Funerals / Celebration of Life / MemorialsEvery life is unique, and the funeral ceremony or memorial service should reflect this.
Funerals / Celebration of Life / Memorials
As each life, each death is unique, so should the funeral or memorial ceremony be.
Welcome, I’m Carol, the Somerset Celebrant.
If you have found this page you have probably lost a loved one recently. Through the sadness of this time, as well as dealing with a myriad of things, you have to sort out the funeral. It is a very emotional time, and probably this is the first funeral you have had to arrange.
Although I can’t take the pain away, I will do my best to relieve you of the stress and make this burden more bearable for you.
As a professionally trained, qualified and experienced funeral celebrant, I have conducted funerals for people from all walks of life, and at all stages of life and consider each one a unique privilege.
Everyone I meet is individual and therefore requires different levels of involvement. For some families, I have chosen the music, the poems, written and delivered the whole service, and at other times, I’m just a guiding presence, working with a family, helping with ideas and the structure of the service, thus giving them the confidence to write and present the celebration of life ceremony themselves.
As part of the planning process, I will meet with you and your family to discuss your requirements and explain the options available to you. I can recommend a funeral director and give you information on our local crematoriums, cemeteries and natural burial grounds.
I will work with you to help you to tailor a funeral that is personal and fitting for your loved one, creating a joyous, respectful and meaningful celebration of their life.
I will listen to your memories and anecdotes to build a picture of the person you have lost. Together we can choose readings, poems and music to create a ceremony that is unique, loving and memorable, one that captures the originality and individuality of your loved one.
You will be able to check the content prior to the ceremony to ensure that the special qualities and characteristics of your loved one are reflected in the service.
I honour all beliefs. and am experienced and at ease conducting both funerals which are non-religious and those which include religious or spiritual elements.
A good funeral can really help you to express your grief in a positive way, and start the healing process.
If you are looking for an experienced, professional, caring and empathetic celebrant, please give me a call 07530570943 or complete the contact form.
Funerals, Celebration of Life, Memorials, Sharing Tips & Ideas that May Inspire You
Leading a burial at Ham Down Woodland Burial Ground, Shillingstone, Blandford Forum.
One of the bearers looked at the brown paper bag hanging from my stand and asked me if I’d brought my lunch. It actually contained dry rose petals from Lucy Loves Flowers, to scatter on the coffin after the committal, as I think it’s much gentler than soil.
Fevin Nature Reserve Burial Ground is the nearest natural burial ground to where I live in Street. It is a really beautful spot with views over the Somerset Levels and to the Mendip Hills beyond. As you can see, it has the most beautiful Victorian bier.
I have had the privilege of conducting several burials there. Often a family will chose to hold just the committal part of the funeral ceremony at the burial site, with only close family in attendance. This is then followed with a memorial service for family and friends afterwards. It’s a good way to celebrate of life of a loved one, as there are no time restrictions and gives people the opportunity to contribute and share memories.
On one occasion, the deceased was a campanologist, and the church bells across the local Somerset villages all rang out in his honour, it was incredible and unforgettable.
A beautiful horse drawn carriage took a very special lady on her final journey to her resting place at Ham Down Woodland Burial Ground.
A dove release closed the service, alongside the unabridged version of Monty Python’s, ‘Always look on the Bright Side of Life.’
I recently led a beautiful ceremony for a very dear friend’s mother at Poole and Wimborne Woodland Burial Ground.
It was very special to me, as she had entrusted me with her step-father’s ceremony there, in 2017, when I had not long qualified.
The rustic building that you can glimpse thrugh the trees is the service hall, and there is no time limit on the service.
My friend’s family are very musical and artistic, three of the deceased’s grandchildren played ‘Petite Fleur’, she would have loved their tribute.
I shared the ceremony with The Revd. Martyn Douglas. I led the ceremony up to the committal inside the service chapel. We then all walked together accompanying M to her final resting place, beside her beloved husband and Martyn concluded the service.
This was a visit to Higher Ground Meadow, a natural burial ground in Dorchester. I had the opportunity to talk to the owners and find out exactly where the plot was located.
When I have to lead a service at a new venue for me, I always do a preliminary familiarisation visit, a few days before the service. This holds true for the services I take at crematoriums, cemeteries, natural burial grounds, private chapels and memorial venues. I believe good preparation helps things to go smoothly on the day.
Delivering a memorial service at Glastonbury Wedding and Events, a beautiful, deconsecrated church, (The Old Trinity Church, Godney), where I am their recommended celebrant.
A memorial service is an opportunity for family and friends to celebrate the life of a loved one, after the burial or cremation has taken place. This means there is a lot of flexibility when it come to the venue and location, .
Whilst respectful and appropriate, memorial services are usually more relaxed and celebratory, being distanced, both geographically and timewise, from the sombre atmosphere of the crematorium or graveside. The grief is not so raw.
Memorials don’t have to follow a tight, formal structure, and, as time is not an issue, it gives the opportunity for many people to contribute to the service and share stories and anecdotes.
This particular memorial service took place following a short committal ceremony and burial at Greenfields Cemetry, Wookey.
It was a fantastic tribute to an interesting and well respected man, who lived life to the full.
Pre-Written Funeral Ceremonies
As people are becoming more willing to talk about death and becoming more open about the process of dying, many will consider pre-planning their own funeral ceremony. This could be because they know that the end of their life is in sight; or maybe it’s just something they want to do for their future.
Pre-planning your funeral ceremony can be a very cathartic experience, as it offers peace of mind and the reassurance that your family will not need to second guess your wishes, or have to try and remember details about your life at this extremely difficult and emotional time. This allows them to focus on the other, more practical matters that will arise, whilst giving them the solace and comfort of knowing that they have honoured your last wishes.
Maybe you have considered this but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you already have some ideas but would like the opportunity to sit down with an experienced celebrant to help you gather together your thoughts, memories and ideas and to write your ceremony together.
When you are ready, I will visit you and together we will discuss the kind of ceremony you would like. This could be completely non-religious or include some religious elements like a prayer and hymns. You might have a favourite piece of poetry or reading that you would like to include and maybe even a special person you would like to read it.
I can help you choose the music you would like to play as you enter the crematorium, for reflection time, and then as your family leave.
We will chat together about your life; growing up, your family and friends, hobbies, interests, memories and anecdotes. This creates the opportunity to celebrate your life, loves and achievements in a fitting eulogy that reflects your true personality.
There may be people you want to involve in telling the story of your life directly, through anecdotes or recollections or tributes.
After our meeting, I will draft your funeral ceremony. We then meet again to go through the document carefully and make any changes you wish to make. Once agreed, you will receive a written copy.
For many people planning their funeral ceremony is an important part of their funeral plan. Your Funeral Director can have a copy of your ceremony document and a copy can be placed with the Will.
People often tell me what a rewarding experience writing their funeral ceremony is, and how comforting it is, knowing they have taken this burden of decision from their families and loved ones. I can help you make the ceremony part of the funeral the best, most appropriate and most personal that we can create.