Ought we to…

…sing a hymn ?

Whilst this is entirely up to you, I have met many families who think that a sung hymn is a mandatory inclusionIf your family feel that a hymn is fitting, we can discuss those that are well known and loved. This  may encourage those gathered to be in finer voice than the choice of a lesser known hymn. Equally, it may be appropriate to listen to a choral version of a cherished hymn, if your family feel your guests will struggle. Or maybe you and your guests could sing along or listen to a modern classic. ‘Let It Be’ (Paul McCartney) We’ll Meet Again and Primal Scream’s ‘Moving On Up’ (My Light Shines On) have provided moving musical interludes at recent ceremonies.

…say a prayer ?

The majority of the ceremonies I lead do not include a prayer. There is no requirement for a prayer to be said. Unlike a BHA humanist, I am happy to say or lead a prayer during the ceremony, if  my family feel it is fitting and respectful.

…include a religious reading ?

Holy books from many creeds contain some wonderful poetry and reflection. Some people hold particular psalms in high regard at this difficult time. It would be my privilege to read, or introduce a family member or friend to read a psalm. Again we can discuss this, when we meet.

…wear black ?

For many of the ceremonies I have led,  there has been an express request not to wear black. Some families would rather that a colour requested or particularly enjoyed by their family member be worn. There is no rule which means that black must be worn – it is a matter for you to determine with the convictions and comfort of your family driving your choice.

…be true to our family member ?

Simply – of course.  Hopefully reading through this page has broken some funeral ceremony myths. For this particular rite of passage, we start with a blank page. Together we can make sure that the ceremony we create, through our collaboration, is as unique as the life of the person whose memory we will honour.

 A Civil Funeral Ceremony provides the freedom of choice

You and your family, with my support and assistance, can create an appropriate and fitting farewell. Hymns, prayers, religious readings and the wearing of black are simply options for you to embrace or reject as you see fit. Conformity is no longer as admired as it once was; there is no reason for us all to want the same adieu as we take our leave. Together we can create a farewell as unique as the person your family has lost.