Arranging a funeral or memorial service can be a very difficult experience for those recently bereaved. There’s so much to think about and plan, at the same time as having to come to terms with the reality of your loss. That’s why it’s important for you to have all the help and support you can get from experienced professionals who you feel comfortable working with.
Having left my own father-in-law’s funeral at a crematorium some years ago, I found myself wondering if I’d been to the right service, so I know first hand how different a celebrant-led service can be. I believe that the most beautiful and moving services are achieved by the celebrant listening carefully to those planning the funeral and allowing them to have ultimate control over the script.
Louise Goode – A Celebrant Plus
Imagine her funeral, as the last few rays of the sun slip away and the flames of a hundred candles flicker and dance, as dusk falls and you say goodbye to the sound of evening birdsong.
Or, just close friends and family members gathered in the garden that he loved and tended for since he was a lad. The scent of his beloved sweet peas filling the air on a balmy Sunday afternoon before the local brass band play Bring Him Home…
The following may be of interest to those of you who like to know what “all“ your choices or who are and are keen take control of your, or your loved one’s, funeral plans.
I am Louise, a celebrant-plus – which means I am part of an amazing movement to de-industrialise funerals and encourage a return to a world where we are all empowered to choose what’s right for us and our loved ones when they die.
As a celebrant my main focus is on the funeral ceremony. But as a celebrant-plus I am also there to advise and guide you at an earlier stage of this journey.
In our society, when somebody dies, the expectation is that a funeral director will arrive very shortly afterwards and remove the body. Not only is this rush not really necessary, for many people it is not helpful to them in accepting what has happened or in processing their grief. When someone has been married for many years, or shared their life with someone closely, it can be deeply traumatic not to have tis time to say goodbye, not to be the one to offer the final bit of care to them and not to be able to see them without an appointment. As a celebrant-plus I can work with you to slow this process down. Give you time to say goodbye and help you decide when, and if, it’s appropriate for you to engage the services of a funeral director and recommend an appropriate funeral director to you.
I work closely with end-of-life Doulas. These are professionals who are engaged to help in whatever way suits the needs of the dying and their families – through the process of dying and the period just after. Help is tailored to the needs of the individual and their family – be it emotional support, help with household chores, assisting with shopping or just being someone to hook up with for a cuppa and chat. They are on hand to answer any questions about the process of dying, normalise this event that, let’s face it, will happen to us all. In the final instance, they are also there to support families who may wish to keep their dead at home (just long enough to be ready to say goodbye or until the funeral). A Doula can help care for the body and create the right environment to support them being kept at home.
When it comes to the actual funeral ceremony, I can talk you through all our options. There is so much more available to you than the church, other place of worship or crematorium. I can talk through all your choices so that you end up with a funeral that is just perfect and really represents the person who has died. Be that a ceremony in a woodlland, a hotel, a village hall, or even your back garden! I can advise on coffins and shrouds, types of transport and even caterers and florists and will work with you to create, write and deliver a genuinely personal ceremony that really reflects your feelings and everything that was wonderful about the person you love. I am on hand every step of the way to support and facilitate and co~ordinating the very best of local professionals and suppliers, whilst making sure you feel as involved and in control as you want to be – and all within a budget that is right for you.
Of course, if you simply want to book me to work with your chosen funeral director for a traditional crematorium service, that’s fine, too. You can either book me through the funeral director or contact me directly.
How much do I charge? Prices start at £220 for conventional services or from £450 for my celebrant-plus services.
Advice, a listening ear, expression and creativity, humour, organisition, professionalism, kindness, quality, impartiality, great value, care, eco-awareness, freedom, CHOICE!
Here’s a breakdown of the services included in your booking and a step-by-step guide to how the process works:
- Initial phone call within 24 hours of enquiry or booking.
- Information by email to help you gather your thoughts prior to my visit.
- A visit at the venue of your choosing (average duration 2 hours). Funerals can also be planned via email or telephone if preferred.
- A draft copy of the script for approval in advance and a beautiful commemorative bound copy after the funeral.
- Content for the order of service within 12 hours of the meeting to be sent to the funeral director.
- All music arranged for the crematorium and graveside.
- A courtesy call the night before to run through the final arrangements.
- A copy of the script sent to the funeral director to ensure the service can still be delivered should any unforeseen circumstances arise.
- I arrive well in advance and remain after the service to say goodbye to you and see everyone out.
charges and other Services
Service of up to 60 minutes with 50 mile radius of B74 costs £200.00. Extra time £50.00 per hour. Mileage over 50 miles @.50p per mile.
- Scattering of ashes: £50
- Double slots and burials: £50
- Mindfulness and hypnotherapy recordings (complimentary)
- As a fully trained soloist I can lead the singing free of charge when booked as a celebrant but can also be booked separately for hymn leading or as a soloist at churches, crematoriums and burial grounds. Fees start from £90.
When working with me you can be confident that your ceremony will be delivered with professionalism, confidence, warmth and sincerity.
To give you an idea of my style and experience, here’s a short clip of one of the many funeral services I have written and conducted, reproduced with kind permission from the family.
If you’d like to ask any questions or start the process of arranging a funeral service, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.