The Celebrants Network Inc - BLOG

This blog is updated by passionate celebrants. Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss the latest from The Celebrants Network

More Blog posts can be found in the Blog Categories to the right.
Jul
25

D2KDay – 8 August 2019

DTK Day is on 8th August 2019. To quote the Dying to Know Day website "Too many of us are dying in a way not consistent with our values or wishes. Too often, we feel ill-equipped to support loved ones who are dying, caring or grieving. Dying to Know Day is designed to change this by activating conversations and curiosity."

Today’s blog is written by TCN Committee Member, Melanie Lawson. https://www.celebrations.org.au/find/celebrant-directory/2521-melanie-lawson
Continue reading
Nov
26

How a funeral is planned

Funerals and memorial services provide an opportunity for family members, friends and others to gather together to honour and remember the person who died while offering comfort and support to each other.

Planning a funeral or memorial service is a highly personal process, and your decisions will be shaped by your life experiences, your relationship to the deceased, what the deceased wanted or what you desire for yourself after you die, what you can afford, and a myriad of other factors.

Whether planned after a death occurs or beforehand arranging a funeral or memorial service often proves an emotional, and sometimes exhausting, process. 

Hopefully this information will help to make that process a little easier to understand.....

Continue reading
Jun
12

Loss of loved ones

"People do not die for us immediately but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad." Marcel Proust

The death of those closest to us presents challenges not imagined, even though death is a natural part of life the sadness, grief, shock and confusion that may present itself at the time may feel like it will never go away...

Continue reading
Mar
15

Funerals

Civil funeral celebrants are a popular alternative today and contrary to some beliefs are often happy to include religious components to the ceremony.  The role of the Celebrant is to work with individuals and families to create and conduct a ceremony appropriate to the person; it is important to spend time with them to makes sure you are clear about what they want and that you can provide it for them...
Continue reading
Jan
13

Death Doula

 
Today we are proud to present one of our TCN Members, Elaine Dinnigan as our guest blogger.  Elaine is a Celebrant and also a Death Doula and she's here to tell us all about it....
Continue reading
Sep
26

It's Time



It's Time!


Spring equinox 23rd September 2017


It's officially spring....
the flowers are blooming...
 new life is emerging....


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to book your celebrant

If you are planning on getting married anytime in the next eighteen months (that’s how long your NOIM is valid for) then call and book your celebrant soon and get that paperwork done.

You can still get married this spring if you're quick, the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be lodged with your celebrant one month before the ceremony; plenty of time still for a November wedding.


Photo courtesy of The French Click

IT'S TIME to plan your summer celebrations

Clean up the garden, pack away the winter clothes, and make your bookings for festivals, concerts, holidays, backyard BBQs and beach weddings.

elaine blog3
Photo courtesy of The French Click 

IT'S TIME to have your say on marriage equality


Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: With several countries revising their marriage laws to recognise same-sex couples in the 21st century, all major English dictionaries have revised their definition of the word marriage to either drop gender specifications or supplement them with secondary definitions to include gender-neutral language or explicit recognition of same-sex unions.  The Oxford English Dictionary has recognised same-sex marriage since 2000. 


 Haven't Voted Yet?
  
Fill in and post your Vote as soon as possible and if you would like more information visit

TCN's Marriage Equality section. 

elaine blog4


Remember not to add anything other than the response required (i.e. no comments, no glitter, etc) or your survey response could be invalid.

If you’ve lost or damaged your ballot, you can request a new one from the Australian Bureau of Statistics here any time before October 20th.

IT'S TIME to begin planning the final celebration

If you plan on living your life to the end, then you can start by talking to a celebrant about recording ‘your life story’ or filling in those important documents such as: Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship, a valid Will (who gets what) and emotional will (words of love and wisdom)



Don’t leave it to your family to make difficult decisions at an emotional time, have the conversation now.

???

Passage of Time

Sadness passes with time 
A hollow field blanketed with snow 
Soon fills with swaying blooms A darkened sky suddenly illuminates            
A weary traveller’s way 
And Spring follows a Winter’s road 
Which butterflies array 
Somewhere, somehow, shadows 
Give way to sunbeams 
Life’s fabric is painted with promised purpose 
And each day new freshness springs 
Laughter envelops an empty room 
And a broken heart sings 
With an abandonment of joy 
As it finally kisses the dawn 
Of a bright new day!


Little Pebbles and Stepping Stones, Compositions from the heart by Ruth Van Gramberg - 2005


For more information on any of the above or to contact a Celebrant near you visit
???
Thank you for 
joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!
? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.
Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 
Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ? 
Find us on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

 

 

Continue reading
Apr
06

How The World Mourns...

When we're faced with inevitable life transitions, such as death, we look to tradition to guide us through the difficult time and help us mourn our loved ones.  

