Funerals and Memorial Services in Scotland

Practical information
 
Please contact me by e-mail on info@andrewhunter.eu or telephone 07543 692 282
 
Fee - the fee for a funeral or memorial ceremony is £95 if the service is to be held in the Bo'ness / Edinburgh area.  Outside that area, additional travel and possibly accommodation fees become necessary (agreed in advance.)
 
The fee is made of the following elements:-
 
Planning and preparing the ceremony - consulting ahead of time. I do not offer standard ceremonies but take time to preapre each one according to circumstances and wishes of the deceased and theri family and friends.
Travel time and fuel costs to and from the location (normally at least two hours each way)
Time at the service, talking with friends and relatives if necessary - one and a half hours
 
 
 
Dying and death 
 
Dying and death seem to be two of the most feared and denied words in the English language; in our western culture they are certainly two words many of us find it diffiicult to talk about. Sometimes this is because we have not come to terms with our own mortality. Other times it is because we feel it difficult to handle our own  emotions around dying and death and where that is the case, we find it almost impossble to know how to respond to the emotions of others.
 
Frequent questions I get from people  are "What do I say?" "What's the right thing to do?"
 
There is no magic formula and the best encouragment I can give you is to be real, authentic, and honest, to try to tune in to how those coping with the dying and the death are feeling and behaving, then to ask the Divine that you be guided how best to respond. Then trust that you will find the right things to say and do, even if it is just holding hands and sitting in shared silence.
 
In the UK there is an abundance of books on the topic of dying, death and passing over; there are courses run by the many organisations dealing with issues related to dying and death. A search on the internet using the words dying and death can reveal a richness of material.
 
I am always willing to help those facing their own death or the death of a member of their family or a friend. It may be to talk through emotions, coming to terms with the situation or making practical plans.
 
And if it seems appropriate I can create a funeral or memorial ceremony to fit with your wishes and religious beliefs if any. The ceremonies may be religious, inter-faith, spiritual, spiritualist or humanist and I offer these in English, Spanish, French or German or a comibination of those languagses as is appropriate.
 
 
 
Funeral and memorial ceremonies
 
A funeral or memorial ceremony should be a personal and unique occasion, where you determine what happens, and is not just a rehash of a ceremony that has been offered by a celebrant time and time again. I encourage people to think about this before their passing so that their wishes can be reflected in their instructions or in any will which they leave behind.
 
Some people want a specifically religious service whilst others may feel that a traditional religious ceremony is inappropriate. Some may want something more spiritual, or spiritualist, or indeed humanist (ie no religion or spirituality per se.) Everyone is different and I am willing to respect your beliefs in preparing a funeral, memorial or passing ceremony that is special to you, or your loved one.
 
I am not a minister who has a standard funeral service where I simply change the name of the deceased.  I deal with people of different faiths, and those of none, and every ceremony is created uniquely to honour the person who has passed and their loved ones. This, and the fact that I usually have to travel many miles (therefore may not be your local minister  conveniently located a few minuters away) means I reflect this personalised approach and travel costs and time in my fees. 
 
What I offer
 
My aim is to prepare a ceremony which takes into account the wishes of the deceased (as far as can be established) and any other key people. Given our increasingly global community, I work with families where there are various religious denominations represented as well as people who are professed atheists and agnostics. There are also different beliefs within families - some very traditional, others more contemporary; some wish to honour and celebrate a life that was lived to the full, others feel that to be respectful means something more sober and sombre. So the challenge for me is to strike the right note.
 
Each ceremony I offer is uniquely different but there are some key elements to them all - what makes the difference is the extent to which the ceremony has a religious flavour (and if so which religion), is more spiritual, spiritualist, or is more humanist.
 
Sometimes a ceremony will include elements of all of those approaches. I have left instructions that at my funeral service friends and family are encouraged to respect, honour and celebrate the life they knew with me. Whilst I have planned for some deeply moving music and touching readings, I have instructed that I do not want the overall mood to be sombre but rather one of joy that I have at last found my earthly peace, and celebration that my life continues on a different plain.
 
I appreciate that not everyone shares my view about soul and its continuation after my physical death nor that, coming from a northern Scottish background, a funeral is the place for joy and celebration. However, just as I as a minister would respect the differing views present at a funeral, I am trusting people will do the same for me.
 
