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Apr
12

Sand ceremony at a wedding

Looking for something different to  include at your wedding?

What about a Sand Ceremony?

This is a lovely, unifying idea based on the idea of blending the bride and groom's families. Two containers of sand represent the single journeys the bride and groom were once on as well as their own families and friends.

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Apr
11

Hand tying or handfasting. But what coloured ribbons should you choose?

From Rebecca Skinner

The Celebrants Network Incorporated Blog Coordinator
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

Hand tying or handfasting adds a lovely new dimension to a wedding ceremony. But what coloured ribbons should you choose?

All colours have their significance. For instance red is the colour of passion, strength and fertility; orange represents attraction and kindness while yellow is linked to confidence and joy.

Green, often used by financial institutions, represents prosperity along with health while blue, the colour of the ocean, stands for tranquility, devotion and sincerity.

Purple represents power, white- purity and peace and black, strength and success.

Pink is the colour of romance, brown is very grounding while gold is linked to energy, wealth (of course!) intelligence and longevity.

Silver on the other hand is the colour of creativity and inspiration.

So knowing all that, which colours would you choose? Maybe a mixture of them all...

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Rona Goold

Hand Fastibg

I have done several Handfastings. The most recent was lovely as were the others. The Bride and Groom said their vows in conjunctio... Read More
Thursday, 11 April 2013 19:19
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Mar
30

Michael - In Memory Of tribute

“A Loving Heart is the Truest Wisdom ..” Charles Dickens
Free On-Line Memorials in our "In Memory Of" section

Introducing ASKACELEBRANT''s newest section "In Memory Of" on our www.celebrants.org.au website.

Do you have a loved one or friend, or respect a community member for whom you would like to make a tribute for their life?

Every day there are short poppies that stand tall in the lives of families and communities who never receive a public acknowledge in the "Obits" of even the local papers. ASKACELEBRANT wants to hear some of their stories.

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Mar
29

Easter a time to mull about life's mysteries

Rona Goold
Coordinator Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia
Civil Marriage and Family Celebrant

Last year our family had a tragic loss when one of my husband's nephews died while snorkeling. He was 26.

His life just opening up to all the wonder of life's creation and opportunities. "Life cut short too soon, wise, soft . . ."#

It was a bitter, bittersweet time to review his life. Seeing Sam as baby, a toddler, child, teenager and young man brought back the memories hidden in the mind and heart.

His ceremony strengthened resolve to treasure all our loved ones, with awareness that life is short. To honour all those who give a part of who they are, to become a part of who we are. To be present to pain and loss. To support those who grieve beyond ending. To be present to the love within us and around us. And yet to face a new dawn with courage and hope for one more day of life's journey, knowing our turn comes inevitably to join the mystery of death.

Civil ceremonies tap deep into the human need to honour life, to share our stories, our pain, our truth and  hope. They may or may not acknowledge the specific religious beliefs of some present, but they all aim to treasure life.

Easter time can be for everyone a time to mourn and treasure the past, reflect upon presence and the present, and renew hope for the next moment.

May this Easter bring peace of mind and heart to all - with a touch of delight in the shape of an egg!

# Words texta-d on Sam's coffin.

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Mar
17

Tumut, Riverina and Snowy MTNs Celebrant Barry Blundell

This weeks featured celebrant is Barry Blundell from Tumut, Riverina and Snowy Moutains Area.

After completing high school at Tumut NSW; I moved to Sydney where I commenced a long career with the Post Master General’s Department (later to become Telstra). I returned to my home town ten years later, as an employee of Telstra in a customer service representative role. I have become more familiar with my local area and nearby regions of New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

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Mar
09

Can a funeral be fun?

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Post by Meg L’Estrange
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Member
Melbourne Victoria
MegLERhttp://meglestrange.com.au

Can a funeral be fun? 

You bet! 

For some families this is the best way to honour the person they have lost.

Bo:  Bo was a larger than life personality and stories of his antics abounded.

