How I work
When a family asks me to act as celebrant for the funeral of their loved one, first and foremost I recognize that each and every time I accept this work I am being tasked with a sacred responsibility.
As an independent celebrant, I am not bound by a rigid doctrine as I am neither a humanist on one hand nor a priest on the other. What this means in practice is that for each family I can write the ceremony exactly according to the beliefs and values of the person who has died.
Sometimes I will write a ceremony whose only Christian element is the Lord’s Prayer. At other times, I might write a full Christian service, or then again I might be asked to create a ceremony that speaks more about Mother Nature and the indomitable human spirit, than about God.
In his book, Funerals And How To Improve Them, Tony Walter says, ‘“ A funeral says that something significant has happened, that a human life, this human life, has ended; and it goes on to interpret this event in some way. When funerals today fail, it is because you would never guess that something significant is being marked.”
After sitting down with each family in person and talking at length about their loved one and the ceremony that they want, I will go away and hand write each and every ceremony (and eulogy should they wish). Once I have done this, I send a draft to the family which they read over well before the day of the funeral and this ensures that what I have written is pitch, tone and word perfect.
I will sometimes advise families with music and poetry choices and will liaise with other family and friends if they are contributing a poem or a tribute to the service.
During the service itself, I am always on hand to seamlessly and without fuss step in on behalf of anyone who is feeling too emotional on the day to stand up and speak.
Click here to read a bit more about me.
Alex Marshall, Funeral Celebrant
To contact him directly please ring
07966 095 657 or email.
I wanted to say a huge thank you for the splendid service.
It was everything and more than I ever expected and you really made it as if you had known my sister for years.
I am so grateful to you for making it so special for my wonderful sister.
Many, many thanks,