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Jan
09

Why have a ceremony?

ASK CELEBRANT BLOG:

Add a ceremony to your celebration!

Intuitively we know that a celebration is a way we mark important rites of passage.

Many Australians celebrate important events though, by having a booze-up and throwing in a few words towards the end.  We have forgotten that the food and drink were meant to accompany the speeches or ceremony, not be the celebration itself.

Without a meaningful core to the gathering, a celebration may be boring and unsatisfying and more likely to lead to excessive eating and drinking.

Ceremony is an Act of Love - quality time spent together, a way of re-establishing that meaningful core to the event.

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Jan
18

How do "civil" celebrants set their fees - some are wildly different?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG:

Most professional civil celebrants are professionals in private practice.

That is, unlike most religious celebrants, the civil celebrant has to cover all their costs of operating a home-based celebrancy practice from the fees they charge 'up-front' for their ceremonies, BEFORE they make an hourly rate for their work.

Consider:

  • Couples have not 'lay-buyed'  part of their ceremony as couples have via donations to a church or via government taxes to a Registry Office.
  • A religious celebrant is usually supported financially by their church stipend and has their travel, phone and other expenses covered by their religious institution. Likewise registry office celebrant.
  • A independent civil celebrant is required to ensure the ceremony suits the individual couple.
  • In most cases, this requires considerable extra work in sourcing wedding prose, poetry and other materials, or even writing of new material by the celebrant.
  • READ MORE
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Jan
13

Can a 'surprise' ceremony backfire?

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG:  We all love to see expressions of delight when we make a love gesture a surprise!  But what if this backfires?

People need to be psychologically prepared to be the focus of attention, even if it is for a short while, by knowing they are going to a party or an event. Elderly people may have even more difficulty being fully present to the occasion if they are not prepared.

So the TCNA does not recommend “total” surprises for anyone. And of course, under no circumstances can the bride or groom be surprised about their own wedding . . .

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Jan
12

What is a civil ceremony?

Civil ceremonies and celebrations for significant life events - for individuals, couples, families or communities - are designed and delivered to provide an inclusive environment in which to

  • honour all people - respecting the diversity of their individual talents and skills; gender; sexual preference, race; family, educational, religious, social, cultural backgrounds; life experiences; beliefs; personal, emotional, spiritual, social and other needs

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4786 Hits
Sep
26

Celebrant ACT Canberra Gina Callan

gina-canberra-celebrantASK A CELEBRANT BLOG
www.celebrants.org.au

Hi there!  My name is Gina Callan and I am a Civil Marriage Celebrant living in Lyons in the ACT. 

My professional background is varied but includes many years working as a Registered Nurse and then as a Government Administrator in Health and Ageing, time as a Community mediator, in disability care, and as a trainer and educator.  I’ve managed complaints, taught first aid and facilitated accredited and non-accredited training courses. 

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2732 Hits
Sep
19

Susanna Jose -ACT Canberra Celebrant

susanna-celebrant

ASK A CELEBRANT BLOG
Celebrants for adding a ceremony to you next special occasion
www.celebrants.org.au

Becoming a celebrant was something I have wanted to do for a number of years. I loved the idea of being part of celebrations which were joyous, positive and meaningful. However, it was only after I retired from my position as a school principal, I was able to find the time to devote to the training.

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1744 Hits
Jun
18

Cairns Celebrant - Gwen Stevenson

This weeks featured celebrant is Gwen Stevenson from Cairns QLD.

Hi. My name is Gwen Stevenson, and I am an Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant in beautiful Far North Queensland. I have lived in Cairns since 1983 and feel I have a very good feel of our lovely area and the fantastic locations the North has to offer for Wedding Ceremonies and other Life Celebrations.

My Celebrant profession is on a part time basis at the moment, and I work full time for a family owned Resort in Cairns looking after their Administration requirements. I would love to be able to carry out the Celebrancy work on a full time basis though, and that is the goal I am working toward.

