My role is to help families to celebrate and honour the lives of their loved one.
There is no 'typical' ceremony, but below is a menu, to act as a guide.
I will arrange to come and see the family at a mutually convenient time, to discuss each ceremony.
This makes a real difference to the service, and can reflect the tastes of your loved one.
This plays whilst the coffin and family proceed into the chapel.
This usually plays after the tribute. For some, it may be a quiet time to think and reflect about what has been said. For others, it may be a quiet time for silent prayer. Gentle and peaceful music fits best here, designed to be comforting.
This could be something positive and uplifting to leave on, maybe even reflecting a sense of humour. It is far easier to leave if the music is jolly.
Elgar - Nimrod-Salut d'amour
Pachelbel - Canon in D
Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana
Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World
Eva Cassidy - Over the Rainbow / Fields of Gold
Celine Dion - Because you loved me
The Life of Brian- Eric Idle - Always look on the bright side of life
Glenn Miller - In the Mood
Katherine Jenkins - Time to Say Goodbye
These are entirely optional. It is helpful if people know them, and if there is an Order of Service, it is useful to reproduce the words in them.
1. All things bright and beautiful
2. The Lord is my Shepherd
4. Morning Has Broken
5. Lord of all Hopefulness
6. Now Thank we all our God
These are very personal, but can enhance the meaning for a family. Sometimes there will be a reading with special significance to the family. A member of the family or a friend may even write some words themselves, either for me to read for them or occasionally they may wish to stand up themselves to read.
1. Remember me - David Harkins
2. Miss me but let me go
3. Feel no guilt in laughter
4. Do not stand at my grave and weep
5. If I should go before you - Joyce Grenfell
6. An honest man here lies at rest - Robert Burns
Quite often, this is written, and delivered, by me, after discussing the content, stories and memories with the family at the meeting.
Sometimes, members of the family, or friends, want to write their own words for me to incorporate into the tribute, or read separately, as their own words. This can be very powerful, even if that person does not feel able to read at the service.
Occasionally, a family member, or friend will want to deliver their own tribute and I, of course, will support them in whatever way will help.
This is a personal choice. Often families will include the Lord's Prayer, even if they are not religious. We all know it from our school days and there is comfort gained by all saying it together.
I have two other short prayers - one for those we love but cannot see anymore and the other for those who mourn.