Sadly, this does not remove the pain for those left behind. Suicide is often seen as something that happens to other families, not ours. It can trigger huge “What ifs” and “If onlys” among those who are left to cope. This still leads us to ask “Why?”. The truth is often that those who take their own lives are not out to hurt you; their intention is to find peace for themselves. Of course, their way of finding that peace can leave us in pain.
Death of teenagers and young adults
The death of any young person can be truly devastating; lives are changed forever. We do not expect to outlive our children and all bereaved parents suffer the same raw emotions of sorrow and loss to a level words cannot describe. Expectations, hopes and dreams are dashed, their futures are ended and our world is changed forever. It is often said that parents feel cheated or that they have failed to protect their child. Questions arise as to whether he/she died alone or in pain or whether anything else could have been done. It can all be complicated through feelings of guilt and regret. Many parents even say that they would willingly have died instead of their child, asking why they have had such a longand full life and their child did not. People who work in this area say that the family left behind can discover extra dimensions of their child’s life through the sharing of memories with their child’s friends who are still alive and maybe accept that, in time, the pain can become manageable and be comforted by the truth that like love, memories never die.
“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.” Thomas Campbell
Scattering of Ashes
In the United Kingdom today over 70% of people opt to be cremated rather than buried.
A carefully developed and well presented ceremony in a Crematorium can be a very fitting way to say farewell to your loved one. For many, however, the problem arises when we bring the ashes home. What do we do with them?
The good news is that there is very little legislation which relates to the Scattering of Ashes in the UK. Very often it comes down to having permission from the person or the organisation that owns the land where you want to scatter the ashes.
There are many options for you to choose from. Make it Memorable will work with you to make sure you choose the option best suited to you and your family. We will also help create a dignified and memorable ceremony during which the ashes may be scattered or buried. It will be the service that you want and the service that you deserve.