Funerals, Memorials & Celebration of Life

Say farewell with a uniquely personalised ceremony


Funerals & Memorials can be such difficult occasions, so it’s important to work with people who can help guide you sensitively through the process. As an experienced funeral celebrant, I will work closely with you to ensure that the life and wishes of the person who has died are honoured.



Planning a funeral, memorial or celebration of life ceremony

Everyone is unique and a funeral ceremony can reflect this by focusing on the person who has died and their family and friends rather than following a set format or standard service.

Your ceremony will be based on your beliefs and values. It can be secular, spiritual, semi religious, anything you wish it to be. The ceremony can take place anywhere.

At this very difficult time for you I’ll guide you through planning the ceremony. I can help you to create your own distinctive and meaningful ceremony celebrating the life of the person who has died, acknowledging the grief of family and friends and providing a chance to say goodbye in a way that is right for you. I’ll then lead the ceremony on the day.

When we meet, I’ll listen to what you have to say. We’ll talk about how you’d like to say your final farewell, how to share your memories and what you’d like to include such as: music, poetry, readings, prayers and hymns.

I’ll create a very personalised ceremony for you. I’ll liaise with your funeral director and others involved in the arrangements to make sure that the ceremony is just what you wish it to be.


Different types of farewells you can choose


I create and conduct the following ceremonies which can all include a celebration of a life lived:

Funerals – burial or cremation
Natural burials
Memorials
Scattering or interment of ashes

It’s important to keep in mind that you have plenty of choice about the type of funeral or farewell you hold. I am happy to advise you on the options available. Below is a summary of the different types of farewells I can offer.

Wicker or Wool Coffins

Funeral Flowers

Funerals

Whether you decide on a burial or cremation I will create a funeral ceremony based on your wishes including whatever music, readings, poetry, blessings or prayers you choose.

Celebrate a life lived and acknowledge your grief

The ceremony will be fully personalised celebrating your loved one’s life and reflecting your loss with dignity and respect at all times.

When and where to have your ceremony

Most crematoriums and cemetery ceremonies take place during working hours on weekdays. Each crematorium will have a set length of time for the ceremony usually between 20 and 30 minutes. Your funeral director will be able to advise you about this.

You may prefer to have a short ceremony at the crematorium or cemetery, perhaps with just close family and friends, followed by a celebration of your loved one’s life at a venue of your choice with no restrictions on time and number of mourners.

You may choose to have a memorial ceremony on a more convenient day and time for you and your family and friends including a weekend following a short funeral ceremony or a direct cremation. (See below for more information about memorials.)

Livestreaming the ceremony

Many crematoriums have facilities to livestream the ceremony to those who are unable to attend the ceremony in person. Please check with your funeral director for details.

Who can organise a funeral?

You can make the arrangements for a funeral or cremation yourself or organise it through a funeral director who will make all the practical arrangements for a cremation or burial.




Natural Burials

Natural Burials

Natural burials offer an environmentally friendly, cost-effective alternative to traditional funerals. There are beautiful natural burial sites across the country providing an informal nature-rich environment to lay your loved one to rest.

Natural burial sites are managed ecologically to encourage biodiversity, a haven for flora and fauna. They provide beautiful settings for family and friends to reflect on the life that has been lived and recall happy times together.

Why Choose a Natural Burial?

There are various reasons for choosing a natural burial. Some people wish to be laid to rest in a peaceful countryside setting, a wildflower meadow or a woodland.

Others choose a natural burial because they are conscious of the environmental impact of other forms of burial or cremation. Some natural burial sites will permit burials outside working hours and at weekends by arrangement.

I can help you to create a very special ceremony celebrating the life of your loved one, providing an opportunity for you to say goodbye in your own way with readings, poetry or prayers. You can lay your loved one to rest in the peaceful setting of a natural burial site.

Scattering or Interment of Ashes

Many natural burial sites also provide space for the scattering or burial of ashes in eco-friendly caskets.

Important information about natural burials:

You can arrange a natural burial through a funeral director or you can make the arrangements yourself.

If using a funeral director, make sure they know as soon as possible that you would like a natural burial because embalmed bodies can’t be buried at natural burial sites (embalming is often referred to as ‘hygienic treatment’).

The type of coffin used for a natural burial should be able to degrade naturally. There are a variety of choices including wicker, willow, wool and cardboard and the site you choose will be able to advise you.

For more information and to find natural burial grounds close to you, visit the Natural Death Centre website  or call their helpline on 01962 712690.




Memorial Candles

Memorials

A memorial ceremony is held to remember the person who has died without their body being present. Memorial ceremonies are often held following a private family funeral or a direct cremation where no mourners attend. It can take the form of a commemoration or celebration of a life lived.

