We are pleased to publish the email below, which raises a potentially interesting point of discussion. The name of the sender has, with our agreement, been redacted.
I read with interest yesterday’s blog about the Funeral Director who has diversified into organising other ‘life events’. I can’t for the life of me decide whether or not what you say is fantasy and poppycock, or whether this man actually exists. On the grounds that truth is infinitely more depressing than fiction, I have decided to believe that he exists.
But that is not why I am writing to you. Much the more interesting matter you raised was one you merely touched on — or to be precise, glanced off. You say this man was ‘inspired’ by the example of an ‘all-rounder’ celebrant (what my close celebrant friends and I refer to more bluntly as a promiscuous celebrant). I am pointing the finger here at celebrants who ‘sleep around’ with other rites of passage. I bump into a great many of them, these days, at the crematorium. Their talk is all of wedding ‘fayres’ and fripperies.
Now, I am a funeral celebrant. I have been a funeral celebrant for seventeen years. In all that time I have been as minded to conduct a wedding ceremony as walk to the South Pole in carpet slippers.
I have a question I would like to address, with your indulgence, Charles, to any celebrants out there brave enough to put their heads above the parapet and speak out.
Celebrants, if it was funerals that drew you to celebrancy; if, for you, funeral celebrancy is a vocation, can officiating at ‘lesser rites’ be seen as a natural extension of that vocation? Would you, do you, ever do it?