Use this board for general non-cycling-related chat, or to introduce yourself to the forum.
Posts: 11643
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm


Postby pete75 » 30 Aug 2019, 4:50pm

My mother has recently died an my sister wants the funeral service to be conducted by a celebrant. Has anyone any knowledge or experience of them? I'd prefer a properly ordained clergyman but am open to persuasion.

Posts: 11084
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Celebrants

Postby mercalia » 30 Aug 2019, 5:09pm

pete75 wrote:My mother has recently died an my sister wants the funeral service to be conducted by a celebrant. Has anyone any knowledge or experience of them? I'd prefer a properly ordained clergyman but am open to persuasion.

was she a church goer? if so approach her church?

Posts: 1643
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Celebrants

Postby Oldjohnw » 30 Aug 2019, 5:25pm

There are 'feeelance' celebrants attached to most denominations. The local church of whichever denomination she belonged to or preferred should help. Plus there are increasing numbers of humanist celebrants.

Condolences, Pete and sympathy for your loss.
Last edited by Oldjohnw on 30 Aug 2019, 6:14pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cycling and recycling

User avatar
Posts: 7624
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Cully

Re: Celebrants

Postby al_yrpal » 30 Aug 2019, 5:37pm

The ideal person to conduct the service would be someone who knew her and her family well. I recently went to a funeral and the ladies daughter did it. She was wonderful, it was by a mile the best conducted funeral I have ever attended. Whether its a member of the clergy or a celebrant, if they didnt know your mother its bound to be impersonal and it will risk offending someone by leaving them out. Could any member of the family conduct it?

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

User avatar
Posts: 1409
Joined: 6 Dec 2008, 6:58pm
Location: Port Talbot

Re: Celebrants

Postby Spinners » 30 Aug 2019, 6:08pm

I went to my cousin's funeral in Bedford back in February and the Celebrant was superb. My cousin had a 'colourful life' and the (lady) Celebrant really did a good job of describing his problems and weaknesses but emphasised all that was good in him as well. She encouraged two family members to give eulogies and other family members to participate as well. I found it very emotional but all-in-all a great service.

(Sorry for your loss Pete75).
Cycling UK Life Member
PBP Ancien (2007)

Posts: 227
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Celebrants

Postby rotavator » 30 Aug 2019, 6:24pm

We had an "interfaith minister" (not a humanist as I thought at the time) to lead one of my relative's funeral last year and she did such a good job that we have invited her to do another one's next week. Having said that, we had to completely rewrite the eulogy because she made a hash of the first draft.

To put it crudely, the celebrant believes in god but is willing to leave god and spirituality out of a funeral service of atheists, which is fine by me and the other close relatives.

Posts: 2884
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Celebrants

Postby LollyKat » 30 Aug 2019, 6:43pm

Assuming you are using an undertaker or funeral parour, they should be able to recommend someone, either ordained or not. I have been to humanist funerals as well as church ones - they have all been very well done.

My sympathies for your loss.

Posts: 7399
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby

Re: Celebrants

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2019, 8:42pm

I hope you and your sister find agreement, it must be a hard enough time without the differences.
Over the last few years I've been to funerals conducted by Civil, Humanist and Clergy, I'm pretty sure my feeling about how they were handled had more to do with the individual rather than the affiliation.

Posts: 10061
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Celebrants

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 8:18am

My Dad died just over a year ago, and for the last decade of his life he had stopped going to church. He was RC. As a family we felt some sort of Christian words should be said at the service, along with a few words from family members. So we sought out a nice lady vicar (Anglican) who was keen to talk through our thoughts and preferences. And at the service a couple of family members recalled incidents that summed Dad up. It was a short affair, just as he would have wanted it. He didn't think funerals mattered much, other than for tidying away the body, and neither did we, so we kept it simple.

Posts: 11643
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Celebrants

Postby pete75 » 31 Aug 2019, 9:16am

Thanks for the comments and advice chaps. I've since discovered you don't have to have the local vicar so I've asked someone I used to work with and who is now a vicar to do the service. In his words he'll be doing it as a friend who just happens to be a C of E clergyman. My sister is happy with this.

Posts: 890
Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 10:29pm

Re: Celebrants

Postby bogmyrtle » 2 Sep 2019, 10:39pm

Sounds as though you've come up with a good compromise. The main thing is your sister is happy with it.
I had a bit of a disaster with a Celebrant service. I ended up rewriting the whole service the night before the funeral.
Funeral services don't need to be in churches.
My father was never a church goer but he had played the bagpipes all his life from a young age. We had his service in the pipe band hall where he spent a lot of his time playing and teaching (in fact he helped to build the original hall). Some of the pipers piped the coffin from the hall to the hearse and a close friend piped at the graveside. It was very emotional and very appropriate.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

Posts: 1168
Joined: 26 May 2008, 12:51pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: Celebrants

Postby djnotts » 4 Sep 2019, 11:23am

All I know is that I used the service of a celebrant at my wife's cremation last year and she was very helpful and kind. Entirely non-religous.

User avatar
Posts: 289
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 11:18am
Location: Brynteg

Re: Celebrants

Postby Patrickpioneer » 5 Sep 2019, 6:24am

What would your mother have wanted, did she write it in a will.
I am sorry to hear about your mum, my mum died only last week.