We arrange a funeral, usually with flowers;  we invite friends and family to pay their respects, followed by a wake or a memorial and then we grieve.  

But who's to say that this western tradition suits everybody's way of dealing with death?

There are different ideas about death and funerals and burials around the world..... here are 42 of them.


42-funeral-customs-from-around-the-world-1.jpg
42-funeral-customs-from-around-the-world.jpg42-funeral-customs-from-around-the-world-2.jpg 42-funeral-customs-from-around-the-world-3.jpg
This pictograph has been shared from AvasFlowers.net via www.everplans.com

If you are arranging a funeral or starting your pre-funeral planning, you can contact a TCN Celebrant to assist you in creating a beautiful ceremony to suit your needs and style.

 

READ MORE about funeral planning HERE

* __________________________________ *

Thank you for joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  
?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 
Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ? 

Find us on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

 

Continue reading
Aug
06

What would you like to ask about funerals and memorials?

For Dying to Know Day - today Monday 8th August 2016 - TCN would like to encourage everyone to talk about death and particularly funerals and memorials.  What questions would you like answered by TCN and our celebrant members?

To start the conversation, here are some questions our TCN celebrant members have been asked:

Must we organise a funeral within a few days of a person's death?

Are there any laws we need to know, if we want to organise our own 'send-off'?

Can we have both a funeral and a memorial?

Am I able to pre-plan my funeral ceremony?

How can our family give a loved one a fitting tribute, but not cost us 'an arm and a leg"?

questions answers

Can we have a religious funeral ceremony and a civil memorial some time later?

Can we include religious material in a civil funeral?

Our parent does not want any fuss, and tells us not to have a funeral. However we feel uncomfortable about that. What can we do?

If we are not church goers, and do not want to use a funeral chapel, what other venues could we use?

Do we have to have a "Celebration of Life", if our family member was a rather difficult character who caused more pain than joy?

If we were considering a "Do It Yourself" funeral or memorial, what tips do you have for us?

How can we get mum or dad to discuss what they want us to do, when they die?

How can we get our adult children to talk with us - anytime we try they seem to brush the topic to one side?

The Celebrants Network (TCN) invites you to ask these questions and more!

You may ask a question via our Blog Comments Section at the bottom of this blog - anytime today or tonight.

In fact, if you are too busy today, then ask when you can.

It's very easy to do.

However, if you have any hassles, please feel free to contact us.

The Celebrants Network (TCN) has created a special Dying to Know Section for your information, in addition to our Ceremonies for loss and grief Section for Everyone.

questioning 1300894 450

What have you done to farewell a family member or friend?

You are also invited to share your experiences here with us.

* __________________________________________________________ *

Thank you for joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  

There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  

? Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ? 

Find us on Facebook 

 & Twitter 

Continue reading
Jun
22

Are memorials becoming more popular than funerals?

It seems in recent times, more families, who would normally be choosing a civil funeral service, are having a private service or even a simple viewing to say 'goodbye' to their loved one, then organising a Memorial for the wider circle of family and friends a few weeks later. 

There may be many good reasons for taking this approach.

Flexibility with timing for the ceremony

b2ap3 thumbnail flexibletiming

There are a lot of decisions to be made following a death, especially an unexpected one.  A private farewell and a later Memorial ceremony reduces the immediate stress and helps people make clear decisions about the type of farewell they would like.
 

Having a Memorial a few weeks after the death, gives extra time for planning the ceremony and more choice of day of the week, time of day, length and content of the ceremony, and location.  This flexibility can be very useful where family and friends are overseas or interstate.

The family can take time to find a civil celebrant who suits the style of tribute the family wants.  Civil celebrants are very flexible about the arrangements and will encourage family members to be involved in planning the ceremony and actively participating in it.

Consideration of Costs 

b2ap3 thumbnail Funeralcosts

 
A lavish funeral using the funeral company’s chapel and other facilities can cost many thousands of dollars.  A simple farewell is more cost effective and enables the family to consider how best to create a personal and fitting ceremony to honour their loved one.  

 

 The Memorial ceremony can be as beautiful and heartfelt as a funeral

flower 408833 600 

There are many ways a ceremony can involve beauty and show respect for our loved ones who have died. 

You may have a beautiful urn or hand crafted box with the deceased’s ashes as a focal point.  You may have a favourite photo, or display of personal items in place.

There could be floral arrangements, inspiring poetry, carefully chosen music, a slide show capturing the highlights of the deceased life, room decorations that reflect their personality or interests.  These can all be part of a Memorial and can be carefully prepared in the weeks between the death and the ceremony. 

 

b2ap3 thumbnail Foreverlovedchair

You may decide to have caterers arrange a lunch or afternoon tea to follow the ceremony, enabling family and friends more time to share memories and expressions of love and respect.

