- a crematorium in the Buckinghamshire countryside
- a cemetery in Surrey
- a crematorium in Hampshire
One had a very little religious content, although the service was led by a minister. He showed that with careful consideration and discussion with the family, you can develop a service showing the deceased love of nature and family. This well crafted service left all the congregation with fond thoughts of how the deceased affected and influenced their lives.
In this case, the family chose not to have a physical service booklet for people to follow. So, the congregation was very much listening to the poems, readings and eulogy, all read by the minister.
My role was to lend a different voice to the occasion. The family wanted some traditional hymns sung, but as they were few in number, they wanted a singer to give confidence to their own voices. They also wanted to have something meaningful to listen to during a period of reflection.
- Two well known hymms: 'Dear Lord and father of mankind' and 'The Lord's my shepherd'
- Tow solos by me: Schubert's 'Ave Maria' and 'Time to say goodbye'
With only a few in the congregation, it was a very personal experience. Afterwards, the family said it was lovely to have the songs sung live, and that this added to their celebration.
Thank you, you have a wonderful voice. Mum would have loved it. I'm sure she was listening.
They had a printed order of service booklet with many pictures from the life of the deceased, so those who attended had a physical keepsake of the event, as well as their memory of the celebration.
What a beautiful voice, thank you for your singing, the solo was wonderful and also it was so uplifting having a strong vice leading the hymns. So often it can be difficult to sing in times like this.... Truly was wonderful, so much nicer than playing a CD, your singing gave it a real personal touch. Dad would have loved it!
The only reading was the congregational Lord's Prayer, and the eulogy was given by a family friend. They had more music in the service:
- A recorded piece: 'Chanson de Matin' by Edward Elgar
- Hymns: 'Amazing Grace' and 'All things bright and beautiful'
- Two solos: 'Over the rainbow' and 'Memory' from Cats.
The congregation were few in number as the deceased was well into their nineties and had outlived many friends and family members. The service may have been shorter in time, but no less a heartfelt celebration of a life well lived!
Thank you for such a wonderful performance today. My family and friends all commented on how good you were, my evidence being that know-one wanted to leave on the exit song. Thank you again for all your help