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Ruth Graham

An Independent Celebrant based in the West Midlands and the surrounding areas
Ruth Graham - Independent Celebrant West Midlands, Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield

Seven reasons to use a Celebrant at a funeral

Seven reasons to use a Celebrant at a funeral

1. We Have Time For You
We have time to do it properly. Clergy men and women have church business to attend to, weekly services to write and pastoral care to undertake. The majority of them do great jobs, but when you have to juggle so much other work, it’s impossible to provide (at least on a regular basis) an individual beautiful service that’s truly meaningful.

A celebrant has the time to do a fully-personalised and appropriate service, because it’s all we do!

2. Warmth
We have chosen this job because we know it’s a privilege. We work with people at difficult times, and have empathy, warmth and understanding. We deal with families at war, in grief, crisis and sometimes, who are indifferent. But still, we manage to produce relevant, meaningful services, whatever the circumstances.

3. Versatility
You want religion in your service? That’s fine. Or you want spirituality or alternative beliefs? Also fine. Or you want nothing at all – just recollections, poetry, contributions from family. That’s also ok. Because we are independent celebrants (as opposed to Humanists), we’re not bound by traditions and restrictions. The service will reflect you and your beliefs (or non-beliefs). Nobody should walk away thinking ‘well – I didn’t recognise the person they were talking about’!

4. Control
The service is dictated by the family. You have what you want – we know the client is king. The only restrictions are the timelines of the service at the crematorium or burial ground.

5. Location
Again – choices abound. Usually we find ourselves at crematoriums, but how about a natural burial ground? There are some beautiful, managed peaceful grounds around the midlands, including WESTALL PARK www.natural-burials.co.uk

I work there often and am left awe-struck at the sense of peace and tranquillity, and just how sensitively it’s managed.

6. Individual Services
No copy and pasting services here! We are trained to really find the story, and to write individual services for the person. It may take more time, but it pays off hugely, when a family are so grateful that their loved one has been properly acknowledged.

7. You Feel Valued
Because (again, relating to time), we have the time for you – it will encourage you to feel valued. This in turn allows people to really speak their minds, for stories to flow and memories to re-surface. That’s how we get wonderful material for the eulogies and services.
I hope this blog has at least allowed people to think differently and open their minds and hearts to the prospect of a celebrant to conduct a family funeral. For me, it’s the most meaningful job I have ever done, and a real privilege. Thank you for reading.

* (FPC) Obviously, I’d recommend sourcing a member of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, as they fulfil all the criteria mentioned above. (Not to be confused with any other organisations, or types of celebrant).

Please see my blog on What To Look For When Training As A Celebrant, so you can see in detail how well we are trained and supported in what we do. 

The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants www.professionalcelebrants.org.uk