Ceremonies in crematorium chapels are usually around 30 minutes long depending on the crematorium. You can ask for a double slot (usually not double the fee)
A ceremony might contain some or all of the following elements:
Music on entry
Music for reflection/contemplation/prayer/photo slideshow
Music on exit
Opening words of welcome and explanation
Thanksgiving/Farewell words/Lighting a candle
Curtains close/stay open
Silence for reflection/slideshow of favourite photographs
Time to approach the coffin to say goodbye/place flowers/messages
Closing words of comfort/philosophy/hope for the future
Funeral photographer/webcast/DVD recording
Release of doves/balloons
Independent funeral ceremonies can be held at your local crematorium, or a woodland burial site, hotel, hall, at home, or any other venue, but usually not in a church or religious building. I have conducted a beautiful ceremony in a wedding venue barn, followed by interment in the local churchyard. Music can play an important part in a funeral ceremony and you can include any piece of music that you feel is appropriate. Live musicians/singers can add a special magic to a ceremony. Families often include poetry or readings of special significance. You can include religious items such as a hymn, faith reading or a prayer too if you wish to add a spiritual dimension to your ceremony.
I will visit you at home to discuss your wishes and requirements. There may be members of your family or friends who would like to speak at the ceremony. I will liaise with them and your funeral director and the staff at the venue to make sure everything is well organised.
If you have no particular preference for elements such as music and readings, I can help by suggesting some that may be appropriate, or you may prefer to arrange a short and very simple ceremony without any elaboration.
I will lead the funeral ceremony on the day and you will have an opportunity to check my prepared ceremony text beforehand. It's my aim to create a meaningful ceremony that is unique and accurately reflects the life of the deceased.
I arrange memorial ceremonies based on the same principles as independent funeral ceremonies.
Some families prefer a small, private funeral, which is followed some time later by a larger memorial service. This gives time for a wider circle of friends, family and colleagues to be involved, and for a varied selection of contributions and tributes to be prepared.
Memorial services could be held at any public venue such as a civic hall, hotel or modern community building. Private venues will also be considered.
Pre-planned CeremoniesIt may be that you are worrying about your family having to make all the arrangements for your funeral, and want to ease their burden, or it may be that you feel that you can't approach the subject directly with them.
If you prefer, I will meet with you in confidence to discuss your own wishes and ideas for your ceremony, or we can include family, friends, or your solicitor.
Baby and Stillborn Ceremonies
All life is precious and valuable and you may feel that you want to commemorate your child in a special way. I have experience creating personal ceremonies for babies.
Scattering of ashes
You may like to consider a short formal ceremony for the
scattering or interment of ashes. I can attend your
chosen venue, which may be at the crematorium gardens, approved
woodland site, or even at sea. Some locations may be subject to
additional approval. I can guide you according to your wishes.
Some crematoria have webcasting facilities, so that friends and family who live abroad or are unable to travel can see the ceremony, via a private password protected weblink, live online or up to a week later. I conducted a ceremony for a young Australian in the UK - and family, friends and colleagues all around the world felt able to share in the celebration of his life as they watched the live webcam. The service was recorded and his widow was grateful to have on DVD a copy of all the tributes and memories that were spoken on the day.
what kind of funeral
When a loved one dies, it is always a very painful and distressing time. Family and close friends of the person who has died are often faced with dozens of decisions about the funeral at a time when they are overcome with grief. Should it be a burial or cremation? Traditional or green? What are the legal requirements? Who should conduct the ceremony? Should it be religious, or not? A Celebration of Life or a Fond Farewell? All these questions are important but the most important is: what kind of ceremony do you want?
everyone is different
Not everyone wants the same type of funeral. Your choice may be influenced by religious and cultural traditions, or personal preferences, or cost, or by the expressed wishes of the deceased.
An increasing number of people are finding that their
personal preferences are more easily accommodated within an independent
funeral ceremony, where they have the freedom to choose the format, the location,
music, Powerpoint presentations, readings, photographic slideshows, even the dress code, to suit their lifestyle and
views. They experience a sense of involvement and personal input in
creating this special one off event to celebrate the life that has been treasured.
examples of funerals
Some families have chosen to have a very private ceremony, with just immediate family present. Grief is a very personal emotion and some have preferred not to face a large public event where they are expected to greet dozens of guests afterwards. I worked with them to create a short, simple, dignified, intimate farewell.
A local businessman wanted a special goodbye for his Mother - he had designed a fabulous Order of Service in the style of a souvenir theatre programme and the whole ceremony had a Grand Finale theme. Guests were asked to wear something yellow, such as a tie/scarf/blouse/or other accessory. He provided yellow rose buttonholes and everyone enjoyed a unique celebration for a life well lived by a woman who was very well loved.
A family provided me with a script and had arranged five speakers with personal contributions and asked me to be the MC for their father's funeral service. They were all used to public speaking and the service was brilliant.
A ceremony created for a young woman included a photo slide show with music and personal messages written by her friends and family which were brought to the coffin as everyone said their goodbyes.
One family provided and presented several tributes written by themselves, while I hosted and then lead the farewell and committal part of the ceremony. Yet another family chose to include bible verses and prayers with popular music in between, and a personalised tribute was compiled from the input of several family members.
A burial service included a horse drawn hearse, bagpipes, tributes from friends and family and music reflecting G's personality and was a real celebration of his life and character.
ceremony for a child included slideshows, a colourful coffin, family
tributes and songs, memory candles, fresh rose petals to cover the
coffin and balloons released at the graveside - floating away into the
sunshine and blue sky.
Another family asked that as much input as possible be included from Star Wars, so excerpts from the Jedi Code and music from the films were incorporated.
A ceremony was created for a Radio DJ that included
17 pieces of music.