Renee Taylor Celebrant
What happens, in a practical sense, when someone dies?
The main thing that a family will need to do after a death is to ensure a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is issued and then the to register the death. Following that, arrangements can be made for Burial or Cremation. If the death is at a hospital, then the staff there will help with the Medical Certificate. If it’s at home, then your GP, if they've been involved with the deceased's circumstances, may be able to provide the Certificate. Failing that the case may be referred to the Coroner.
Also, the family can consider kind of funeral and celebration of the person’s life they want to have. A funeral director can help with that. Another choice would be a DIY funeral. Families can make arrangements directly with a burial ground and crematorium, arrange for a service, if they want one, and even transport the body themselves. I can understand why many people aren't going to be able to make such arrangements when bereaved. But it is happening more and more these days.
My role is to prepare the ceremony. Typically, a celebrant will interview the family, learn about the life of the deceased, and bring the stories, memories, beliefs and emotions together to write the story of the life that has ended. Everybody has a story.
What are the different types of funeral?
If you’re a religious person you’ll likely go to your local priest, vicar, Buddhist monk…to help with that service.
You also get humanist celebrants, whose services are non-religious.
For civil celebrants, such as I am, we reflect the beliefs of the deceased and the family; so, although I'm not a religious person, I'm quite happy to include the Lord’s prayer in a service, for example.
What happens in the service?
We spend a couple of hours with the family, interviewing them about the life of the person who’s died.
Often people want to tell funny stories, or things that made the person unique.
This gives us a chance to really think about what we value about them, why they’re important to us, and what it is we want to remember.
A celebrant will collect stories, and try to understand the emotions around the person, what they were like and how they affected the people around them.
This is turned into a eulogy or tribute for the service, and will involve some back and forth with the family, if they want to engage with that, to make sure it’s right.
We will also discuss and suggest music or poetry the family might want.
How do people book your services?
People can contact me directly, or otherwise it is done through the funeral directors. They do a very good job of matching the celebrant to the family and the bereaved.
What drew you to this profession?
The process of my own parents dying and talking to the chaplain who took care of their funerals was part of it.
I wrote both of their eulogies, which was great closure and important to me.
I’ve also been a people person, and been interested in how people live their lives, and making that connection.
Renee Taylor interview with Tom Simone. First ten minutes about being a funeral celebrant. Rest talking life and death more broadly.
Phone +44 7367771977
|Contact Name||Renee Taylor|