Not many people realise that you don’t have to have a celebrant (sometimes called an officiant) to conduct a funeral. There isn’t a law that says you have to have a funeral at all, but if you do have one, anyone can conduct it.
As Humanist weddings aren’t legally recognised in England and Wales (though they are in Scotland, if conducted by an officially recognised celebrant), anyone can conduct them. The same applies to baby-namings.
In our experience, some of the most satisfying ceremonies have been the ones that have had the most input from friends and family. There are a lot of people who are willing to offer their “professional” services (often after only a few hours or days training), but an impressive website doesn’t necessarily mean that they can offer you something you might do better yourself. You can hire an accredited “funeral adviser” to guide you through the whole process of planning a funeral, but maybe all you need is someone to give you some reassurance about what is or isn’t possible and appropriate (such as, what’s the time limit at a crematorium? How much music should we have?).
Perhaps you prefer to delegate everything to someone else, but if you feel you’d like to do things yourself and you’re not sure how to go about it, we can help. We’ve helped families plan funerals, baby-namings and weddings, and no one has reported a disaster. They were all pleased with what they’d accomplished.
It might be very difficult for those who were closest to someone who’s died to lead or speak at his or her funeral – it’s hard to mourn and perform – but maybe there’s someone in your circle who’s used to public speaking, and who isn’t as emotionally involved as you?
If a group of you do things together, you need to ensure that everyone knows what everyone else is doing, but the experience may be helpful.
So, if you’re considering a DIY ceremony, please get in touch. You don’t have to live in Suffolk – we can communicate by phone or email. All we ask is a donation to our funds.