My 1st Service …..

Can I sing Hallelujah!

The day as told by Mumsy –

  1. Woke up early, ‘faffed’ about, with a lot of pacing. Changed part of the Eulogy, as was thinking about it in bed last night, that I had to move a paragraph or two.
  2. Got daughter to move said paragraphs and reprint. Had cig.
  3. Swallowed more health food tablet relaxers – meant to have 4 a day I had 5 in the morning…wasn’t taking any chances.
  4. Showered, dressed, pinned my name badge on my jacket. Respectfully dressed in black linen pants, black suit jacket , black shoes and a mustard colour top underneath (sounds terrible but it’s okay~trust me).
  5. Paced, breathed, inhaled, exhaled making noises.
  6. Had another cig (mybad I know) more pacing.
  7. Time had come to leave – wanted to ‘call in’ – sick.
  8. Packed briefcase and drove away, all the time self mantra’s of –  I can do this – I will be excellent. I will not fail, going through my head.
  9. Arrived and finally found a car spot – arrived an hour early.
  10. Walked up to  group of people and as they saw my badge – realised who I was.
  11. Daughter in law and son came up to me and a kiss on the cheek (don’t know if that’s normal for a Celebrant) but we had talked over the phone quite a bit and it seemed natural.
  12. I went inside and paced and went to the loo twice, then paced some more. Doing the A E I O U exercises (quietly).
  13. The ‘gathering room’ overlooked a lake so I stood at the window..more ‘mantra-ing’.
  14. The FD Assistant Robyn arrived – introductions. I asked her about presenting to the coffin and where do I stand at the end, she said I could do what I felt was right and told me to breathe (I must have looked as if I wasn’t at that stage) and she assured me I would be fine…..uh huh…sure…
  15. TIME
  16. I walked up and looked at the woman lying in the coffin, the woman who I had never known, that I wrote about and said this is for you Josie.
  17. The family came in for the viewing.
  18. The rest came in and sat down.
  19. Robyn and I walked between the seats, manoeuvring around 2 pushers that 2 young mums left in the way….
  20. Presented and I walked to the Lectern.
  21. Started (am I too close to the microphone…too far??)
  22. Made a couple of furfies with some words 2 – possibly 3 times throughout. Never try to say ‘Joke Telling Tradition’ as it ends up Joke Trelling tradition – I corrected and moved on.
  23. Introduced the granddaughter, she said a poem and recited a memory. though a few tears, she did well.
  24. My real boo-boo was –  my cup of water was on her right hand side and I was standing on her left and as she was reading I reached behind her and grabbed the cup, realising well that will look good in the recording…damn it!
  25. There were a few laughs and also tears, a combination which was accepted.
  26. Finished and Wind Beneath My Wings was the closing song. It started and half way through I went and stood facing the coffin at the front. Then I bowed my head in respect, until the curtain closed.
  27. I then turned to face the Assembly, reassuring smiles and small nods of “It’s ok”.
  28. Robyn was behind them all,  facing me…….. she gave me a thumbs up!! I couldn’t believe it.
  29. Then she walked up and stood by me, announcing that the ceremony had finished and for them to go into the adjoining tea rooms.
  30. Everyone started filing out, one elderly gentleman (I don’t know if a relative or friend) hung back and whilst Robyn was standing next to me (remember she was judging my performance)  came up to me took my hand and said “That was really beautiful”.   Do you know how I felt then? I was smiling inside and out and graciously thanked him.
  31. I was invited back for a coffee with the family and stood rather awkwardly, wanting to leave them alone. One lady came up and said that I was wonderful.  Another said you have such a beautiful speaking voice, I have heard some celebrants and they sound like fish wives, you did a beautiful job thank you. Then another said the same.
  32. Robyn then came up to me as I was leaving and said  “You know I did have my doubts, with this being your first service, but you did a really wonderful job and I will be recommending you!”

So my friends – I did it, I got through and as I sit and write, I’m pretty pleased with how I did, though I think the adrenalin is still cursing through my veins as I have more butterflies now than this morning.

I want to thank  ALL OF YOU for your encouragement, your support and your kindness and really your comments HELPED ME GET THROUGH THIS.  So ….thank you from my ‘beaty thing’.



86 thoughts on “My 1st Service …..

    I just left a reply on your last blog as well, then seen you just did this..
    Delighted for you Jen… You are a natural.
    Only way from here is up…

    x Shaun x

      • Yeah, never doubted you..
        Being nervous is a must doing these things…
        First time I was DJ infront of 200 people I was nervous..
        The nerves helped..Made sure my brain was working..


