Ruth Graham

An independent wedding, family and funeral civil celebrant covering the West Midlands area

Celebrant Dilemmas

Celebrant Dilemmas

A wonderful job.. that can be a minefield at times….

I’m fortunate enough to belong to a very supportive group. We have a private forum where we share our ideas and give advice, and sometimes support to each other in difficult situations.

I heard this week on the forum of a celebrant in America, who has had a dreadful time– in one week she did a service for a stillborn baby; followed by a service for a man who murdered his three children and his wife, before taking his own life. The week after she performed a service for her own family member killed in an explosion at home, and then another for a lady shot in the back by her grandson!

It’s not easy doing this job, but finding so many words, for so many dreadful circumstances takes a huge amount of courage. We all send her as much positivity as is possible to help her heal. And to anyone who is considering doing this job, I’d say – be warned. It’s not a quick way to make a fast buck, and the toll it can sometimes take is enormous.

Another dilemma the forum dealt with recently, the one of whether to take on a ‘surprise’ renewal of vows. Surely the whole point of a vow renewal is with the consent of both parties, with words and symbolic activities that have been put together, as a couple, and designed to mean something? The children of the couple in question hadn’t thought of this angle – they just thought it would be nice to mark mum and dad’s 40 years together, without including them in the consultations….  The outcome remains to be seen…..