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1939 Hits
Jun
10

Launceston Celebrant - Sue Lee-Archer

This weeks featured celebrant is Sue Lee-Archer from Launceston TAS.

Born and raised in Melbourne, I attended Prahran Tech and RMIT, studying commerce. Then got into music at age 18, and performed as a folk singer and musician (guitar). I've always worked as a stenographer/ secretary and had an interest in writing. In fact, I submitted a short story for the Alan Marshall Short Story writing awards in 2009, but alas, no luck.

In 1976, I moved to Launceston and got into folk-rock (electric bass and vocals). However I'm no longer regularly involved with performing, but play cello, and am teaching myself violin and piano.Since 1996 I've worked for my husband as office manager . A long time interest in craft work is one of my passions, and I'm sharing a site with a friend at the Deloraine Craft Fair, Tasmania, November this year. WHOOPPEE!! - so hard to get into.

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2413 Hits
Jun
05

Pop Up Wedding - or more choice?

pop-up-toaster-225ASKACELEBRANT BLOG

On a Pop-up Wedding Day several couples are married at the same venue, in carefully controlled timeslots throughout the day.   They are certainly a fun, low cost alternative to the traditional large wedding.  For around $1000 and an hour of your time you have a short ceremony with a registered celebrant, photos in a pretty setting, a glass of champagne and some cake.  You don’t need to invite anyone – there will be witnesses on hand – or you might take a couple of guests with you. The ideal answer for couples who want a low key, no fuss, intimate occasion. 

Or is it? 

You should know that you can cut the costs and the fuss and still have total control of your wedding.  Choose a place that you both love and decide the day and time that suits you, book a celebrant for a simple short ceremony, book a photographer for a one hour shoot or take along a talented friend with a camera, chill a bottle of decent bubbly, pick up a cake (or your favourite food) and enjoy your special day your way. Fun to plan whether it’s your secret or shared with some close friends, unique and personal. Plus, you’ll definitely save money!

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3560 Hits
Jun
04

ACT Celebrant - Dave Segal

I have a diverse career background including retail, chef, SCUBA instructor, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, and Head of Hall of a university student residence for 500 young people. I have a range of qualifications including Cert III Commercial Cookery (chef), Cert IV Celebrancy, Cert IV Training & Assessment, Bachelor of Communication, Master of Management and currently undertaking a Grad Dip in Community Counselling.
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May
11

South Brisbane Celebrant - Eunice Phipps

This weeks featured celebrant is Eunice Phipps from South Brisbane QLD.

I come from a loving family background and have been married now for forty years. I have two children and four grandchildren. I have always been creative and as a twelve year old I learnt oil painting and still love to paint. For many years I have been involved in my community first teaching the art of calligraphy and then folk art which I am still actively teaching today. I have always enjoyed creative writing and have written many poems through the years, including my annual Christmas Verse.

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3588 Hits
Apr
13

Brisbane Celebrant - Roseann Whyte

rosann-white-celebrant

ASK A CELEBRANT - FEATURED CELEBRANT

One of my first weddings was an outdoor wedding and the week leading up to the event had been cloudy, there had been afternoon storms and blustery winds. I asked my bride and groom what if it rained on the day.

They were a fairly young couple but just so amazing, mature and sensible.

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3941 Hits
Jan
26

What do we think is the most important part of a wedding day?

child_bride_groom_holding_hands_md_clrASK A CELEBRANT BLOG: What does the ceremony do for a wedding?

Your wedding ceremony sets the tone for the rest of your wedding day and creates memories for you, your family and friends for years ahead

Getting married is about making one of the most important legal, emotional, social, economic and practical commitments you will ever make in your life.

It is a day too, that will never be able to be repeated.

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Recent comment in this post
Andrina (Ann) Finke
the most important thing on your wedding day indeed is the wedding but what sets it apart is the mood on the day and once again le... Read More
Saturday, 08 March 2014 17:41
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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?

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4534 Hits
Nov
10

Melbourne Celebrant - Anna Wong

This weeks featured celebrant is Anna Wong from Melbourne VIC.