 

Remember to contact our TCN Celebrants first if you need to make arrangements for a loved one.
* _______________________________________________________________________________________________ *
Thank you for joining us....
?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  
There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  

?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 


Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ?

Continue reading
Jun
12

Should we be talking about Funerals?

When we think of the end of our life, there are probably a few different thoughts going through our heads.

Have I lived a good, fulfilling life? Did I remember to sign my will? Who will look after my loved ones? Why me? I wish I'd lived, loved, laughed more. Are my affairs in order? Did I delete my browser history?
 
But one thing that not many of us have thought about, and if we have thought about it, haven't done much about it - is our funeral.

It's not the nicest of topics to talk about, but to those either on their way there soon or for those who just like to be prepared - this is an important conversation to have and it's important that we listen to the wants and needs of our loved ones.


If you're unsure how to go about starting this type of converstaion, there are people that can help you, like the organisation called: Death Over Dinner who recently featured on Ch 10's The Project who do exactly that - helping people to have that awkward conversation about your dying wishes.

Whilst the funeral is more for those left behind, you might like some particular words to be said; you may have a piece of music in mind; you might prefer your funeral to focus on celebrating your life rather than mourning your death; you might have a definite choice of being buried or cremated and maybe you have a specific location you'd like your ashes to be scattered.

None of these things will happen in your final moments though if you don't tell somebody about them.

 

You could also contact one of our wonderful TCN Funeral Celebrants to help you with ideas.

READ MORE about pre-funerals planning here.

* _________________________________________________________________________________ *

Thank you for joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  

There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  

?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

Please use this ? link: https://www.celebrations.org.au/blog when you share. ?

Continue reading
Jan
19

Saying Goodbye - Your way. Act Now

Saying Goodbye – Your way

 

funeral-lily

Act Now before your final Goodbye.

When families are confronted with trying to prepare the funeral, shock and grief can make it very difficult to remember those things that they need to know about “Mum” or “Dad”!  Generally your children look upon you as only their parent, not from any other perspective.  So the other compartments of your life, as a lover, partner, friend, student, teacher, mentor, work colleague, employer, team player, sports person, voluntary worker, etc, etc, are not fully appreciated or understood. 

The same can be said for your life experiences and their context.  All this information is needed to prepare a fitting life tribute that will do justice to a person’s life as a whole. 

So when is the best time to get started?  Now – none of us know when our time is up!

So what can you do to start this process?  Meet with your local independent Funeral Celebrant to discuss your funeral ceremony and the way you would like to say goodbye to your loved ones.

Continue reading
Jan
19

What can we do? Things Happen!!

traffic-jam-250ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: What did we do? from TCN Civil Funerl Celebrant Jan Woolrych

As we all know ‘things happen’ and we have no control of these things no matter how well we plan.  Yesterday on the M1 from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane there was an accident which caused the M1 to be closed/blocked/diverted for around 3 hours.  Hopefully those injured are on the mend.  Our thoughts are with them and their families.

I was to conduct a Funeral Ceremony at Mt Thompson Crematorium (south of Brisbane) at 1.00pm and was travelling to Brisbane with the Funeral Director when we were caught in the traffic snarl.

Continue reading
Jan
16

Personalise the Funeral

funeral_flowers_200

Are you in the midst of arranging a funeral?  Are you feeling overwhelmed right now?  There are so many details that must be attended to.  So many decisions to be made, people to contact and this is while you are feel so raw from your loss.

Take a deep breath, slow down, – pause for a moment and then focus on what is important – honouring the person lost to you.  Each of us is unique and special in our own ways and when planning a funeral it is important to honour that unique life and relate the impact that life had on family and friends.

So how do you do this?

Consider the unique life of the person who died.

Write a list of the following:

Continue reading
Nov
28

Challenges can be opportunities

Abstract-Floral-Butterfly-200As Funeral Celebrants we are constantly faced with challenges.  They may be minor; they may be major; how we, as professional celebrants, approach and react to these challenges (or should I say opportunities) will impact on the Funeral Service.

Recently I was asked to conduct a Cremation Service for an elderly gentleman, whose wife is in a Nursing Home suffering from dementia.  They have no known family – they were a very private couple who married in their late 50’s.  What do you say?  How do you approach the ceremony?  What theme would I underpin the ceremony with?

Continue reading
Nov
12

Understanding differences while Saying Goodbye

The celebration of a Life is an opportunity to say goodbye, honour, celebrate, say thank you and give meaning to a person’s life.  As we are all different and unique each of us merits a ceremony that recognises our lives’ strengths, weakness and achievements and our beliefs.

No matter what your personal beliefs are, you, as the Funeral Celebrant, should honour, celebrate and give meaning to the person’s life in a manner appropriate to them.  This sometimes involves research into their beliefs and putting aside your own personal beliefs.

