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  • Elizabeth Hadnett

Personalised Funeral Ceremony

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

When someone close to us dies their funeral is our chance to honour and celebrate their life.

To share our memories and express our love and respect for them, to say goodbye in a heartfelt

and meaningful way.

It is important that we celebrate life with honesty, warmth, and affection. Using words and music that

are personal and appropriate. Each ceremony should be as unique and special as the person being


Recently I had the privilege of conducting a ceremony for a gentleman who pass after a short illness. His

family wanted the ceremony to be non-religious and a celebration of his life, to honour his love of Irish

music and the great musician that he was. The ceremony was held in the funeral home and the

interment took place at the local graveyard. His wife, daughter and son didn’t want a long eulogy, so

they each wrote heartfelt notes that express their love, which I read on their behalf. Grandchildren

brought up symbols of their grandad's life, which included a tin whistle, a bottle of red wine and his cap. The youngest grandchild aged 9 yrs. wrote a poem and read it through her heart-breaking tears.

Live music was played throughout the ceremony by five musician friends on a banjo, accordion,

bodhran, tin whistle, guitar and two of them also sang. As the coffin made its journey from the funeral

home, everyone stood and clapped as the musicians played three reals, which quite literally raised the


Funeral Burial

At the graveside I read a beautiful poem called “A life well lived” author unknown and the musicians played a lovely piece call “The Curragh of Kildare” which was requested by the family. Many of the extended family came up to me afterwards to commend me on such a beautiful ceremony and the delivery of the personal notes and said that the deceased would have loved it. One lady commented that she never knew a funeral could be like that and said, “Now I know the way I want to go out of this world.”

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