For many families, the option of a traditional, formal and religious service may not be in keeping with their wishes, or those of the deceased. Families are now looking at having a service that reflects the life of the person who has passed away, a celebration of their life that will provide a much more positive funeral experience.
There are several service options and, in the past, a clergy would automatically be nominated to officiate. They may not have known the person who has died; they may not even have that much time to speak with the family before the funeral. The person who has died may not have been to church for years; in fact, religion may not have played an integral part in their lives, and a religious service could prove an inappropriate option. Religious services are still very popular, and we encourage families to make the service option that best suits them. However, an ever-increasing number of people now seek an alternative that offers more celebrational content and is in keeping with the person who has passed away fitting.
The Searson family can recommend a range of celebrants, or you can nominate your own, the choice is yours to make. You may not be aware, but you can actually officiate the funeral service yourselves if this is an option you'd like to take. However, the Searson family have their own in-house Celebrant. Andy Searson has been officiating services for many years and takes a much more positive approach to the lives he has been asked to remember. The ‘Celebration Service’ focuses on the lives lost, the years lived, the personality, interests, and the love they shared. These types of service provide a positive focus, enabling family and friends to share an opportunity to remember as well as say farewell.
The core element to any service of celebration remembers the lives lost; that is what the day is all about, after all. As such, Andy will sit with you and reminisce, reflect upon the years, the humour, the stories, the life. He will create a fitting tribute which will be offered during the funeral service. This will comprise almost half the service time, giving everyone a chance to learn about the early years, smile at the funny times, share tears of sadness and joys and generally be enriched by the memories.
Andy’s approach, regardless of circumstances, is very much informal, relaxed, often conversational and, at times, interactive to help guests feel an integral part of the service. From young children to the longest of years lived, Andy has created thousands of services, all of which have been received exceptionally well. Many people who attend a celebration service often say how wonderful it was, how unexpected but very much wanted and even comments such as ‘the best funeral I have ever been to’. The Tribute can be audio recorded for future reflection; we even provide printed copies for the family to keep. In addition, and unique to the Searson family, the Tribute can be incorporated into a DVD story, with photographs through the years, a wonderful memorial to cherish with the memories.
It is very important to remember that the funeral day will always be remembered, regardless of how it was created and delivered. It is such an important day, and we do all we can to put together something that will always be remembered with positive thoughts. It is also important to remember that the day is more than just celebrating the lives lost; it is also a time to share the grief and, ultimately, say farewell. The funeral service is structured to enable the emotions to be balanced so when the farewell part of the service comes, everyone feels relaxed, inspired, and emotionally ready for the final moment. There are so many ways that a service can be created; each will be dependent upon the individual family, their wishes, and requirement. Aspects such as music, readings, verses, poems all help contribute to a fitting service and one that fully reflects the life lost.
Gone are the days of the 23rd Psalm and Abide with Me; today, many people wish to create relevance with the music, making it an integral part of the service experience: Pop, Rock, Country, Classical, whatever your loved one enjoyed in life is a relevant and appropriate music type to play. Careful planning is always given to the integration of music; this is something the Searson family arranges, putting together a well-scheduled repertoire of songs that suit the moment precisely. We can source your music requirements from a library of over one million songs; we even put them to CD or IPod, depending upon the place of service.
POEMS / VERSES:
The readings offered during service should also have relevance, appropriate, and not necessarily the more mainstream and common poems often used. Once the Tribute has been taken, the Searson family will offer suggested readings that will have relevance, not necessarily religious, but something meaningful and which reflects the life lived. However, many celebrational services incorporate spiritual comfort and, where suited, and can also include prayers should this be a wish.
The ultimate aim of our services is to capture the life, love, and personality of the person who has died. An experience of smiles and tears, a warming and emotional service which provides a lasting and fitting tribute and farewell. We recognise fully that we have only one chance to get the service exactly right, and no stone is left unturned to afford all those attending a lasting, positive experience.