My name is Anna Wong and I am a mother of 3, a grandmother of 3, a  registered civil celebrant, trained nurse, midwife and childbirth educator.

I was born and brought up in England, trained as a nurse and midwife in London and moved to Singapore in 1980 with my Chinese Singaporean Husband. He was a General Surgeon, I a Nurse, and, in a stereotyped manner, our eyes met over an operating table....... I founded my own health education centre called Birth & Beyond in 1985 and quickly became a leader in the field of childbirth education and parenting. I spent over 24 years educating, supporting, empowering and inspiring women and their partners through pregnancy, birth and beyond in Singapore and Indonesia. 

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5895 Hits
Nov
02

Melbourne Celebrant - Jenni Bolton

This weeks featured celebrant is Jenni Bolton from Melbourne VIC.

My name is Jenni Bolton and I was registered as a Civil Celebrant in September 2005. Since then I have officiated at many weddings,  renewal of vows, namings and funerals.I am a secondary school teacher now working part-time to allow me time to look after my 4 grandchildren with another one on the way.I was attracted to training to become a celebrant because I love working with people to achieve a goal, and I suppose my background in education and theology gave me the confidence and the skills needed to successfully fulfill the role.

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Oct
30

The me, me, me wedding

ASKACELEBRANT BLOG:
This is a delightful personal story about the value of family and community in ceremonies and an example of the sorts of stories  our couples and  families could write about their wedding and other ceremony preparations.

http://www.tennantcreektimes.com.au/story/1771594/the-me-me-me-wedding/

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2901 Hits
Oct
13

Port Stephens Celebrant - Lorraine Stokes

This weeks featured celebrant is Lorraine Stokes from Port Stephens NSW.

I am happily married with 2 married children, one granddaughter and another grandchild on the way. I worked in the finance industry for over 30 years and during that time often did public speaking at conferences, seminars and staff nights so was reasonably comfortable standing out the front and speaking to groups of people. I left that industry 12 months ago and also moved from the Blue Mountains to the Port Stephens area so I have really had a sea change. What made me become a Celebrant was my attendance at 2 weddings within 2 months of each other both conducted by Celebrants. The first was beautiful well written and very personal the second one was over in what seemed a flash with no feeling. I felt sorry for the Groom (who was my nephew) and Bride and thought everyone deserves a beautiful wedding day, I had a number of friends and family come up to me after the second wedding and say they felt I would have done a better job of it.

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4434 Hits
Jul
14

How have civil celebrants changed the face of marriage in Australia?

jenny-gary2-250TCNA is celebrating our Ruby Anniversary of the first Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia - so I've written a little review via my personal life but this is reflected in over 70,000 marriages each year in Australia.

Truly an Australian success story :-)
http://www.celebrants.org.au/ask-a-TCNa-celebrant/stories/celebrating-civil-celebrants-ruby-anniversary/

And one we take for granted every week  around our amazing country.

Let's celebrate

Rona Goold

Celebrants & Celebrations Network Australia
Coordinator.

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4281 Hits
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.

 

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Jun
16

Canberra Celebrant - Daphne Cole

This weeks featured celebrant is Daphne Cole from Canberra ACT.

I am a Canberra mother of three, married for over 30 years. I love helping couples create a personalised service to celebrate their special wedding day.

I perform weddings, reaffirmation of vows and baby naming ceremonies in locations in and around Canberra and the NSW South Coast. I plan to continue my passion well into the future, operating from the beautiful coastal town of Tomakin.

I enjoy travelling to nearby towns to do ceremonies and think that Canberra and nearby NSW surrounds have some of the most beautiful formal and informal venues to celebrate special occasions.

I love visiting the chapels, gardens, lakes, beaches and home backyards and helping people choose the ceremony that is right for them and their situation.

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May
12

Townsville Celebrant - Dianne Sherrington

This weeks featured celebrant is Dianne Sherrington from Townsville North Queensland.

