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JONATHAN BRIGGS


Funeral Celebrant

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JONATHAN BRIGGS


Funeral Celebrant

 

What is a Funeral Celebrant?

Around 50% of the funerals held at Crematoria are now Civil Funerals, presided over by a Funeral Celebrant

A Civil Funeral is a celebration of the life of a loved one, entirely driven by your wishes, memories and values. The beliefs and ideology of the celebrant are irrelevant. It is not a religious ceremony, but it can include some religious elements if you would like to include them. It allows you much greater flexibility to create something very personal in style and content. The celebrant's job is to assist you in creating it, and guide you through the ceremony on the day.

Funeral Celebrant is a formal term applied to members of a group of non-clergy professionals who are committed to preparing and delivering high quality funeral ceremonies. These ceremonies are not linked to any religion or to belief in an after-life. The objective is to celebrate the life of the individual who has died. This can be done through readings, recollections, songs, prayers and hymns - even pictures and video; in effect anything that friends and family think would recognize and mark the passing of someone very special to them. 

Celebrants work hard alongside funeral directors and funeral venues (usually a crematorium) to assist in making one of the most difficult days of your life a little more bearable. 

A Funeral is not a day in a Lifetime.... It is a Lifetime in a Day
— Anon
 
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WHY


Why choose Jonathan as your Celebrant?

WHY


Why choose Jonathan as your Celebrant?

Jonathan's background

 

Having spent 30 years as a broadcaster, I know what a difference the right words can make.  I have worked for many major media companies (including BBC, Channel 4 and ITN) and multinational corporations (from Jaguar Land Rover to Lloyds of London) interviewing Presidents and Prime Ministers among others. Whether on-air or on stage I have a wealth of experience of live events. 

Over that time,  I've come to realise that I want the words I speak to be of importance. There can be no more important prose than the tribute used to sum up and celebrate someone's life. So in 2016 I chose to train as a Funeral Celebrant and use my experience to make a difference to those who are dealing with one of the most difficult days of their lives. 

I am a fully qualified Funeral Celebrant with an NOCN Level 3 Diploma in Funeral Celebrancy. I am also an Associate of the Institute of Civil Funerals (IoCF)

You can keep in touch with the latest news and further information on funerals on my Facebook page:  @thefuneralcelebrant

To contact me, please email me via jon@funeralcelebrant.life

This is just a quick note from Heidi and I to express our sincere thanks to you for conducting James’s funeral service last Friday. It was always going to be a difficult day but your calmness and professionalism helped me to get through my memories of James speech and I also felt comforted by the words you spoke in your pieces. The words really resonated with me especially about the quality rather than quantity of time we spent with James. We were really pleased about how you managed to capture so much of the essence of James in your words and although you never met him it felt like you had made a connection with the sentiments we wanted to express about his life.

Many many people have commented about how lovely the service was .... I do believe people really meant it as more than just a pleasantry, there was a genuine feeling shared by those present that the service as a very fitting one and the perfect sign off for the end of a young life.
— Underwood Family
I would like to thank you for the wonderful service and tribute you gave Ian. many of my family have commented on how personal you made it and that you had obviously spent a long time talking and listening to us to be able to do so.
— Gledhill Family
Just to say how beautifully you conducted the service for Paul. You struck the right note. Not too emotional but you summed up his life very well and several people commented on how well you carried out the celebration of Paul’s life.
— Sednaoui Family
Thank you so much, from us all, for the wonderful service you conducted for Neil on Monday. Your guidance, kindness and encouragement made such a difficult time, so much easier. We all really thought you’d got the essence of Neil and your tributes to him were lovely and spot on!
— Morris Family
We have heard nothing but praise for your delivery and your additional content. To quote from one of Ray’s cousins: “The celebrant Jonathan Briggs was splendid; he came across as a sincere and caring man who delivered his words with meaning and throughfulness” Another comment was: “Well I think our vicar could learn a thing or two from Jonathan!”

You made a difficult day for us that much easier and I know Ray would have totally approved. I’m sure you and he would have got on very well together.
— Hennessy family
 
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WHAT


What is a Civil Funeral?

WHAT


What is a Civil Funeral?

What do we mean by a Civil Ceremony?

A good funeral may seem like a contradiction in terms, but you are likely to have attended both good and bad funerals and understand what is meant by such a tautology. . There is such a thing as a good funeral and it should be as unique as the person who lived the life you are celebrating. A Civil Funeral allows far greater flexibility to celebrate that life, by placing none of the  restrictions on you that a more traditional ceremony may require. 

In fact, there is no requirement to have a funeral when someone dies. However, every culture and creed has held  a ceremony to mark someone's passing since the earliest times. In essence, they have no practical value, but they say a lot about how we value the living, and perhaps why famous or important people often have very lavish funerals, while a criminal might have none at all.

Some people regard funerals as pointless. When Arthur Miller, the playwright, was asked if he would be going to the funeral of his ex-wife Marilyn Monroe, he replied "Why should I? She won't be there." However for most people,  it's not the body that is important, but the person whom it embodied and vitality of the life that animated it. Increasingly people are looking to mark or celebrate that life in a myriad of different ways. 

A Civil Ceremony gives you the widest possible opportunity to celebrate in a way that either you or your loved ones feel is most appropriate. You could dress in a style that is appropriate to that person, no black  - instead pink or red maybe? Each attendee can bring something that links you to the person, a gift, a card or photograph perhaps? You can include readings and songs that they loved and even video too. 

For most people a funeral will be something deeply upsetting and full of grief. Some may even find it frightening or morbid. How you feel, will depend on a number of factors, such as your relationship to the person who died, the circumstances of their death, how old they were, and your expectations of the event. A Civil Celebrant will not only understand that, but also assist you to find the right way for you to mark the passing of someone special. A qualified celebrant will spend time talking to you and other relatives. They will ensure they are as familiar with your loved one as possible and tell their story accurately, with compassion and feeling. 

The aftermath of someone's death isn't always the best time to be logical. You may need to let your emotions catch up with what has happened. However it is very likely that you will want to have a way of saying goodbye officially.  You may see it as a gift to the person who has died, as a time to express sorrow or allow others to comfort each other. You may want to say thank you to that person and take stock of what they meant to you and others, and more importantly what they will go on meaning.

For whatever reason you wish to hold a funeral, a Civil Ceremony will allow the width and breadth of those feelings to be recognised. It gives you the freedom to mark their passing in a way which means the most to those present, and includes the wishes of the person they have come to say farewell to. 

Death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.
— Anon