This week I had the honour of conducting a funeral in Exeter for a friend. The departed friend Roger had requested lots of colour and flowers, and that I should lead a pagan ceremony.
The coffin was beautifully decorated by his partner and grandson, with hand drawn mandalas and pictures, and lots of flowers placed on top. Once everyone was inside, they brought the coffin to the front to the Beatles song 'Let it be'. The coffin was placed on a couple of supports in the centre.
Touching speeches and poetry
My partner Brian had been asked to make a speech, which was humorous, real and loving, and he also read the passage about death from 'The prophet' bu Kalil Gibran. Some words of the Roger's grandson were read by his uncle, which were incredibly touching.
Unorthodox but authentic and meaningful
I explained that this service might seem unorthodox to some, but that the deceased was unorthodox and that this was his funeral and his wishes. I said that it was fine for people to laugh or cry, but the invitation was for people to join in and give him a good send off.
I invited those who would like to, to gather in a circle around the coffin – almost everyone stood up and moved down to the front of the hall and gathered together around the coffin. I read a poem that Roger had written, and we shared a minute's silence to be with our own thoughts, feelings and prayers for our friend. We then all chanted the sound 'Ahhh' sending love from our hearts to Roger's spirit. The atmosphere was amazing, there was so much love in the room, and I was delighted how heartily people were participating. When this eventually quietened down, I conducted the funeral rite. This involved calling to all the spirit realms and guiding his spirit to the light, which took a few minutes. Once this was complete, I signalled to my partner and Roger's grandson to blow the conch shells and everyone cheered and clapped loudly. People were embracing with tears and smiles, and the atmosphere was amazing. We sang another Beatles song 'All you need in Love', and left the hall.
Colourful and lively send off
Once outside we gathered on the lawn where people wrote messages to Roger on small pieces of paper and tied them to multi-coloured helium balloons. We let them go all at the same time and again everyone cheered.
We then gathered at a local pub for a buffet, DJ's and live music, with dancing into the night.
Feedback from the most important guest
One of the most important aspects of this whole proceedings was to make the ceremony appropriate and beautiful for Roger's grandson. When we left the hall, he told me that he wanted his funeral to be like that – well you can't get much better feedback than that! In fact many people told us that it was the best funeral they had ever been to, and kept thanking us for such a lovely, uplifting and special day!
For more information
If you would like me to conduct a funeral like this for your departed loved one, then please get in touch
Professional Feng Shui & Space Clearing Consultant and holistic therapist – Sue Holmes.