www.arrancelebrant.co.uk Independent Marriage, Family and Funeral Celebrant
© Debbie Merritt 2015 - 2021
Debbie Merritt

Ceremonies

Here

is

an

overview

of

the

types of ceremony I offer.

I can offer each type with different individual faith biases, mixed faith bias, or no faith bias. So for example I have done no faith Baby Welcoming and Naming ceremonies, mixed Spiritualist and Pagan wedding blessings, Pagan handfastings, and end of life celebrations. As each ceremony is unique to the client I am happy to include (within reason!) whatever will make the ceremony special to you. I am often assisted by my husband Steve,

Marriages

This is the only ceremony I arrange that is legally binding. More details can be found on the Marriages page.

Baby Naming and Welcoming

During this ceremony, the baby/child would be given his/her name, and be welcomed to the gathering of friends and family. This is a joyous ceremony, and I do understand that babies and small children often have last minute emergencies, so I am very relaxed about time. Also often included is collecting blessing tokens from the assembled family and friends as the baby is welcomed to the gathering. Those who wish can give their own blessing in words to the baby/child and its parents.

Handfasting

Considered Pagan by some, and traditional by others. Traditionally a handfasting lasts for a year and a day. At that point the couple can choose to stay together or not, and part with no hard feelings. Obviously things often aren’t as cut and dried as that. For a Pagan this ceremony is their marriage, and a couple may renew their handfasting yearly. What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary! Again we would bias the ceremony to whichever faith/belief is required. Why not include the following into your ceremony? Jumping the Broom To mark crossing a new threshhold. Handfasting Ribbons Bind the hands of the handfasting couple with ribbons or cords specially chosen by you. Why not weave them together yourself? Sand Ceremony Mixing together different coloured sand from each partner in a special bottle or container to represent the blending of their lives. Blessing Tree A potted tree (not too heavy to move!) for family and friends to tie their blessings or clouties onto. Theme Anything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones! Why not base the ceremony around your shared interests? I can now perform handfastings as a legal marriage if required. Please see Marriages

Funerals/End of Life Celebrations

For these ceremonies the requests and beliefs of the family, and of the deceased are paramount, I am sensitive to the needs of the family and will create a celebration of the life of the loved one. One thing to remember is that a crematorium service is time limited to less than half an hour (this does vary), but you can, for an extra payment, book extra time should you wish to. However we find that mostly a choice of a short(ish) crematorium service followed by a later Ash Scattering ceremony works very well, as the latter ceremony is much more relaxed, and many people can share their memories together. Ideally I will meet with people as they prepare for their death. This may seem morbid to some, but the one thing sure in life is that at some point we will die. By preparing our wishes in advance we can take much stress away from our loved ones at a difficult and emotional time. It is important to consider such things as how, if we are able, to depart from this life, what type of funeral you would want, who you would like to take the service, where you would want to be buried or your ashes scattered, and much more. By meeting with you, and your family if you wish, I can help you to look at these decisions in a calm and practical way. If you prefer I can email you a document that will give you some ideas and suggestions. You can also visit the Dying Matters website for more information www.dyingmatters.org I am a member of the Dying Matters Coalition, and of the Natural Death Society, supporting the Natural Death Centre www.naturaldeath.org.uk Your funeral directors are also a good source of local information, and can help with such things as offering payment plans and advising about local facilities for burials and cremations. It is not essential to use a funeral director, although if you do they will take away a lot of the small details that it is easy to forget. Many people arrange their own funerals and I am happy to discuss this with you, or you can find more information on various websites on the internet.

Other Rites of Passage

Renewal of vows - for a special wedding anniversary or handfasting. Partings - for divorces/ end of relationships. Sometimes this is symbolically incorporated into a wedding blessing or handfasting ceremony. Croning - becoming the wise woman. For women who have passed through the menopause. Eldering - for retirement, or achieving a life change. Home blessings - for your new home! Adoption/Family mergings - to celebrate, welcome and include new members into your family.
Debbie Merritt Independent Wedding and Funeral Celebrant
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Special Days in Special Ways

Ceremonies

Here

is

an

overview

of

the

types of ceremony I offer.

