How to include young children in funerals

“I am not sure if I should take my children to the funeral. What do you think?” It’s a question parents often ask me as a funeral celebrant. If prepared well, attending a funeral can be a healthy, healing and positive experience for children. The following feedback from a parent explains how attending a funeral has helped[…]

Funerals: how to select the right music (and avoid the Top 10 Funeral Hits)

  What music would you like to have played at your funeral? One of your favourite songs? A traditional hymn? Should it be sombre, or rather uplifting and cheerful? Not many people plan their funeral and in our society it’s not something we usually discuss over a cuppa or a pint of beer. Which is[…]

Ode to the crematorium angels

  “Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth (…) He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his friends, that[…]

Departures: how to let go with beauty and dignity

Recently, I watched the film ‘Departures’, a 2008 Japanese drama by director Jōhirō Takita. The film is about a young man (Daigo Kobayashi) who, after a failed career as a cellist, stumbles across work as a nōkanshi, a traditional Japanese ritual mortician. Daigo’s work is to prepare bodies for cremation in a ceremony called encoffinment.[…]