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Andrina (Ann) Finke
It can be fun as long as you don't insult any of the parties and further more your fun really start with the eulogy, by way of ins... Read More
Sunday, 10 March 2013 14:24
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Mar
08

Wollongong Celebrant Helen Rice

From ASKACELEBRANT: www.askacelebrant.org.au
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Many thanks to Helen for providing her profile.

Wollongong Helen Rice Authorised Civil Celebrant - Appointed February 2009

I’ve worked in libraries for many years so have a love of books and literature. Married with 2 daughters (grown up). I have seen relationships flourish and then fall apart, both marital and familial relationships. Like most others I have many life experiences.
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Feb
24

Gold Coast Sheryl Massey

 

This weeks featured celebrant is Sheryl Massey from the Gold Coast.

My name is Sheryl Massey and I reside on the southern Gold Coast, just below the Qld. border in Banora Point NSW.Originally from Melbourne, although I was raised in Maffra, Gippsland in Victoria. My partner & I moved up to the Gold Coast 20 years ago and we just love it here, and wouldn’t live anywhere else. There are so many beautiful locations for a special ceremony, beaches, parks, gardens, resorts, the hinterland, rainforests etc.I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of two granddaughters and three grandsons, they all live in south Queensland, we are a very close family.I have worked in many areas over my working years, hairdressing, cosmetics retail & promotion, secretarial, medical administration.

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Feb
17

Eltham Celebrant - Meg L'Estrange

This weeks featured celebrant is Meg L'Estrange from Eltham Victoria.

I am Meg L'Estrange, a celebrant for all occasions, a former teacher and school counsellor, and a family woman with three adult sons.

While I was teaching I experienced the death of my mother. When my dad had died two years earlier, she was so distressed by the funeral he was given, which was totally inappropriate for him, that she said, 'Let no man of the cloth come near me when I die!'

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Feb
14

St Valentine strikes again

red_rose_turn_heart_valentines_day_md_clrPost by Rona Goold
TCNA Coordinator
www.celebrants.org.au

Whether you received a special message today or not, isn't it great to have a day to acknowledge the value of love and friendship in our lives?

My husband and I will be married 20 years this year, so he did need the prompting of the local radio talk show to remind him that today is a special day :-)

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Feb
06

How to Choose Your Celebrant

There are many things to consider when choosing a Celebrant for your special celebration ...

Some people go on first impressions or “gut feelings”. Others choose on price – the least or most expensive. Yet others look for value for money.

Each of these on its own is rather limited when you consider the celebration can never be repeated!  So, what should you look for ?

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Jan
28

Tips for Wedding Ceremonies Involving Children

From Mr Peter Grant - Cvil Marriage Celebrant
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Austraia
Brisbane Queensland

http://www.peterthecelebrant.com.au/

Many of our wedding ceremonies now involve extended families with the couple having children (either together or from previous relationships) and that immediate family being readily accepted by parents, siblings and grandparents.
 
We advise our couples that the wedding ceremony is a terrific event to incorporate the love and acceptance across all levels of the family unit. We ensure that the involvement of family members does not detract from the solemnization of the marriage nor dilute the focus from the Bride and Groom.
 
My advice to couples is to sit with their celebrant and discuss the various ways and rituals that can be used to incorporate their children and their parents into their ceremony. Some of the ways we have done this is for the Bride to pause during the Processional next to the mothers (of the Bride and Groom) seated in the front seating and hand them a single red rose each as a token of love.

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Rona Goold
Mr Peter always helpful with your tips and thanks for sharing. I am a Wedding celebrant myself and it is really a great idea to in... Read More
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 16:53
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Jan
10

Tackling the Tough Times

Being-Thanksful-150From Rebecca Skinner

The Celebrants Network Incorporated Blog Coordinator
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. And it's not just a story about pain and suffering, it's also a story about survival, the learning process, and seeing the silver linings.

We often treat troubles as real negatives. They come into all our lives with no notice and we don't want to have to deal with them. But the reality is, troubles can often open the door to many positives.