I can help you to create a uniquely personalised ceremony that is sincere and meaningful according to your wishes. Your family and friends can come together to celebrate the life of the person who has died, express their grief and share their memories.

Your ceremony can be secular, religious or semi-religious. You can remember the person who has died in your own way, it can reflect the personality of the person who has died.

A memorial ceremony can take place at any time and anywhere

You can choose a time that’s right for you, your family and friends, including an evening or a weekend. You can decide how long the ceremony will be; you aren’t limited to crematorium or cemetery time limits.

A memorial ceremony can be held anywhere  – A community centre or village hall, hotel function room, a woodland or meadow, your own home or garden, or a place special to the person who has died. It’s your choice.

A memorial ceremony can be a useful choice when family members live a long way away and are unable to travel close to the date of death. It can also be more convenient if you expect a large number of people to attend because a suitably sized venue can be chosen.

Memorials following a direct cremation

If you have chosen to have a direct cremation for your loved one you can then have a Memorial Ceremony at a time and venue of your choice. It can even take place at your own home or in your garden

This can also be a less expensive option, a direct cremation is less expensive than a traditional one and you can choose a venue within your price range.




Interment or Scattering of Ashes Ceremony

Scattering or Interment of Ashes

A scattering or interment (burial) of ashes ceremony can be as formal or as informal as you wish. It can include readings or poems, including religious readings – perhaps something that was read at the funeral. I will help you to create a very special, personalised ceremony to make this often difficult event truly meaningful, whether you decide to scatter your loved one’s ashes or bury them.

Where can ashes be scattered or interred?

Ashes may be scattered anywhere, provided you have the landowner’s permission.

Crematoriums usually have a memorial garden where ashes can be scattered or you can scatter them in your own garden or at a place with special meaning for your loved one with permission of the landholder.

Burial or interment of ashes often takes place at a cemetery, burial ground or natural burial ground however you can also bury the urn in your garden.

Some cemeteries allow you to bury or scatter the ashes at a family grave but others do not, so it’s important to check.

For easily accessible information on where you can scatter or bury ashes, visit the Beyond Life website.  




Another option is to plan your own funeral or to arrange a living ceremony. If you would like to find out more about this, visit my Planning your own funeral page.

Anne-Marie Ledson Indpendent Funeral Celebrant in Yorkshire

How it Works

  • If you’re considering working with me on a funeral or memorial ceremony, the first step is to contact me for a chat about your wishes and requirements. You can contact me directly or ask your funeral director to contact me.
  • If you decide to go ahead and book me then the next step is for us to meet in person to plan the ceremony. We will discuss how you wish to recall the life that has been lived and how you wish to say your final farewell with dignity and respect.
  • I will then create a very personalised ceremony for you, including a tribute or eulogy if you wish. You will be able to check the ceremony content in advance.
  • Following our meeting I will be available by telephone and email to discuss the ceremony.
  • I will lead the ceremony on the day and I will send you a commemorative copy after the ceremony for you to keep.

Get in touch to find out more:

Telephone: 07484 235561
Email: amledson@btinternet.com


Fees & Processes


Funerals, Natural Burials and Memorials: £200
(Fees for funerals and natural burials are normally paid through your funeral director if you have one, otherwise I will provide details of how you can pay me directly in advance of the ceremony.)

Scattering or Interment of Ashes: £100
(No charge if I conducted the funeral, unless the ceremony takes place more than 30 miles away when mileage will be charged.)

Additional mileage charges apply for ceremonies more than 30 miles from Wetherby, West Yorkshire. If overnight accommodation is required close to the ceremony venue this will charged at cost, following discussion with you.

For Memorial or Scattering/Interment of Ashes Ceremonies following a COVID-19 restricted funeral ceremony there will be a 10% discount on my fees (or free if I conducted the funeral).





I am writing to thank you for the lovely service which you took for my son Andrew. Thank you for talking to me and Richard prior to the service; you were very kind and understanding

Barbara P

Anne-Marie worked with my nana over the last couple of years to plan and arrange her funeral for when the time came. Unfortunately the time came during the year of covid so with restrictions in place Anne-Marie adapted the plans to ensure as many as nana’s wishes were delivered. She met us at York crematorium and was sensitive, caring and a true professional. She delivered a beautiful service that whilst sad was enjoyable and very reflective of who my nana was. I couldn’t think of anyone better for the job of a celebrant and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Anne-Marie to anyone wanting to celebrate the end of a life, the start of a life or a marriage. Thank you  Anne-Marie

Claudia R

Hello Anne-Marie, I’m just with my mum and we wanted to just say again how much we appreciated everything you did for Dad’s funeral – and the caring, thoughtful and organised way you did it.

