Funerals and Farewells - FAQs
What does a funeral Celebrant actually do?
As soon as I get a call from you, I will arrange to meet you at your home or at the Funeral Director's office. We'll have a long chat about your loved one and I'll get lots of details about what they were like so that the funeral service is as personalised and as meaningful to you as it can possibly be. After that meeting, which can last up to two hours, I will prepare a service for you.
What does a ceremony typically include?
That depends, of course, on where the service is taking place, but it will usually incorporate the following:
Music as mourners enter the venue
A welcome and introduction
A reading by either the Celebrant or a close family member
Tributes made by family and friends
Reflection time with music
Final reading by a family member or friend
Words of Committal
Prayers - if you want them
Music as mourners leave the venue
Where will I find readings and poems for the service?
During our initial meeting, I will bring along a large selection from which you can choose as many or as few as you wish. Some of those are also included here for you to have a look at.
Do I have to write and deliver the eulogy myself?
Not if you don't want to. A Celebrant's job is to make all of this as easy on you as possible, so I will usually write the eulogy for you and deliver it at the ceremony. If you want to write it and are also able to deliver it yourself, that's fine, too, but if you get stuck, I'll be there to help you out.
What kind of ceremony can I have?
You can have whatever kind of ceremony you want. They either take place at a crematorium or at a funeral home if there is to be a burial afterwards. They can also take place entirely in a cemetery or wherever your loved one is being buried - that can sometimes be on your own land.
How much does it cost for a funeral celebrant?
My cost is between £200 and £250, depending on the length of your service and your personal requirements. That includes the pre-meetings with you, the time it takes to prepare your service, and then delivering the service itself.
Are there any hidden extra costs?
The only extra cost would be if I have to travel considerable distances from home to get to you, but I would discuss that with you. I am based in Inverness in the Highlands.
Are all celebrants Humanists?
No, not at all, and this is a popular misconception. Anyone who conducts funerals (and is not a church minister) is a celebrant. Humanists are just one kind of celebrant.
Humanism (according to its own criteria) has atheism at its root and so a humanist celebrant will definitely not incorporate any religious readings or prayers in your service. Most other Celebrants will be happy to incorporate a prayer, hymn, or religious reading for you.
My loved one had strong religious beliefs, and wants a religious funeral, but I don't share them. Is there some way to have a service that respects everyone's beliefs?
It's perfectly possible for a Celebrant and a Religious Leader to work together to conduct a service so just ask and we'll do everything we can do to accommodate you.
What if I opt for a memorial service or a direct cremation instead of a regular service?
It is the wish of some people nowadays that there is no formal funeral ceremony for them and instead they opt for something called direct cremation. This essentially means the body of the loved one is taken directly from the place of their death to a crematorium, in most cases by a funeral director. Within a day or two, the remains are available for the family and friends so that a memorial service can be held. If you or your loved one has opted for this, a memorial service can be conducted anywhere you like whether it be a garden, your favourite beach, or hotel, or some other place special to you and your loved one and the memorial service can include scattering of their remains, if that is your wish.