Coronavirus and Ceremonies

What shall we do about the ceremony we’ve been planning?

It seems extraordinary that such a tiny little thing can cause so much upheaval. The world is having to make some very tough decisions right now and none of them are comfortable. You may be scared, you might be confused or you may be just plain bored with it all. The fact remains, you were hoping to get married some time soon, or have a baby naming. You may be grieving because someone close to you has just died.

Let me take weddings and baby namings first. These are, in some ways, easier to deal with.

Any ceremony you have already booked with me is still viable, especially if we have exchanged contracts and a deposit has been paid. We may just have to postpone the ceremony for now.

The deferment does not constitute a breach of contract. Neither will holding the ceremony months from now accrue any further costs as far as your arrangement with me is concerned. I will not add on an extra fee. I am quite happy to act as your celebrant at a later date when people are well again and all immediate risk of infection has passed.  I hope too that the venues you have booked will be as flexible and honour their commitment to you.

If you are planning a ceremony for later on this year, or next year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. If you have any questions or worries, I am just a phone call or an email away. Meetings can be done via Skype, too. It’s always nice to meet face to face.

My phone number is 07857 273695

My email is thepatwinslow@gmail.com

 

 

Funerals

Funerals are going to be tough. We know this. And it’s likely that we will all lose someone dear and close to us in the next few months, myself included. Numbers may be limited when it comes to attending funerals. Once strict quarantine laws come into force, it may well be the case that direct cremations will be the only option left. No one will be allowed to attend.

In the meantime, there are a few possibilities remaining. We can meet via Skype or talk over the phone and via email. We can proceed as normal in the sense that together we will build a fitting celebration of someone’s life, including tributes, readings and favourite pieces of music. You may be able to attend in small numbers – assuming you are well enough to attend. If you are being asked to self-isolate, the ceremony can be streamed live to your computer or filmed or recorded for you. I could set up Skype for you and we could have a small intimate ceremony that way.

What happens if crematoria are too busy or unable to offer these facilities?

Another option – and some people already prefer to do this anyway – would be to have a direct cremation and hold a memorial ceremony further down the line.

Memorial ceremonies can be rich and full of wonderful detail. They are typically much more relaxed because they are held in venues where people feel comfortable – eg. at home, in a pub or hotel, a village hall, a school, a college – even outdoors if the weather is fine. There are no time restrictions either. I have done memorials that incorporated a three-course meal in a pub, coffee and cakes on a narrow boat, and one very simple beautiful one in the family home with the deceased’s much-loved dog sleeping on my foot.

It’s heartbreaking enough when someone we love dies. Not being able to give them the ceremony we want for them makes it even harder. Funerals are for those who are left behind, too. They help us reckon with grief and they strengthen the bonds that are important in our lives.

Again, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, even if it’s for ideas about how you can do this yourself.

My phone number is 07857 273695

My email is thepatwinslow@gmail.com