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Jan
07

LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO CELEBRATE!

From Rebecca Skinner

The Celebrants Network Incorporated Blog Coordinator
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

Why do we wait until birthdays, Christmas or New Year's Eve to celebrate? I believe life is too short not to celebrate EVERY moment we can.

Without making the effort to mark a particular moment, life passes us by far too quickly and achievements and blessings can so easily get missed along the way...

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Dec
28

Breaking with Tradition: Eloping

. . . with family blessings

From Rebecca Skinner
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

taking-wedding-vowsAt this time of the year, couples that are thinking of getting married often start to make plans.

Do we have small an intimate or big and flashy? A ceremony within a religious tradition, one with religious elements or one that focuses their personal spiritual beliefs and values about relationship and family?

The difficulty with big and flashy can be the cost - sometimes an amount that would make a great deposit on a house or purchase a new car outright!

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Dec
13

Losing Companion Animals hurts . . .

From Rebecca Skinner
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support and unconditional love.

They become part of our family, a much loved friend, and a large part of our lives. So when they’re no longer with us, it’s quite normal to feel an intense sorrow and the pain of loss and separation.

A memorial service embraces the grieving process, acknowledges a special relationship with a pet and offers comfort to those that have loved and lost. It is also a chance to celebrate their life and to remember all the happy times together. Anatole France, a French poet, journalist, and novelist famously remarked: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”

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Wayne Farquhar
Beautifully said Rebecca, and yes I wholeheartedly agree with you. Animals are God's gift to humans whereas like us they to - evo... Read More
Monday, 14 January 2013 09:47
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Dec
10

Reflect & Remember

Suzie-G-celebrantThe third Celebrant initiated Community Memorial Service was held on Wednesday 5th December in Ferntree Gully, Melbourne.  Robyn O'Connell, Funeral Celebrant, headed up a small, but dedicated team of celebrants to once again organise a memorial service for the community in Melbourne. 

2012 saw the first celebrant organised Mother's Day and Father's Day Services, and now a Christmas Service "Reflect ~ Remember" can be added to the list. 

Several highly respected celebrants dedicated their time to share their feelings and help those in our community, who find Christmas

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Dec
06

Baby Namings can be spiritual too!

Celebrants receive all sorts of requests from families when they have a new baby in their midst.

Many people do not realise that just because a Naming ceremony is not a "Christening" the style of the ceremony does not have anti-god nor bland.

By Pat Slee
Civil Marriage and Family Celebrant
Brisbane and Suburbs Queensland
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

 http://www.spotlightstars.com.au

4-bears-namingWhat a great day to be a Celebrant..

A Naming Ceremony for a little lad, with all of his family all around in a beautiful location on the headland at Elliott Heads in Queensland.The request was for a "Spiritual.. not Religious" ceremony, so I dug into my English Heritage and borrowed from the ancient Wiccan philosophies.

I used the aspect of the 4 Elements as blessings and we (the little one's mother that is..) decorated the 4 Bears to reflect this powerful imagery.

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Dec
02

Family Blending Ceremony at the Oldest Operating Boathouse in Victoria

From Robbie Fincham CMC

Melbourne Civil Marriage and Family Celebrant
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member
Vice Chairperson TCN Inc
www.robbiefincham.com.au

EMIKO AND PETER - 2012 GOLD ROSE ENTRANTS 193

wedding-celebrant-melbourneOn a beautifully sunny spring afternoon in Melbourne in October this year I had the pleasure of conducting the marriage between Emiko and Peter, incorporating a family blending ceremony.  Family and friends gathered on the banks of the Yarra River in Kew where the oldest operating boathouse in Victoria stands - the Studley Park Boathouse.  Being only a 10 minute drive from central Melbourne, you could be mistaken from thinking you were somewhere in the country, so natural is the setting with picturesque views of the Yarra River and the perfect setting for their ceremony.

