A day in the life of a Celebrant

Online funeral ceremonies

One key feature of the traditional funeral is the opportunity for family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, to come together in person. Whether it’s a religious or non-religious ceremony, cremation or burial, that sense of being together is central.

So what do we do when coming together is the very thing that’s not possible? At the moment countries across the world are in lockdown to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Here in Scotland that has meant drastically reduced the opportunity to travel and gather. Funerals are still taking place in Fife, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee and surrounding areas but with very reduced numbers. This means that hard decisions have to be made about who can and can’t attend. And strict social distancing is being enforced at crematoriums and cemeteries.

One answer that some celebrants and funeral directors are exploring is to use Zoom, FaceBook, Vimeo and other internet software to conduct “web ceremonies” or “virtual funerals”. To get people together online and to deliver a eulogy, play music, read poetry, say prayers or share stories and memories.

If you are facing the prospect of having to arrange a minimal funeral in a near-empty crematorium followed by a memorial that you can’t even get a date for yet, consider a web ceremony. I am happy to discuss this with anyone in this position or with a funeral director looking at options. Contact me if you would like to chat about this. My colleague  Michael Hannah has made a video which you can view to see for your self.  To access the video click here – (you will need a password if you don’t have one please contact Michael directly.

I’d also love to talk to other celebrants to share ideas and skills. I’m working with local celebrants like Michael HannahSarah Burnside and Angela Maughan. But the beauty of the web ceremonial idea is that we can collaborate further afield and across borders. Very happy to discuss my work with others

Michael and Cate, May 2020