Paul and Betty

Thank you so much for your wonderful presence and memories of Robert. You were perfect.

HB

Words alone cannot convey how very grateful we are for the beautiful service you created for my mum. You were so kind and thoughtful and receiving a copy of the service was very special. So many of our friends and family commented on how genuine and ‘real’ the service was – so a huge Thank-You from us all.

Lisa, Patrick, Alice, Thomas, Peter, Rachel and Lewis

Thank you for everything you have done, it means a lot to me and my family. Even down to taking the time to get to know us and understanding things about us. Your compassion is so appreciated at a time so scary and upsetting for me, made more bearable by such a lovely caring kind person.

Dionne and family

From the first phone call with Anne-Marie to enquire about conducting our father’s funeral she put us at our ease and gave us confidence that the ceremony would be in capable and secure hands… Anne- Marie’s advice, attention to detail and professionalism helped us put together a very personal ceremony which was appreciated by family and friends alike and which did our father proud.

Alison and Jane

Absolutely amazing. I lost my Dad and asked if Anne-Marie would conduct the ceremony at the graveside. She went above and beyond and made my Dads send off the best she could. I couldn’t fault anything. And for that I’m so grateful. Everyone that attended the ceremony said how beautifully conducted it was. Would 100% recommend Anne-Marie.

Andrea

Thank you for making such a difficult day more bearable not only with your professionalism but heartfelt and sincere words. You summed up my mum, Norma, perfectly. She was a tour de force of that there is no doubt! But was also our mum and you saw that side of her too.

Katie T

I just wanted to say thank you for all you did today and in the build up. You really did my mum proud and made it very special for all of us. I know she would have loved it. I also really appreciate all the preparation you did too. You obviously put a lot of time and effort and also care into everything and words cannot describe how grateful I am that you were there to see mum off.

David R

Thank you so much for the lovely service you gave yesterday.  Our son, together with several relatives and friends of mum were able to watch live yesterday. They  have all said how special it was and how much they enjoyed it.  It means a lot to us to feel that mum had such a good send off.

Val and John

Thankyou so very much for the beautiful folder and script of the celebration of life, it is something we will treasure. The eulogy was a perfect picture of Pat and her life and put together in a way that included all our thoughts and memories and for that we also thank you.

K & J Walker

Thank you so much for the copy of mum’s Celebration of Life Ceremony, it is beautifully presented and I will treasure it. We were so pleased with the service and we will always be grateful to you for all your hard work and attention to detail making sure all the family’s memories were included, it made it very special.

V Reid

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of myself, my family and all who attended Margaret’s funeral. Everyone has commented on what a beautiful service and reading that you provided. A lot of them said it really brought back many happy memories of when Margaret was a younger and healthier young lady.

Les and family

Thank you for all your efforts in today’s funeral. I think Heidi’s hug said it all and I am really pleased that she was happy with everything. Jane and I agreed you projected yourself clearly, confidently and held a safe space in the chapel for the family. Thank you again for the level of detail in the scripted service which was very reassuring.

Full Circle Funerals

We would like to thank you for such a lovely ceremony.  Everyone was so impressed what a lovely send off for John. Thank you again.

Ginny

I was very impressed with the style and content of the Crematorium service and the delivery of it by Anne-Marie was superb, a truly professional homage to B’s life. I had never been to a crematorium service without hymns before and I found it very refreshing indeed, so much so that I think I might steal the format for my own service! What a send-off B got!

Jon

Thank you, Anne-Marie, for making B’s funeral the wonderful celebration of his life that it was. A great comfort to me, the boys and B’s family. Thank you so much.

Fiona S

Our family are eternally grateful to Anne-Marie for creating such a personal funeral ceremony for my Mother who died recently at the age of 105. The celebration of a long and happy life.

Pauline Roth

Just a quick note from me to stay a huge thank you for everything you did for the ceremony and celebration. You really made a positive difference and things would not have worked so well without you.

J Clements



Bereavement Support

CRUSE – The Cruse Bereavement Care freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement. For more information visit cruse.org.uk or call the helpline on 0800 808 1677.

Grief Chat – If you would like some free support related to your bereavement, Grief Chat provides emotional support, access to trained bereavement counsellors and referral to other specialised bereavement services. For more information about Grief Chat visit griefchat.co.uk or call 01524 889 823.

Leeds Bereavement Forum – For help to find the right support in the Leeds area, visit the Leeds Bereavement Forum Directory of Services or call 0113 225 3975.