Simone Lee Funeral Celebrant

Hi, my name is Simone Lee

I am an independent Funeral Celebrant.

Would you mind if I talk a little bit about funerals? Why we have them, the different types of funerals and how a celebrant can support you.

Being an independent celebrant means that I cannot perform traditional religious ceremonies as I cannot act on behalf of your God, like a rabbi or priest would for example. I can still incorporate elements from your belief system, faith or religion into the ceremony, such as a lovely hymn or a reading from the bible.

Whichever type of funeral you choose I can create a ceremony for you, filled with personal touches that will honour the person that has passed away in a way that is unique to them. No two people are the same so neither should two funerals need to be the same.

There are many different ways to hold a funeral, say goodbye to a loved one, or celebrate a life.

These days, we are often no longer satisfied with blindly following tradition because ‘it is the done thing’. In today’s world we want to have choices, we want to be in charge of our own destiny and sometimes even break the rule book.

Death is no longer the taboo subject it once was and although it may still feel uncomfortable, we accept that it is ok to talk about death, make plans for it, and that includes what the final farewell should look like. There are several options on what you can do. How to do it? Well, the world is your oyster – there are as many ways as there are ideas.

Whether your choice for a funeral follows tradition, or you want to celebrate a life in your own personal style, a celebrant will listen to your ideas and create a ceremony you can feel proud of.

Why do we have funerals?

A funeral is a ceremony linked to the burial or cremation of a body. The death of a loved one or close friend is arguably the most difficult experience we have to deal with. The process of planning a funeral is an important part of accepting the reality of death.

Holding a funeral can help you let others know that you have acknowledged the death. To share this event with them lets them know ‘I am sad, I may not be ok, but I am accepting this death and together we are here to say goodbye. Now my time of grieving can begin’.

What choices do I have when I am arranging a funeral?

Celebration of life

A celebration of life ceremony can be held in all circumstances, whether you have chosen a burial or a cremation. Holding a celebration of life ceremony means that you celebrate your loved one’s life in a space that feels meaningful, at a time that suits you. The ceremony can be filled with joyful moments where you, your family and your friends remember them and what they meant to you.

This ceremony will be very personal and can be filled with items that remind you of them and that made them who they were. This can be whatever you want it to be. Photographs and music often feature at this kind of ceremony as well as items that were close to their heart, or what they were known for. I have seen paintings displayed, musical instruments, their favourite drink and even a


Hi, my name is Simone Lee

Burials This is where the body is lowered into the ground.

There are four main locations for a burial:

Graveyard / Churchyard burial

These are linked to a church and the deceased would usually have lived in that parish, or would have gained special permission from the minister of the parish. It is worth bearing in mind that spaces can be limited, and for that reason, plots are often booked years in advance.

Private land

Did you know that it is legal to have a burial on your own property, or on private land? This does come with some legal conditions, so it is highly recommended that you get some good advice before you decide that this the right choice for you.

Packages - Funeral ceremony

Cemetery burial

The difference between a graveyard and a cemetery is that a cemetery is not linked to a church. It is a spot of land specifically dedicated to burials. Most of the time cemeteries are not connected to one specific religion. This will give you the freedom to hold the kind of ceremony you would like, a ceremony that fits in with your wishes.

Natural burial site

The idea of having a natural burial appeals to more and more people for a number of different reasons. It can be because it is more ecologically/environmentally friendly, or because being one with nature appeals to them, or simply because it can be a lovely quiet spot for family to come and visit. These sites can be set in forests, meadows or fields. More and more locations are now licensed to hold natural burials.

The focus of a natural burial is to return the body to the earth in the most natural way
possible. Coffins tend to be made of natural materials that are easily biodegradable, such as wicker. It is also possible to use a shroud instead of a coffin.

The main difference with other cemeteries and graveyards is that there are no markers, such as headstones. The gravesite will eventually become one with the earth and will then no longer be visible.

Cremation This will happen at the crematorium.

Rather than burying the body, it will be cremated. If you wish, you can have the ashes returned to you. Often there is a ceremony at a later date, maybe when the ashes are interred or scattered.

This can happen in the same locations where the burials take place. In most cases the ashes will be in an urn, which will be placed into the ground. The spot can be marked with a plaque or any other marker of your choice.

If you opt for a natural site, the ashes will have to be buried in a biodegradable container and, just like a burial, there will be no markers and the area will eventually blend in with the earth around it.

You do not have to bury or scatter the ashes. Some people prefer to keep them at home.

Direct Cremation

If the choice has been made to choose a ‘direct cremation’ that means that once the body has been taken away by the undertaker you will no longer be able to see them. This may also mean that you cannot visit them at the funeral home. The Funeral Director will take care of the cremation process for you and let you know when this is to take place, but there will be no service prior to the cremation. If you would like the ashes to be returned to you the Funeral Director can arrange this for you.

Of course, a ceremony can be held at a later date. For example, when the ashes are interred. This will often take the shape of a ‘celebration of life’ ceremony.

Now I have given you some insight in what you can do, pop over to my ‘ideas and inspiration’ page for some suggestions on how to create that perfect ceremony.

As your celebrant, it will be my pleasure and privilege to work with you to create that unforgettable farewell.