So, as I sit at my desk getting ready to visit a family, I ask myself 2 questions.
1. Why do I love what I do? and
2. How am I different?
The first question is easy, I believe that everybody deserves to be celebrated in a way that truly reflects their personality, values, beliefs, hobbies and way of life. We are all unique beings and when it comes to how we honour life rituals that exceptional individuality should shine for everybody to see.
They say that when you find a job that you love, it does not feel like work, and I can say that is certainly true for me. Everything I have experienced to date has been leading me to this place.
It truly is a privilege to be welcomed into people's lives in times of great happiness and great sadness.
When I meet my families, whether for a funeral, living funeral, commitment ceremony, wedding, vow renewal, naming ceremony, coming of age or any other ceremony you can think of, I can feel the love in the room and the need for my families to have their story heard.
The best compliment I can be given is that the ceremony truly reflects the couple and in the case of celebrations of life when those attending ask how long I have known the deceased.
We have all been to funerals where the officiant has used a stock ceremony, and has just changed the names. One of the joys for me is to listen to family members and then write the script, reflecting the truth about their loved one.
So how am I different from any other celebrant? Well, I like to get to know the people I am writing about. I spend time listening, reflecting and asking questions.
All in all I probably spend about 20 hours writing and getting to know my couples for weddings, commitment ceremonies and vow renewal. So you can imagine by the time we get their ceremony we are like old friends.
When working with families and friends for a celebration of life and memorial services, it is over a shorter period of time, but I still invest around 7 hours getting to know the deceased and writing the ceremony.
For me it is important that the planning of a funeral, celebration of life, or memorial, is part of the grieving process. I do not want them to hold on to how they feel until after the funeral.
At a living funeral, the amount of time I have get to know the person for whom the celebration will be is flexible.
I know my families value me holding a safe space for them when we are discussing the ceremony and my skill of holding space for them and their guests on the day of the ceremony.
As a civil celebrant I can bridge the gap between secular and religious rituals. This is great, as I can be flexible when writing and conducting a ceremony. You would be surprised how many people ask for the Lord's Prayer to be said at the funeral.
I always place my couples, family and friends at the centre of every ceremony. It is not about what I want - it should be a true representation of them and their uniqueness. I am the conduit that enables them to have their wishes delivered.
I am naturally curious, and a people person. That is why it is a real privilege to work with my couples and families. I really do love my job, as I get to talk about love, life, relationships and help those I work with to have their needs and dreams granted.
If you would like a free consultation to discuss your dreams and aspirations, please call me on 07956355735
Much Love Jules x