go your own way - independent funeral services


Funeral Ceremonies

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

Readings/poems/faith readings/hymns

Tributes/eulogies

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.  

Memorial Ceremonies

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 Ceremonies

It 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.

It may save your loved ones added stress at a difficult time - even just selecting some music beforehand can remove any doubts about 'getting it right'.


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.


Webcast Services

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.

A 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.

Choosing an independent funeral ceremony offers the chance to send our loved ones on that final journey in a way that is entirely suitable for them, with the reassurance that it is what they would have wanted or maybe even what they have pre-planned themselves. Go your own way.



evelyn temple    tel: 07960 476 996    

email:  
enquiries@goyourownway.co.uk