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Arranging a Funeral

If I am going to conduct a funeral for you it is helpful to give some thought prior to us meeting
regarding the type of service you would like me to produce.

It is therefore important for me to get to know as much as possible about the person who has died; their life, their wishes and your views on what the service should include. Each service I conduct will be unique, and I will seek to make the occasion personal, and very special. The service can be anything from a traditional religious service to a non-religious or humanist style ceremony and can include almost anything you would like to have included.

On most occasions I will meet with you prior to the service, unless it is your wish that we do not meet, in which case we can discuss your requirements over the telephone or by post, email or fax. If we are going to meet, it would be helpful for you to think about the following aspects of the service prior to us meeting.

EULOGY:

Would you want me to write and deliver the eulogy? Would a family member or friend like to deliver a eulogy? If not, would someone wish to write a tribute for me to read? If you wish me to write it I will need to know as much as possible about the deceased. It is always better if you can write down prior to us meeting as much information about the deceased as you are able. Some helpful things to start with are:-

bullet point Where they were born and raised, were there any siblings if so what are their names;
bullet point What was their parents names, and any special family members they grew up with;
bullet point School days and childhood stories and any childhood friends;
bullet point Partners, children, grandchildren and other family members or friends;
bullet point Armed forces / national service; career and places and type of work;
bullet point Interests, achievements and any groups or societies that they belonged to;
bullet point Musical tastes;
bullet point Any special memories.
These are just a few ideas, there will probably be many other things you would like me to mention or talk about.

Sometimes it is better not to have a formal eulogy, especially if the service will only be attended by a relatively small number of people who will all know about the deceased life and their achievements. If you think this may be the case we can have a time of quiet to remember the deceased and have some music played during a time of reflection. This is often much more meaningful than to have a spoken tribute or eulogy.

Apart from the eulogy, you may want family and close friends to participate in the service, by means of readings, poems, live music, or personal tributes. There are no set rules to this. I welcome and encourage those who wish to take part, to express their own sentiments and say goodbye in ways that have significance for themselves and all those present. You may want to include more unusual ways of marking your loss that are meaningful to you and those at the service. This is what makes each ceremony different and individual.

MESSAGES FROM FAMILY & FRIENDS: Often families receive many messages and cards from family and friends, that are often very meaningful and appropriate, that describe the deceased in a way that they saw them. It is often very nice to write some down for me to read out at the service, this gives the service a very personal touch and also the congregation will know how helpful comforting some of their messages and cards have been.

MUSIC & HYMNS: All crematoriums will have an organist and a C.D. player to play any music that you would like played. If you would like C.D. music played it is always best to have original discs and not copies. If you have the discs available when I visit I will take them away with me. It is usually nice to have two pieces of music played or hymns during the service. It is entirely up to you to decide if you want two pieces of music or two hymns or one of each. It is of course not necessary to have hymns or music, but many people wish to include this. In addition some people also like to have a particular piece of music played when we enter or leave the crematorium. It is important to remember that the music will be faded once people are in so many choose to have the organist to play at this stage of the service. If you would like the organist play anything in particular please let me know.

I would not normally advise having hymns if the service will only be attended by a few people; that said I do have a selection of hymns on C.D. that I can supply if this is the case. If you decide to have hymns, it is always a good idea to have ones that most people will know.

Selections of the most popular hymns are:

bullet point Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
bullet point All things bright and beautiful;
bullet point Amazing grace! How sweet the sound;
bullet point And did those feet in ancient time
(Jerusalem);
bullet point Dear Lord and Father of Mankind;
bullet point Eternal Father, strong to save;
bullet point Guide me, O thou great Redeemer;
bullet point Lord of all hopefulness;
bullet point Love divine, all loves excelling;
bullet point Make me a channel of your peace;
bullet point Morning has broken;
bullet point O Lord my God (How Great Thou Art);
bullet point Onward, Christian soldiers;
bullet point Praise, my sole, the king of heaven;
bullet point The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended;
bullet point The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
bullet point The Old Rugged Cross;
bullet point What a friend we have in Jesus.
The choice of C.D. music is endless, and you can choose anything you want; anything is acceptable from classical to the latest pop music.
A very small sample of popular music that I am able to supply is:
bullet point Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes;
bullet point Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel;
bullet point Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler;
bullet point I Dreamed A Dream – Susan Boyle;
bullet point Candle In The Wind – Elton John;
bullet point American Pie – Don McLean;
bullet point Pie Jesu – Angelis Choir;
bullet point Sailing – Rod Stewart;
bullet point Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassady;
bullet point What A Wonderful World – Pan pipe version.
I also have a selection of classical music with tracks such as: Nimrod (Elgar); Morning (Grieg); and Clarinet Concerto (Mozart);
READINGS: If there is any special poems or readings you would like me to include, it is always helpful to have a copy for me when I visit.

PRAYERS: Some people do not want any prayers said, particularly if you have chosen to have a non-religious service, however many people do even if the service is not a religious one. If you do not want any prayers said but would like a quiet time so that people can say a silent prayer that is fine. There are also other options that we can discuss.

ORDER OF SERVICE SHEETS: You may wish to have some order of services printed, especially if you are having hymns, as the words to the hymns can be included. If so please discuss this with me when I visit. If you would like cards provided for those attending the service to record their names on, so you will be able to know who attended the service or would like some remembrance cards or other ways of remembering the deceased this can be arranged for a modest cost.

Should you have any questions or queries prior to our meeting please do not hesitate to contact me.
Telephone: 01275 817561 - Mobile: 07972 747 103 - Email: paulmaltby2@aol.com
Member of the Association of Independent Celebrants
and County Celebrants Network
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