Why I Do What I Do
As a licensed and fully-qualified celebrant I’m in the uniquely privileged position of being present at some of the most important moments in people’s lives. I’m there when they get married and when they welcome a new baby into the world. I’m also there when they say goodbye to loved ones, too and my presence hopefully offers guidance and comfort to them at this difficult time. And I love a good I do moment!
There’s something special about helping couples to celebrate marriage, commitment, and families to celebrate birth and also to farewell the lives of those who have passed on. I’m incredibly proud to be able to be a part of these rituals, or these pivotal moments that we share as fellow human beings. And it’s much more than just helping people to say I do!
Being a Civil Celebrant is no small thing. One walks beside people on a journey through their challenges, joys, heartache, love, despair and anticipation…from the beginning to the end of life. My work accompanies me through every day.
Over the course of my own life I’ve travelled extensively and lived abroad and this has, I feel, helped me to form a wider perspective about humanity. Rather than seeing the differences between people, I see what unites us and this feeling was a big part of my decision to become a celebrant in the first place.
Weddings are often described as stressful as well as joyous, especially for the happy couple! I aim to make the ceremony side of things easy and stress free. Tell me your wishes. Allow me to hold your secrets. Trust me to hold your ideas and plans, and to combine it all in a flowing ceremony, taking any “randoms” into account on the day.
Early parenthood can be exhausting as well as stressful, so planning a naming ceremony can be a bridge too far. Welcoming a new child into the family is, after a wedding, one of the happiest occasions life has to offer, so it’s important for couples to have someone they trust to organise and guide them through the celebration. A naming is an opportunity to gather friends and family to reiterate connections, helping each guest to name and resonate with their own special connection to the child.
Of course I love celebrating weddings, elopements, commitments and naming ceremonies – who wouldn’t? I’m also very grateful for the chance to be there for the inevitable and sadder rites of passage, like letting go of a loved one.
A funeral, farewell or memorial is like other life rituals in one respect. They are all about stories; one the story of a partnership, the other a story of an individual life. All stories are worth telling, and sharing. It can be hard, after a bereavement, to organise a farewell, so I take great pride in being able to relieve some of the burden and smooth things along for friends and families, offering guidance, support and expertise in organising an effective send off, that is also a positive step in a grieving process.
Through assisting others to celebrate and create ritual around those special moments in life, I too maintain resilience, enthusiasm and commitment to the spirit of life and my own community.
I hope to be a celebrant whose words, stories and messages connect people, evoke emotional responses and invite them into treasuring what they really value in life.
I feel part of a “Never Ending Story”. I endeavour at every ceremony, to speak words that contribute to creating an honourable, hopeful and compassionate society.
Thanks to David Peart for the photograph with my art.