Being a Celebrant
What do people look for in a celebrant? It’s likely to be the ability to:
- listen well, build on information and ask appropriate questions
- write an authentic account of someone’s life in a style that finds “just the right tone”
- speak with clarity, control and conviction
- maintain an appropriate pace, always engaging without ever being rushed
- be accessible and flexible in their approach
- respond to unforeseen circumstances and remain professional at all times
These are skills that I have developed and refined over many years in a variety of professional contexts. I have had a wide-ranging career history that includes over twenty years' experience as a teacher and trainer. I have also worked in the retail and the care industries. I run writing and performance workshops for schools and colleges and have performed at theatres and festivals throughout the UK. I specialize in teaching performance and presentation skills. For eleven years I was co-director of Lansdown Cabaret, a Bristol based variety show.
This wealth of life experience has, I feel, been of great benefit in preparing me for being a celebrant. My concern is to find just the right tone, which will of course vary for each ceremony.
Why I was drawn to this work:
I was dismayed by the perfunctory nature of both my parents’ funerals as they failed to reflect on the their lives, experiences and character. I think we all deserve a funeral that is not only dignified and respectful but also speaks of who we were: our glories and our follies, our passions and our idiosyncrasies, and all the characteristics that made us unique. I set out to paint a picture that speaks of the deceased person that people who knew them will recognise, one that will have, to quote from recent feedback, "captured their essence".