Friday 24 October 2014

Three Funerals and a Wedding | Civil Celebrant Training at UKSOC

As a recent graduate of the UKSOC Civil Celebrant Training I’m moved to write about one of the most exhausting, exhilarating, fulfilling experiences that I’ve had in a long while. There’s fair warning when you sign up for any of the programmes or learning options that there is a lot of work to be done outside of the classroom setting. For those choosing the Group Training or Personal Tuition Training Options as opposed to the Distance Learning Option there are also several reminders of the need to complete the pre-course homework before arrival. I did do that, although I didn’t start the work early enough and, as I’ve taught for many years myself, I felt guilty at my late delivery - via email about 9pm the night before my course began. In addition to the full days of discussion, presentation, observation, and positive critique during each day I also completed another eight hours (at least) of work between each mid to late afternoon finish and next day early morning start. I’m writing this on the train on my way home having not slept much the night after the completion of the course. I think my body has forgotten how to shut down for more than four hours.

It was worth it though. I’m still fizzing with the energy the course generated in me.

The role play interviews simulating discussion with bereaved family members left me feeling that I not only knew them but also the person who had died. The three funeral ceremonies and one wedding ceremony that I planned and delivered moved me to tears and filled me with joy for the lives of the people I was representing and celebrating. The deaths and marriage were not real as such (although not surprisingly there were connections to actual people) but they were real to me. If you’d told me before I began that I’d feel I had to do a dash to the shops to buy something particular and relevant to wear to a ceremony I was presenting or that I’d dance along, not only to the wedding ceremony music, but also to a piece that was especially significant in the life of someone who had died very young; well you know what I’m going to say.

The course includes bespoke practical help too. I have a particular problem, I talk too fast, especially when I feel passionate or excited about something, but in three days the suggestions I was given enabled me to improve my pace in a way I’ve been trying to do for the last 20 years. The IT support and encouragement has led to this, my first ever blog and there’s more on the way, I promise.

Celebrants are person focused and provide a bespoke service. The ceremonies – funerals, weddings, vow renewals, namings - we prepare and deliver are life centred; all about and for the particular person or people concerned. Bespoke celebrant training, as delivered by UKSOC, is person focused and life centred; all about and for the particular person involved.

Nothing more needs to be said . . . . 


  1. Hi Gayle
    We are so pleased that you both enjoyed and engaged in your training - your authenticity,attitude, enthusiasm and your apparent writing skills can be unleashed on your Cornish neighbours. Good luck!

  2. A moving blog! In so many ways! I had no doubt you would be incredible doing this! Your commitment and hard work is an inspiration! So, from me too, good luck!

  3. As supportive as ever Ali, thanks so much.