Recently I needed to research funerals in various faiths so I could prepare Celebrations that did not offend any of the family members while at the same time acknowledged deceased’s deeply held Christian beliefs. 

Continue reading
Jul
25

Straight down the middle

Straight down the middle was where Tony could hit the ball. He loved his golf and he was a happy, fun-loving man who, before Alzimiers took its toll, did everything with passion, zeal and enthusiasm especially when it came to his golf!  When I was asked to conduct the celebration of his life service, by my friend his wife, I was proud to be given this honour and accepted.  Many of Tony's long-term friends live overseas so it was not expected to be a large gathering and his family did not want 'a fuss!' as for several years he had lived in a nursing home in his own enclosed world.  

What can you say?  What verses do you use?  What music do you play?

Continue reading
Jul
08

What music do You play?

 

What Music do You play?

 

Death of a loved one is a difficult and stressful time for families; there seems so much to arrange on top of the emotional turmoil of losing a loved one. 

A funeral is a time of loss but also a time to commemorate life and music can and does play a vital role within the service to expression feelings, to enunciate emotions, prompt memories and to offer messages of hope and eternal love.  For centuries music has formed a very important part of rituals and ceremonies and by using music in a meaningful manner can assist family and friends with the grieving and mourning process.

 

Once you have spoken to your Funeral Celebrant and developed the Order of Service, what poems, verses or prayers you have selected to achieve the mood you wish for then consider the music.  What music do you feel will reflect the life of your loved one, what will honour them and commemorate their life in a fitting way. 

 

The music chosen is a very personal choice; you may wish to play a song loved by the deceased person, or a song that will bring hope or offer inspiration to the mourners, a song that will lighten the mood and bring smiles to all.  Music can be a selected that will remind family and friends of time spent with the departed, or because they will evoke memories of happy times spent together or because the deceased just ‘loved that song.’ As I wrote earlier: a very personal choice. 

 

Funeral songs fall into mainly three categories – Hymns, classical or popular music.  The lyrics of a song can also help to remind us of a loved one, or describe the life of the deceased or the emotions being felt by all those present.  Listen to the lyrics, or read them and see if they express the emotions, feeling or mood that you want to achieve with the music. 

 

If you are having difficulties consult your Funeral Celebrant, they are experienced and they can help you with suggestions to make your Funeral service a ceremony that reflects the life of your loved one in the manner you want.

 

Continue reading
Apr
24

What makes a funeral meaningful?

What makes a Funeral meaningful?

For centuries funerals have helped us to say goodbye, to honour, to celebrate and remember those we love.  Funerals can bring together families and friends who offer loving support in our time of greatest need and can offer comfort to those mourning.

A funeral is made up of different parts that when combined make an incredible meaningful experience for you, your family and friends.  It is how you, your family and friends, with the assistance of your Celebrant, combine these components that will make the funeral meaningful.

The major components of a funeral are; music, readings, symbols, committal and eulogy. 

Music – music forms an important part of many social rituals and can be used to access feelings and using music meaningfully in a service helps us to embrace our loss and can form a vital part of the grieving and mourning process.  

Readings – can be selected to capture the unique life and beliefs of the person who has died and can also acknowledge the reality of death; it is quiet appropriate to include humour here if it reflects the personality of your loved one.

Symbols – the main symbols used in funerals are flowers, candles, photos and the coffin.  Flowers represent love and beauty and placing flowers on the coffin is a way to honour the deceased.  The flame of the candle represents the spirit and for some it also represents life’s continuation beyond death.  The presence of the coffin serves as a focus for mourners and helps them recognize and embrace their loss and pain.  Family will often place items on the coffin that relate to the life of the deceased, such as tools of a trade, a fishing rod, war medals, a photo, or sporting memorabilia from their favourite team.

Eulogy – this if often the part that stays with the family and friends long after they have left the funeral and most likely the part to be talked about later.  Don’t be afraid to ask others to assist you in sharing their memories that can be included.  The eulogy acknowledges the unique life and personality of the person who has died and affirms the significance of that life for all who shared it.

Committal – In a chapel service the Committal is the final goodbye – it is the time we honour the dead with respect, honour and dignity.  The curtain closing on the coffin brings a necessary feeling of finality to the service and can be powerful to the family and friends and can assist in the healing process.  If the Committal is graveside it is the final goodbye as you watch the coffin being lowered and it can also be a powerful moment - a moment of quiet reflection, a time to say goodbye.

While each faith and culture have their own variations on the elements of a funeral and incorporating them together with those listed above will make the funeral meaningful while respecting the values and traditions of a particular faith or culture. 

Continue reading
Mar
09

Can a funeral be fun?

Subscribe to our ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG

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.

Continue reading