Let me help you through the saddest of times
As Benjamin Franklin said
“in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”.
Death is inevitable, but for those left behind, saying goodbye is one of the most distressing experiences in life.
As a Humanist, my funeral services acknowledge this in a respectful and sensitive way.
Every person is unique and therefore each funeral ceremony and tribute is bespoke, reflecting the true character and personality of the individual. A Humanist funeral is a celebration of life, focussing on your loved one and the lasting impact they had on those around them.
Traditionally, Humanist Services follow the following format:
- Entry music
- Introduction and welcome
- Reflections on life and death
- Tribute to deceased
- Period of reflection
- Closing words
- Retiral music
I am there to guide you through the entire process.
It is important for me to spend time with you and your family to get to know the life and character of the deceased. If required, I can advise you on suitable music, poetry, prose and readings.
This personal approach ensures that your loved one will be given the warm, sincere and above all, uplifting ceremony, that they deserve. Many families have said that they derived comfort not only from the ceremony itself, but from the initial meeting, when they were able to revisit old memories and relive some of the good times.
“You were fab Karen, from start to finish. You really looked after us. I will make sure that I recommend you if ever someone needs a humanist.”
“Hello Karen, Didn’t really get a chance at the funeral to say how pleased we were and to thank you for the service you conducted for J. Everyone we spoke to after commented on the service and how they knew J so much more from attending. Some had never been to a Humanist funeral before and were amazed at how personal to J it was telling them of his DASH. So on behalf of myself and family Karen thank you so much. You will always be our first recommendation if we or anyone we know needs a Humanist Service.”
“I am still hearing many nice comments about the way you handled W’s service and for that I am very grateful. Hopefully we can keep in touch and I wish you all the best for the future.”
“Hello Karen, just a text to say thank you for the professional service you carried out for my Dad. Everyone was very impressed and gave you very good feedback which is good testament to your service. Thanks again.”
“G and I want to say thank you so very very much for your Tribute to K which we loved. The amount of people who spoke to us later spoke highly of you and how superb the whole service went. Once again our grateful thanks and I have kept your card and will certainly pass it on to anyone who would wish a celebrant funeral.”
“Thank you so much for mum’s funeral speech. It was such a lovely service and a comfort to the family to give mum a great send off. Thanks again Karen, I think you’ve found your vocation.”
“Thanks very much for today Karen, it was a brilliant service. Mum couldn’t have asked for a better send off.”
What you need to know before the ceremony
All Caledonian Humanist Association Celebrants are trained, regulated, insured and agree to adhere to a code of conduct. This ensures that your experience will be of the high standard required by you and by the association as a professional organisation.
In most cases when you contact a Funeral Director they will have the contact details of local Celebrant(s) and will make arrangements with them on your behalf.
However, if you would like to contact me directly, or ask for me by name, then please feel free to do so and they will be happy to help or guide you in the right direction.
I am very much aware and sensitive to the fact that all who attend are united in a desire to pay their respects to a loved one. In keeping with the Humanist ethos, my funeral won't include any acts of religious worship. By that I mean I won't ask you to bow your head in prayer or stand to sing a hymn. My services are conducted with the life of the deceased at the heart of the ceremony.
If it’s important to you that a ceremony has an act of worship then it's far more appropriate for the ceremony to be conducted by a representative of a religious body who shares those beliefs. Your Funeral Director can contact your local Minister or Priest on your behalf who will be happy to assist.
If for whatever reason a Humanist or religious ceremony is not appropriate you may wish to consider an Interfaith or Civil Celebrant who is part of a reputable organisation.
When organising a funeral, you only get one chance to get it right. You put your trust in the Celebrant to ensure that this is the case. I will work with you, guide you through the process to make sure your loved one receives the send off they would have wanted.
Sadly, many individuals who offer their services as “Celebrants” to Funeral Directors are not members of any organisation. They are not trained, regulated nor insured and unfortunately on many occasions the Caledonian Humanist Association have had to step in to assist bereaved families who have had distressing experiences as a result.
So, I strongly advise families to check up on any ‘Celebrant’ that is offered to you by your Funeral Director. If they are a member of a reputable organisation then their details should be easily accessible online.
Unlike religious celebrants, I do not receive a salary. My fee is set by the Caledonian Humanist Association and covers the time and skill needed to gather the information, compose a fitting tribute to the deceased and to deliver it in a professional, warm manner on the day.
In 2017 fees for a funeral service are £175 for a ceremony conducted in Aberdeen. Travel out with the City will incur an additional charge of 50p per mile.
Get in touch
Contact me to discuss a fitting tribute to your loved one