Funerals, Ashes, Memorials & End of Life Ceremonies
At the time of the death of a loved one or family member it can be difficult to think clearly about how you would wish for their funeral to be - some wish to make it a celebration of the life that has been, for others a quieter honouring and acknowledgement of the loss is their chosen way and all stages between. This is where it may help to have a Celebrant come and sit with you to talk about your wishes and those of the deceased if they had been discussed previously. It is then my 'task' as Celebrant to pull together all the elements and weave them into a Ceremony that feels right for all parties; albeit a full burial service and graveside blessing or a shorter Crematorium Ceremony . I am able to approach this whole process with empathy and gentle humour 'holding' the space to allow the gentle flow of all emerging emotions.
It may be that there has already been a cremation at an earlier time, a ceremony for the scattering of ashes in a special or meaningful place can be a time of closeness for friends and family members with appropriate words to allow for the healing process to begin.
Memorial Ceremonies take place separately after a funeral where the individual is remembered and their life is celebrated and their loss acknowledged. These ceremonies are created in the same way with close liaison with and support of those involved in the planning process.
Sometimes as individuals approach the time of their death they have a desire to make plans for their own funerals or would just like someone other than loved ones to talk about their experience. I can offer a service of visiting and planning or listening that may be cathartic to both the individual and their family and friends, all knowing that they are being heard.
For general information please contact me here or to discuss a present bereavement please contact me on 01805 623233 9am to 7pm only please.
Weddings, Blessings, Vow Taking & Renewals
I have researched the definitions of the word 'Marriage'; there is the more traditional view - 'the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife'. There is also, in some jurisdictions, 'a union between partners of the same sex'. Then I saw what I felt, for me, was a different but fitting description of the word Marriage - 'a combination or mixture of elements'.
I delight in offering unique ceremonies for Weddings, Blessings, Vow Renewals and Vow Taking Ceremonies to all who truly wish to enter into or re-affirm an honourable and loving partnership and want to share that expression with their loved ones and friends.
I will co-create with the couple a ceremony which wholly reflects their personalities and beliefs - regardless of religious or sexual orientation. It is my joy to bring together and interweave the two individuals, their cultures and joint experiences into one beautiful occasion to be shared and witnessed by friends and family. To help, where needed, with writing Vows and choosing Readings or Songs.
Wedding Ceremonies, like any other celebration, can be as big and blowsy or as intimate and quiet as you wish. By finding out your wishes and desires for your day I can work with you to, hopefully, create the perfect and memorable service.
Contact me to arrange a chat about your plans and how I may be able to help you fulfil them.
The Legal aspects:
Weddings and 'civil partnerships' have certain requirement to be recognised by law. In Scotland , One Spirit Interfaith Ministers, once registered, can perform the legal elements of a marriage ceremony. However in England and Wales the present law is that you would need to use the services of a Registrar to make the marriage 'legal'. I find that most couples chose to have a minimal Registry Office legal marriage ceremony, the day before, or whenever suits them - keeping the main celebration, exchanging of vows and ring exchange to the ceremonies that we co-create. Witnessed by their chosen friends and family. There is discussion around these laws currently and change may be in the air!
Baby Blessings & Naming Ceremonies
The arrival of a new child in our lives is a life changing experience.
Many friends and family may want to share in the joy of welcoming this little soul to our world.
There are so many ways to do this of course and many established religious ceremonies and rituals for this purpose. However many parents who have recently given birth to or adopted a new member of their family wish to truly express in their own way the honour and joy that they feel.
The witnessed giving and blessing of the child's name and statement of intention by the parents and wider family sets a certain resonance of love and hope around the child and their given name.
Also, the choosing of and commitment from 'God Parents', 'Guardians' or whatever you wish them to be known as, will be the inception of very special relationships for the future.
Blessings and Naming Ceremonies can be joyous grand affairs with champagne and string quartets or delightfully heartfelt gatherings under trees in the woods - in other words they can be whatever you wish.
Music, singing, chanting, readings, silence, anointing - together we can 'give birth' to a fitting Ceremony that will truly make your hearts sing and create a cushion of loving support for your child.
Some folk, as they move through life, wish to change their given name for whatever reason - a Naming Ceremony can happen at any age or a Blessing Ceremony for a new phase of your life - a chance for your intentions to be witnessed and honoured.
It is always such a joy co-creating and holding a Naming Ceremony - contact me to discuss your thoughts.
Rites of Passage & Life Changes Ceremonies
Like butterflies metamorphosing from caterpillars that have hatched from eggs, we too go through different 'incarnations' within our own lifetimes. From child through puberty to young adulthood for instance, maybe marked by the change of school attended or later leaving schooling and moving into higher education, work or travelling maybe. Some may feel a particular change at 30, 40 or 50 or at retirement if that is formalised. Marking these changes can be powerful in allowing one to 'step into' a new phase whilst acknowledging and releasing the previous stage.
Ceremonies can be elaborate, simple, ritualised or just plain fun - as you like it - I can help to coalesce your thoughts and ideas and make suggestions to create the celebration or ritual you have in mind. These celebrations can be very expressive and alternative - very creative and individual! Great fun to be had!
Contact me to discuss your ideas!
House & Land Blessings
Maybe you are moving into a new home or maybe wish to bless your home or another place after a difficult time. Perhaps you wish to show gratitude to the natural world around you and celebrate it's part in your life. You may wish to bless your vegetable garden and invite in a good growing season; whatever it is along those lines it can be very powerful to have a ceremonial blessing.
The atmosphere or 'energy' of a place can be lifted and cleared with the power of intention and Blessing. It can be like opening all the windows on a warm spring day and letting the fragrant breeze blow away all the stale and stagnant energy!
You could have a private intimate ceremony or combine it with a party event - the choices are almost endless - contact me to discuss your ideas!
Divorce, Separation & Release Blessings
There are many reasons why relationships end of course. Very often couples part amicably on mutual agreement as their shared pathway becomes two separate paths. Some part in more painful and acrimonious style for a plethora of reasons. However with all the 'soap opera' portrayal of bitter and ugly relationship break-ups in our media, there seems sometimes to be an expectation that this is how it should be. Ongoing battles and even hatred.
When relationships flounder, change and end it may be forgotten why a couple came together in the first place. There had, initially, been a love of each other's company and shared hopes and dreams which brought them to a decision to live together and maybe create a family together. Although these feelings may have changed and transformed dramatically they had been true at the time. After a divorce or separation, even if full of betrayal, pain or guilt, it can be a very cathartic experience to 'release' the vows or intentions that had been set previously that may now seem hollow and haunting.
A separation ceremony will honour the fact that the intention was good initially but that changes happen and can help the process of 'let go and let live'; hopefully allowing for the relationship to continue on , positively, in a different form. This can be especially important when there are children involved and contact has to be maintained without affecting them detrimentally.
A Ceremony in this way can be as varied as you wish - symbolism can be powerful here - physically cutting ties being as powerful as an initial hand fasting. Ceremonies in this way also help friends to feel they don't have to 'take sides' and continue as mutual friends as they may also feel released by the process.
Seperation Ceremonies are not only for life couples - a business partnership being dissolved, groups of students marking the end of their course and moving out into the world. A band of musicians dis-banding. Acknowledging a transition and moving apart within any relationship, can complete that part and leave us able to move on healthily and honouring our past decisions.
If a ceremony in this vein feels right for you, please contact me to discuss ideas.