I have worked in the meat industry for 30 years the last 10 years was in the training program, as I have a Certificate 4 in Assessment and Workplace Training, I was conducting in a class room of up to 50 people all inductions for the new employees. Teaching new employees skills required for the task they must performed.

I feel this role has given me the opportunity to feel relaxed and confident to stand in front of a large crowd and perform my ceremonies.

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May
05

Perth Celebrant - Wayne Loughrey

wayne-loughrey-LThis weeks featured celebrant is Wayne Loughrey from Perth Western Australia.

For the last 40 years I have been involved in the Australian agricultural industry, firstly in NSW and Victoria finally settling down 26 years ago in WA with our family in Lesmurdie. My wife Rosemary and I have been married for 38 years this year and we have both travelled to various countries throughout the world and have now just about completed our list of places to travel. I am and have been involved in many community groups such as Rostrum, Apex, Local Bush Fire Brigade, Masonic Lodge, RSL, and previously a member of the management committee of the South of Perth Yacht Club.

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14405 Hits
Apr
30

Celebrants Sharing the Love

Amora-Riverwalk-hotel3Being a  Civil Celebrant means that we are creating Ceremonies of love for  people within the community.  Ceremonies that Recognise and Celebrate the milestones in a person’s life. 

It does not matter whether it is a Marriage ,  Naming,  Commitment, Anniversary, Birthday, Rite of Passage, a Funeral or Memorial, a  Ceremony attached to any  Celebration adds meaning and enables the love to be shared by all who attend.

We Celebrants love what we do;  We love being able to create meaningful and memorable ceremonies for  people;  and in the words of Leo Buscalia, “We don’t love to be loved, we love to love!”  

On the 9th and 10th June in Melbourne at the Amora Hotel in Richmond, there will  be the opportunity for Celebrants to join together  to share experiences, to learn, to get to know each other and to celebrate and to share the love. 

It would be wonderful to see lots of Celebrants at the conference.  To find out more about this go to:

http://www.celebrations.org.au/blog/entry/general/invitation-celebrant-conference-not-to-miss

Proudly sponsored by:

Relationships Australia

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Sonia Collins
Looking forward to the conference in Melbourne. Apart from meeting many other celebrants I am really looking forward to spending ... Read More
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 16:36
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Apr
24

A Circle of Love

A Circle of Love

Naming, celebrating, honouring and welcoming a Child into a family community.

What a wonderful way to spend Easter Saturday morning – with a family of four generations who were together to officially name their baby girl, to celebrate her birth and survival after  a very premature birth, to honour her position in the family and to welcome her into the family circle of love.

A circle has no beginning and no end and to celebrate the family circle connection Abigail worn a Christening Gown made by her great, great great grandmother and there was a direct line to seven of those present who had also worn the gown.  What a wonderful way to pass on the spirit of the family in a tangible way – the circle of family love is never ending.

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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. 

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5577 Hits
Apr
14

Saying Goodbye

It is difficult to say goodbye to those we love but options of how we do this are increasing.  Have you thought of an Honouring Ceremony? In our modern society the options of where and how we say goodbye are ever changing.  I recently officiated at a ceremony honouring a much loved mother and grandmother - it was beautiful. 

The Honouring Ceremony was held in a beautiful open chapel within the Cemetery – what a beautiful location with the wind gently caressing the cheeks of her family (it felt like her spirit passing by) and the birds singing in the surrounding trees.  The family decorated the area with symbols in a beautiful tribute to their mother and grandma. 

The Ceremony started with a Candle Lighting in her memory and in memory of all others who had passed away due to cancer as this was very important to the family.  All her grandchildren participated in the Honouring Ceremony doing what they felt comfortable with – their love for the Grandma was obvious.

Before the Committal a verse ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ as recited, it was so appropriate and read beautifully by her Granddaughter.  After the Committal the family and friends covered the coffin with beautiful colourful rose petals – she was in her rainbow.

It was an intimate yet dignified honouring and goodbye to a beloved lady in the manner that she wished and in a manner that they found comfort with.  

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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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6312 Hits
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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4543 Hits
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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