Emiko was given away by her Father, who had flown in from Japan for the special occasion.

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Nov
29

Holidays like Christmas can be bitter sweet times for many

From Robyn O'Connell CMC
Melbourne Civil Celebrant
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member
www.silvercelebrants.com.au

Losing a loved one to death is hard. That loved one's absence is obvious - especially on those occasions when family and friends come together to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries, shared beliefs or shared community times set aside for holidays.

Such times can be very lonely for those whose depth of grief is still acute. Being sad amongst others who are contented and happy can make that loneliness particularly painful.

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I attended the Fathers Day Memorial Service, also conducted by local civil celebrants in Melbourne. It was beautifully created an... Read More
Thursday, 29 November 2012 17:00
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Nov
26

THE RITE TO BE ALL RIGHT…

From Rebecca Skinner
Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia Celebrant Member

www.celebratinglifeschapters.com

Many cultures have celebrated a young person’s ‘coming-of-age’, and it is still marked in the Jewish community as a Bar and Bat Mitzvah, when boys turn 13 and girls 12 and in Korea by the Confucian ‘Gwallye’ from ages 15 upwards. But in Western cultures this tradition is all but ignored. The Celebrants and Celebrations network thinks it is high time to reintroduce this important ceremony.

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Nov
21

Rainbow of Love

One of the great things about the Ask A Celebrant section is the ability for couples and families to put their stories and photos about their ceremonies on our website.

I've just found this great entry from this year's ASKACELEBRANT Gold Rose Promotion. It is entry number 255.

The couple Brian and Liz have shared their photos from their Easter Sunday wedding.

Liz says " .... our theme was 'Rainbow of Love'.

As you can see this was represented by the colours :)

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Nov
19

LET’S PARTY WITH A PURPOSE!


With families so geographically scattered and all of us leading such busy lives, it makes the gathering of family and friends all the more important.
 
That’s why the Celebrants and Celebrations Network encourages people to Party with a Purpose.

The association’s doesn’t believe we should have to wait until an occasion like Christmas or a wedding to get together, but that we create our own special occasions, organising  memorable and meaningful celebrations that touch hearts and enhance lives.
 

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Oct
14

Perhaps Archbishop Jensen's criticism of "I did it my way" shows a lack of understanding about

funeral_flowers_200Civil Funerals . . .

QUOTE: From Sydney Morning Herald.

THE popularity of I Did It My Way as a funeral song shows a ''vulgar egotism'' exists in society, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, says.

In his last presidential speech before retirement, Dr Jensen said society's shift towards ''deadly individualism'' had been driven by material wealth and technological mastery.

The cost of individualism, and the shift to self-love, had consequences for the quality of our community, family life and how we treat death. That was evident in the choice of ''our swan song of this generation'', Frank Sinatra's classic I Did It My Way, Dr Jensen said in his speech, titled ''Last Words''.

Reference: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/gods-way-smarter-than-sinatras-says-jensen-20121008-279nb.html

Yes I would agree with many people, that the challenge for us all is to balance our needs as an individual with the needs of our community.

I find Jensen's comments confusing. I understood that Christianity was one of the major promoters of the need to respect each individual - for the need to support and promote human rights. Otherwise, where a community feels threatened by a few or even by the one, as in the recent shooting of the 14 year old Pakistani school-girl, Malala Yousafzai, not just one but large section of humanity are devalued.

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Rona Goold
So true. Great article.
Friday, 09 November 2012 12:47
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Oct
12

What a difference a …… civil celebrant makes!

kevin-cluneThis morning I watched with great pride as one of my colleagues, Kevin Clune, commemorated the 10th Anniversary of the Bali Bombings, in Kings Park, Perth. The sensitivity and empathy that was shown by Kevin was outstanding. 

The ceremony acknowledged the loss and the ongoing pain that those that were there still experience, not forgetting those who lost family members/friends, as well as inspiring hope for the future. 

