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04/05/2017: Bury me, bury my horse

The life of a celebrant is certainly varied and full of interesting people. Take for example, a funeral conducted by Paul Smith recently.

A sensationalist headline could read "Woman buried with her horse". However, the sensationalist press, gladly, are not called upon to conduct funerals and deliver eulogies. The wishes of the deceased are deserving of much more respect than that.

As a lifelong, passionate horsewoman, the lady concerned had requested that the ashes of her greatly missed horse be buried with her. In fine style, the lady and her horse were eulogised and laid to rest in a shared grave, uniting them for ever.

This is just one example of the flexibility and freedom that becoming an independent celebrant offers. Making people happy at times of great sadness is a gift, this is a part of that gift.

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28/03/2017: You don't have to be young and fit to marry

One of the joys of being a celebrant is that on occasions you get to help people fulfil their dreams and be instrumental in their happiness.

This can happen at any stage in any life, as two recent examples have shown. In one instance, the lady concerned was terminally ill and with very little of her life left. Her dream was to marry the gentleman in question and she was determined that this would happen. By making arrangements with the registrar, licence was granted to carry out the wedding ceremony at the side of her bed at home. For the last few days of her life, the joy of the long-dreamed of marriage helped assuage the suffering of her illness.

The final chapter in this story is that the lady's husband then requested that Paul should deliver the eulogy at her funeral.

Later this month, Paul is to officiate at a wedding ceremony for two residents of Drummonds Care Home in Colchester. Both are wheelchair bound and in their 60s, but when the time is right, the time is right. Paul always mentions how privileged he feels to be a part of ceremonies like this same sex civil partnership and the marriage of a terminally ill lady at her bedside. Celebrancy offers the opportunity to share immense joy as well as helping to overcome grief, touching the lives of young, old, fit and frail in equal measure.

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04/02/2017: Want to know how to get more work from funeral directors?

This book, written by a long term industry insider is aimed at helping bereaved families save quite large sums of money in arranging funerals.

Using insights to the world of funeral directing gained over many years of experience, John Parry imparts information that can also be useful to celebrants wishing to forge relationships with funeral directors and become their go-to person for funeral celebrancy.

The book is available through Amazon click here for details.

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16/12/2016: Training courses

A Celebrant Society training course is now regarded as among the best within the industry. In terms of impact and value for money they are hard to rival.

The courses include all aspects of funeral work, civil weddings and baby naming ceremonies.

Although they are structured intensively over two days it is by no means the end of the story.

All training is conducted on a 1 to 1 basis and includes the delegate shadowing an experienced celebrant during a home visit; a meeting with a funeral arranger; learning all the elements that are involved with writing an impactive script and seeing a celebrant "in action" taking a service. Candidates learn a great deal during their training period but it is impossible for them to learn everything all at once.

Training remains "on-going" forever, in terms of back up and support. Funeral and wedding scripts can be checked by our writers for accuracy, content and running time before they are delivered at a ceremony or event.

It is not uncommon for celebrants to experience writers block and sometimes it takes a trained eye to help them complete a script.

Celebrants learn to expect the unexpected.
It is not unusual for a celebrant to receive a panic call from a funeral arranger in the afternoon checking someone's availability for the following morning. This happens when a family has been let down at the last minute by their trusted clergyman and a celebrant is entrusted to step and write an elaborate story of someone's life from whatever details they are given over the phone.

The celebrant's aim is then to achieve a satisfactory outcome from the family, regardless of what is required at such short notice.

This is one of many scenarios that our celebrants are likely to face during their careers. Choosing to become a celebrant is rewarding in every way and a worthwhile investment for the right person.

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