Here is a basic rundown that I start with as we talk - adapted according to your beliefs, wishes and circumstances and into which your own ideas can be added
Welcomes
Outlining the purpose and nature of the fuenral or memorial ceremony

A prayer (if religious) or a moment of silent dedication
A reading and / or song / hymn
The address by myself
Tribute or eulogy to the deceased - by family or friend
Other tributes (if appropriate) - by family or friend
Honouring any religious or spiritual practices where relevant ( committing the body to God's care if religious)
A moment of silence
Final prayer (if religious)
 
 
England and Wales
 
 
 
 
 
Bereavement counselling
 
Bereavement and grief can be very complex and stressful . The loss of a loved one can totally devastate those of us they leave behind, even if some of us do believe in a life after death. There is nothing odd, nor weak, about grieving. It is something that most all of us will experience at one point in our lives. We all grieve in our own way, everyone is different and people recover at different rates.
 
You may be able to do it on your own, or with the invaluable help of close friends and family. What you don't need is someone telling you to pull yourself together. Some of us will need some extra help, perhaps in the form of bereavement counselling or a support group. If you do need help, then reach out for it, visit your GP, your local churches, even if you don't belong, and try to find out where there are bereavement aid organisations.
 
You're not the first person to need external help and you will certainly not be the last.
 
Make a request or submit your details to enquire about my availability.
 

Further information

 
For other sources of help

The Counselling Directory has many pages of really useful information on subjects such as

  • what is bereavement
  • stages of bereavement
  • the importance of mourning
  • coping with grief
  • how to tell if grief has become depression
  • what is bereavement counselling
  • what to look for in a counsellor or psychotherapist
 
The Sacred Dying Foundation is dedicated to challenging the way our society experiences death and dying. The Foundation's primary goal is to return the sacred to the act of dying by serving those who are nearing the end-of-life.
 
The Sacred Dying Foundation is also committed to changing the paradigm of how we approach death as a whole through educating the public on new models of death and dying for our society.
 
Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life by Megory Anderson, founder of the Sacred Dying Foundation.

Paperback edition published by Marlowe & Company.

Available from Amazon.com and other major booksellers.
 
Death may be inevitable, but dying alone or in fear does not have to be. Sacred Dying is theologian Megory Anderson's essential testimonial and handbook for creating a dignified, peaceful, and more sacred end to life. Anderson shows how to use personalised and creative rituals to help those dying prepare for their death and to bring a sense of peace, reconciliation, and acceptance both to themselves and to the loved ones they leave behind. She discusses all aspects of this final transition, including how to help a dying person put "unfinished business" to rest; using massage to help the dying let go of his or her body; and how to use music to help the dying focus on specific times, places, or events. Also included - new to this first paperback edition - is a chapter on what can be done after death, to help move the soul along. Intended for those who are going through the death of a loved one as well as those facing death personally, Sacred Dying facilitates creating a setting where death is experienced as it should be: with honor, respect, and sacredness.
 
Chapter Headings
 
  • Journey with the Dying
  • Returning the Sacred to the Act of Dying
  • Rituals for Embracing the End of Life
  • Traditions: Incorporating Religious Rituals
  • Centering and Preparation: Sacred Space/Sacred Participants
  • Letting Go of Burdens: Rituals to Release the Emotions
  • Letting Go of the Body: Rituals to Comfort and Release
  • Music: Healing and Transcendence
  • When Loved Ones Are Not Present
  • Dying Alone
  • Intentional Death: Ending Life Support
  • After Death: Until the Funeral
  • The Soul's Journey

 

End of Life Resources - a useful website

 

What would you want them to know?

What would you say if given the chance to say some final words?

What would you say if given the chance to say some final words?

 
www.sayitwhen.com is a web-based subscription service that helps you create text, video and audio messages to say the things you want people to remember after you have died. It supports you to create a permanent record of you for your loved ones that they can read, watch and listen to anytime.
 
MuchLoved is a registered charity working for bereaved people worldwide. They help you create sensitive, personalised and lasting memorial websites in memory of your loved ones.
 
MuchLoved has been created through sponsorship so there is no charge to create or to maintain your tribute.
 
Take a look at the website for some examples of beautiful tributes and how to create your own.
 
 
May you find peace, and may your wishes be granted.
 
Andrew