Cutting the broadcast short to enable the Victorian service to be shown was so disappointing.  Melbourne's service was solemn with little connection to those who still bear the scars.  It is interesting that different faiths were invited to participate - but where was the civil celebrant who represents people with little or no faith?  There was, what I believe an inappropriate reading from Ecclesiastes 'A time to be born, a time to die'.  While this may be appropriate for someone who has led a long and fulfilled life, how does that relate to someone whose life was taken in an act of terrorism? 

For that matter, how many of those who were affected were regular church goers?

I should make note here that with the coverage ABC24 hours had, I have not seen the complete service anywhere.  What was easy to pick up though was the tone.  Victoria - Amazing Grace. WA - Wishing you were here (Pink Floyd). 

They were young people who lost their lives, which was the most appropriate? 

A civil celebrant creates, writes and presents a ceremony - they have no doctrine to follow, nor any constraints, other than common decency, and yet when are they invited to be involved in such services? 

Ministers from many faiths are invited as not to offend anyone. 

I am a full time civil funeral celebrant, if faith was so important to the majority of people, why are 60% of funerals now conducted by civil celebrants like myself? 

I'm not saying we should not have church involvement, I'm just asking why those 60% of people who chose a celebrant are not represented by a Civil Celebrant? 

There are many civil celebrants who do good work for the community!  Kevin didn't get paid and yet spent countless hours making sure that it was a ceremony that would touch the hearts and minds of those who attended. 

Myself and a group of colleagues put on a memorial service for Father's Day, Mother's Day and Christmas - of our own free will, raising our own funds in order to do something for the community. 

Many of us volunteer and conduct ceremonies for Relay for Life (Cancer Victoria) and many other community functions. 

A civil celebrant understands ceremony - it is what we do! 

Why then, do the powers that be, completely overlook us? 

The community needs to understand that we are more than willing to help our society in any way we can, but often we don't even know about it until it is too late.

So if you have a community occasion coming up - ask a celebrant to help, someone who understands the power of ceremony. 

A Meditation for Those Left behind . . . .

Author: Robyn O'Connell

We must not, and should not, forget that for some the hurt will never go away.


It’s here again,
where did that time go!
There’s a hole in my heart,
though no one would know

Strangers see me walking
and talking like normal folk do
But they can’t see what is inside,
a heart that is still broken in two

Yes I go on with life
and I try to hide my pain
Even if I told others of it
what good would it gain?

Sometimes I tire of the pity
or the ‘oh sorry’ they say
Their life too
could change in just one day

Don’t think I have forgotten
Even though it’s been so long
You come to mind so easily
Even listening to a song

And so few will know the pain on days like this
or the ache that always stays
Because sometimes it is not just this time of year
but so many of my days.


Robyn O'Connell CMC, Dip MC, FC, Cert IV in Training & Assessment
Celebrant, Author, Funeral Celebrant Trainer & Workplace Trainer
Silver Celebrants
P O Box 5116, Ringwood, Vic, 3134 Tel:  (03) 9005 7175  Mob:  0425 726 246
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find our more about Robyn on www.silvercelebrants.com.au  

Member: Celebrants & Celebrants Network Australia
Member: The Celebrants Network Incorporated

"And can it be, that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature, makes a void so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up!"  Charles Dickens

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Patrick Slee
Agreed Robyn, so many really do not know that there are Civil Celebrants out there who can represent THEM.. the ones who have no p... Read More
Monday, 15 October 2012 15:22
Rona Goold
Thanks Robyn for your comments on civil celebrants for community events and your poem for the Bali 10th Anniversary. Much apprecia... Read More
Saturday, 13 October 2012 07:38
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Sep
05

Do you know what a civil celebrant actually does?

scottish-wedding-vowsA celebrant friend  did a talk on Rituals in Modern Society for a local club.

As the session progressed, it became apparent that the group had little idea of the role of a civil celebrant.

"And how do you go about planning the reception?" was one question, indicating a confusion with wedding planners.

My friend's response "Would you ask that question of a minister or priest?"

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