I can offer each type with different individual faith biases, mixed faith bias, or no faith bias. So for example I have done no faith Baby Welcoming and Naming ceremonies, mixed Spiritualist and Pagan wedding blessings, Pagan handfastings, and end of life celebrations. As each ceremony is unique to the client I am happy to include (within reason!) whatever will make the ceremony special to you. I am often assisted by my husband Steve,

Marriages

This is the only ceremony I arrange that is legally binding. More details can be found on the Marriages page.

Baby Naming and Welcoming

During this ceremony, the baby/child would be given his/her name, and be welcomed to the gathering of friends and family. This is a joyous ceremony, and I do understand that babies and small children often have last minute emergencies, so I am very relaxed about time. Also often included is collecting blessing tokens from the assembled family and friends as the baby is welcomed to the gathering. Those who wish can give their own blessing in words to the baby/child and its parents.

Handfasting

Considered Pagan by some, and traditional by others. Traditionally a handfasting lasts for a year and a day. At that point the couple can choose to stay together or not, and part with no hard feelings. Obviously things often aren’t as cut and dried as that. For a Pagan this ceremony is their marriage, and a couple may renew their handfasting yearly. What a lovely way to celebrate your anniversary! Again we would bias the ceremony to whichever faith/belief is required. Why not include the following into your ceremony? Jumping the Broom To mark crossing a new threshhold. Handfasting Ribbons Bind the hands of the handfasting couple with ribbons or cords specially chosen by you. Why not weave them together yourself? Sand Ceremony Mixing together different coloured sand from each partner in a special bottle or container to represent the blending of their lives. Blessing Tree A potted tree (not too heavy to move!) for family and friends to tie their blessings or clouties onto. Theme Anything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones! Why not base the ceremony around your shared interests? I can now perform handfastings as a legal marriage if required. Please see Marriages

Funerals/End of Life Celebrations

For these ceremonies the requests and beliefs of the family, and of the deceased are paramount, I am sensitive to the needs of the family and will create a celebration of the life of the loved one. One thing to remember is that a crematorium service is time limited to less than half an hour (this does vary), but you can, for an extra payment, book extra time should you wish to. However we find that mostly a choice of a short(ish) crematorium service followed by a later Ash Scattering ceremony works very well, as the latter ceremony is much more relaxed, and many people can share their memories together. Ideally I will meet with people as they prepare for their death. This may seem morbid to some, but the one thing sure in life is that at some point we will die. By preparing our wishes in advance we can take much stress away from our loved ones at a difficult and emotional time. It is important to consider such things as how, if we are able, to depart from this life, what type of funeral you would want, who you would like to take the service, where you would want to be buried or your ashes scattered, and much more. By meeting with you, and your family if you wish, I can help you to look at these decisions in a calm and practical way. If you prefer I can email you a document that will give you some ideas and suggestions. You can also visit the Dying Matters website for more information www.dyingmatters.org I am a member of the Dying Matters Coalition, and of the Natural Death Society, supporting the Natural Death Centre www.naturaldeath.org.uk Your funeral directors are also a good source of local information, and can help with such things as offering payment plans and advising about local facilities for burials and cremations. It is not essential to use a funeral director, although if you do they will take away a lot of the small details that it is easy to forget. Many people arrange their own funerals and I am happy to discuss this with you, or you can find more information on various websites on the internet.

Other Rites of Passage

Renewal of vows - for a special wedding anniversary or handfasting. Partings - for divorces/ end of relationships. Sometimes this is symbolically incorporated into a wedding blessing or handfasting ceremony. Croning - becoming the wise woman. For women who have passed through the menopause. Eldering - for retirement, or achieving a life change. Home blessings - for your new home! Adoption/Family mergings - to celebrate, welcome and include new members into your family.