      • You know I find the more the better. Like when I had singing lessons. Singing to one person was overwhelming and very intimate. Singing to 300 was fine. For me, the more the better.
        Could you give a speech to just one person. How intimate would that be. Maybe one day you speak in-front of hundreds, your voice and your ways are more than good enough..


      • Awwww….
        I could post a song I have already done…
        But copywrite issues and all that…

        I shall, Promise..Let me build confidence 😀

  2. Well done sounds like you pleased everyone. I am sending you a video of encouragement it is not about faith as such but personally I see as a pray and if ever I hear or sing it I offer it up as a prayer. God bless and guide you you will a wonderful celebrant!

    hugs willowxxxxx

  3. I knew it! Hey, and the worst is over, this being your very first one. It will only get more comfortable, is that the word? easier? from here on in. You DO have a lovely speaking voice 🙂 Admire you for doing such a special task at such an intimately sad time in these peoples lives. Well done Jen!

    • Thank you Jude, yes the feed-back made me very happy. No, this wasn’t part of the process. I completed the course and one FD Home that I had been speaking to thought they would give me a trial. Now I wait and see if they want to use me again. xx

  4. I was going to say , I never doubted you could do this, but someone beat me too it! Now you will soar in this new arena and will be so proud of yourself! xxx well done Jenny xxx

  5. 1. a list, because someone would do that for you
    2. my eyes are wet
    3. I telled ya. *grins*
    4. It will be easier the next time, but you will still be amazing.
    5. tis because you have such compassion and love
    6. that is all 🙂
    7. Except for the amazing hugs for the amazing Mumsy.
    8. *HUGSSSSSS*

  6. Mumsy you are awesome I had no doubt your work would be beautiful and accomplished. Who would have known this… your eventual path in the world. Congratulations my beautiful friend. Many hugs Max xx

  7. i am so happy to read this jen, i have been waiting for this moment for a long time. the moment when you finally believe in yourself as much as we all believe in you. you are on your way – wonderful )

    • How sweet have you been through my ups and downs of this – thank you so very much. You had so much faith in me and I am grateful that you did. I also watched The Departures the day before 🙂 xxx

      • Yes I did very much, the way that they tend to the deceased, washing their bodies, the discretional dressing and make up, to send them off to their other life looking the best that they can – it was interesting and a heart-warming movie – so thank you for recommending it xx

      • i’m happy you enjoyed it, i loved the respect, the honor and the rituals of it all. also, the long in coming acceptance and understanding of the main character and his family.

  8. The difference between someone conducting a ceremony and someone living the experience with you in compassion is night and day. Your compassion and personality would shine through no matter what. It’s no surprise that so many people there thanked you for your words and manner.
    You shine here, so in person it must be something to behold. Congratulations Jenny. I know you will be called again to ease the way for others.x

    • That is such a lovely thing to say Scottie – after watching some Celebrants and their lack of compassion and complacency ~ I truly wonder why they are in these positions. I hope to bring what I have, to families, I really appreciated your kind words – thank you so much. xx

    • Hello ~ smiles ~ well the FD Assistant told the company owners that she would be confident in me conducting for her families that she deals with… so we have to wait and see. They only have 2 Celebrants on their books and want to give them priority so I have no idea when the next call will come. It was quite a surreal experience and hey you – thanks for believing in me ~bigger smiles

  9. Knew you could put in words what they would need to comfort them. Great job. So nice that a few took the time to let you know that you moved them, without really knowing their loved one.I am glad you got the thumbs up and with each one you do you will learn and keep growing otherwise they will just become words with no feelings. BRAVO!

  10. Oh that’s great Mumsy!
    I’m sure not an easy thing to do at first, but I’m sure it will all come naturally soon as your an amazing writer. You soothe me and that’s not an easy thing to do, right? Lol Love you Mumsy and really happy for you. Hugs Paula xxxx

  11. Uh huh! Yes you did. I knew you would. How wonderful to have moved those you’ve never met with soothing words in their time of grief. Look at you, shining your light over those that need to feel kindness and compassion- a balance that is never easy.. Love you. May you continue to fill people’s hearts with peace!

    • I smile – thank you gorgeous, I hope my ‘light’ continues to shower over them. Thank you also for your continued support and encouragement – my WP family is truly one that I need and love xxxxx

    • thanks sweety – I was SO nervous, but now after my 4th not so much – thankfully. Then again if I didn’t have the nerves, it wouldn’t mean anything. They keep me on my toes and focussed on doing my best. Pssst – I am too 😉 x

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