What I offer...

Funeral and farewell ceremonies

The death of a loved one can be an extremely painful and disorientating time. As Harry Rollins states, or perhaps understates, “It’s extremely sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.” Having to arrange a funeral service is just one of a number of decisions that have to be taken in the immediate aftermath of the death of someone close to us. My role, along with other professionals such as a funeral director, is to help, guide and support you during this time.

For many people, having a funeral or farewell ceremony plays an important part in helping them come to terms with the death of a loved one. Such a ceremony emphasizes the transition that death brings both for the deceased and for those they have left behind.

There are many different ways in which we can say "goodbye" to a loved one. Please read on to find out more ...

"Tears are words the heart cannot express" - Gerard Way

An unattended funeral or cremation

This is often the simplest way to say goodbye as there is no funeral service and none of the other elements normally associated with a funeral. The funeral or cremation is normally carried out by a funeral director and staff at the cemetery or crematorium with no-one else in attendance. Sometimes the bereaved will hold a memorial service before or after the unattended funeral or cremation, and I would be happy to help with this (see below).

An attended funeral or cremation

There are a number of different ways of having a funeral or cremation. You can have a more traditional service perhaps with readings, a eulogy, prayers, music and flowers. Alternatively, you can opt for a more contemporary service which focuses on celebrating the life of the person who has died. This might have a theme, or you may simply want to include some popular songs or music, special readings, and other elements favoured by the deceased. Of course, you can have a combination of both the traditional and contemporary. The most important point to remember is that the tone and content of the service must reflect what you, and possibly the deceased, wants.

A memorial service

A memorial service can take place before or after a funeral or cremation. The focus is often on celebrating the life of the deceased and remembering him or her through readings, music and speeches. These services might have some relaxed or fun elements within them.

A woodland burial

Many people are now opting to have a funeral in a more natural environment such as a designated woodland or natural burial ground. Again, you can choose to say farewell in a variety of different ways during a woodland burial.

The scattering or interment of ashes

This ceremony takes place sometime after a cremation. The deceased’s ashes can be scattered in a favourite location or can be interred in a family grave or garden of remembrance. A simple ceremony can be created to accompany the scattering or interment of ashes if desired.

What you can expect when you make contact

In most cases, the funeral director will take responsibility for the practical funeral arrangements. My role would be to help plan, prepare and deliver the funeral or farewell ceremony itself. I would liaise with you and the funeral director as appropriate. It would be my responsibility to ensure that the ceremony reflected the beliefs, values and wishes of the deceased and their loved ones.

I am happy to be contacted either directly by you or through your chosen funeral director. You can then expect the following ...

An initial phone call from me

I will call you to arrange a convenient time for us to meet either in person or online. During this phone call I will also give you a general idea of what we will discuss during our main meeting.

Our main meeting (in person or online)

We will talk about the deceased’s life (and their death if you want), and how they were special to you. We will discuss what kind of service you want and if you or the deceased have any special wishes or requests. The emphasis will be on making this a ceremony which truly reflects your beliefs, values and desires.

Ongoing contact

I will contact you at some point before the funeral ceremony to share the draft of the service with you and to check through the facts to ensure that it will run as you expect.

On the day

I will attend the venue, normally ahead of the mourners, and liaise with other professionals such as the funeral director as appropriate. I will then hold the service as agreed.

What I offer...

Legal Weddings and Civil Partnerships

I am available to hold legal weddings for opposite sex and same sex couples, and civil partnerships in Scotland. Getting legally married in Scotland offers you a great deal of freedom to choose the kind of ceremony that you want. Whilst there are certain legal requirements to comply with, the nature and content of the wedding ceremony can be based entirely on your beliefs, values and requirements.

Your wedding ceremony can be small or large, simple or intricate, modern or traditional, it is entirely up to you. This is your day, and your opportunity to celebrate the love that you have for each other.

What you can expect when you make contact

An initial phone call from me

I will call you to make an initial appointment. I will briefly explain what we would need to cover during the forthcoming meeting.

Our initial meeting (in person or online)

This initial meeting can be either in person or online. We will talk a little about you as a couple and will explore what kind of wedding you want. Some couples have very clear and detailed ideas about what they want at this point whilst others don't, this is fine by me! If we agree to proceed, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable booking fee and I will then commit to holding your ceremony.

Ongoing contact

There will be ongoing contact between us, the frequency will depend on the circumstances of each request. Most of this ongoing contact will be through email or online. We will explore what you want during the ceremony and I will offer advice and suggestions as appropriate. I can also give some general information about the legal requirements, but it is your responsibility as a couple to liaise directly with the Registrar regarding the legal aspects of your wedding. As we get nearer to the date of the wedding I will produce a draft outline of the service for your comment, making sure that I have got all the correct information. This is the stage at which any final changes must be made. Once we are happy with the overall plan, I will then produce the final version of the wedding service.

On the day

I will attend the venue on the day, normally ahead of those invited, to ensure that all the arrangements are in order. I will then hold the service as agreed. I regret that I cannot attend any celebration after the ceremony, so please don’t be offended if I decline any invitation to do so.

“True love stands by each other’s side on good days and stands closer on bad days." - Unknown

"Welcome to the World" Ceremonies

One of the greatest joys is the arrival of a new life. The birth of a baby is marked in many religious traditions through ceremonies such as a baptism or christening or a brit milah. Many parents who are not religious also want to share their happiness with the wider family and friends through holding their own ceremony of gratitude and welcome. I would be happy to discuss various ways of doing so with you.

“You are the one who put me together inside

my mother's body …”

(Psalm 139)

I've held a number of other ceremonies over the years including non-legal relationship blessings and handfastings, house blessings, renewal of vows, and a service of healing of emotional wounds. Please contact me for further details.

Get in touch

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the services I offer, or to arrange an initial meeting. This initial meeting can be either in person or online. We will talk about why you want a particular ceremony and will explore what you are hoping for during the service.

There will then be ongoing contact between us, the frequency will depend on the circumstances of each request.

You can also call me on 07732 851927 if you would prefer to leave a message or speak to me first. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions you may have prior to arranging an initial meeting.

All enquiries are usually answered within 24 hours, and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services.

© Ian Bonner-Evans

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