THE JOHN MERRILL MINISTRY - "Embracing and honouring all faiths and none"
Febryar 3rd. 2016 - The horse drawn hearse for a 99 & 7 months woman.On the occasion of my 200th. funeral service, with the Chief Mourner.

PERSONAL AND FITTING FUNERAL SERVICES

All funerals are custom made to fit the faith and people concerned to create a special and deeply meaningful tribute to the deceased. No two are alike and each is full of options as to how you can make it very special. I will guide you through. So far I have done more than 400 services. .   Number of services conducted in 2016 - 83.

The horse drawn hearse photo was for a 99 & 7 month old women on February 3rd. 2016.Her family wanted her to go out in style - she certainly did, with pink flumes.

I travel all over London - both south and north and have done services in Croydon Crematorium, South West Essex, Forest Park, Islington, St. Marylebone, Barkingside Cemetery, Lavender Hill, Mill Hill Cemetery, Cheshunt Cemetery, West Hertfordshire, City of London, Manor Park, Tottenham Cemetry,  Parndon Wood (Harlow), and my most popular location - Enfield Crematorium.
Distance is not a problem.

Not only are they for the whole spectrum of faiths and none, they are also for every nationality - Greek, Indonesian, Thai, Spanish, French, Mauritius, English, Nigerian, Dutch, Irish, Cyprus, Italian, to name  a few.
 
FUNERAL SERVICE BASICS

Initially from the Funeral Director I get the name and age of the deceased, the service time and location, whether it is a burial or cremation, the name of the chief mourner and contact  phone number. I arrange a meeting quite quickly and visit the bereaved. Until I sit down with them I know nothing and have a blank sheet of paper. Being an Interfaith Minister means I have no restrictions and can create a personal and fitting service in celebration of the life of the deceased.

I now have a basic checklist to work out the Service - 
- What religious persuasion was the deceased?
- Do you want to carry the coffin in; be seated first or follow the coffin in?
- Entry music - something gentle and meaningful? - although this is not often the case.
- Have a picture of the deceased by the coffin?
- Light a candlesin his/her memory?
- Perhaps incense depending on preference and faith?
- What hymns, if any. One early on and another later?
- Poems. Would a family member like to read one or me?
- Reading from the Bible, spiritual text or a meaning passage from a book?
- Tribute - anyone wanting to say something, or would you like to give me the information to write one?
- Anyone want to say a prayer?
- Final prayers and committal - would you like the curtains closed or open. If open would like to place a rose or flower on it as you leave? If a burial this can done when the coffin is lowered and in place.
- Exit music - something uplifting and meaningful to the deceased - a favourite song, music, from a musical?

I always visit the bereaved twice. Armed with the initial  information I go back to my study and write up their service, drawing on what ever source I need to comply with their wishes. I write the Tribute, if required. I return to see them, a couple of days later, and go through the whole service to ensure they are happy with what I have planned. I also read the Tribute and ensure that all the information and dates are correct, and perhaps add something more that they forgot to tell me. I then return to the office and finally amend everything and print the Service Sheets, with photograph ready for the service a couple of days away. I like everything complete 24 hours before so that I can relax. The night before I read through the service to totally familiarise myself and to double check all is in order.

I always arrive at the Crematorium, Chapel, cemetery or Burial Park, 45 minutes before the service, so that I am in good time to relax and meditate. I robe up and meditate for 5 minutes before seeing the chapel attendant to ensure he knows when the play the different pieces of music on the Wesley Systen or on (CD). The organist is primed with the hymns and given a Service Sheet and the remainder I place  on the seats in readiness. By then it is time to be outside to welcome the cortege and family and the start of the service. Most last 25 to 30 minutes, some are a double booking and the service can be 50 minutes. Burials usually last 45 minutes with the service in the chapel and then the final committal into the ground, around the graveside. In cemetery chapels or graveside services he can bring his pad and Bluetooth speaker for playing the hymns/music as appropriate.
Each service is unique to fit the circumstances and wishes of the deceased family; none are ever the same. Nothing is too much trouble. He wears robes or suit, which ever is appropriate for the family.

John has done services for - Christian, Roman Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Atheist, Non Religious and for people from the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Mauritius, Ghana, Nigeria, Malaysia, Barbados, Indonesia, Hungry,  and Croatia.

He travels all over London, Essex and Hertfordshire - from West Essex Crematorium & Croydon to Parndon Wood near Harlow in Hertfordshire. To West Hertfordshire Crematorium (Garston, Watford) and Forest Park, Chigwell in Essex. As well as the City of London Crematorium and Manor Park Crematorium. And Cemetery Chapels for burials all over London and Hertfordshire. His most popular venue is Enfield Crematorium.

OTHER SERVICES - John also does Graveside Services, Ashes internment, Memorial Services in a hall or graveside.

SERVICE SHEETS - I also produce the Service Sheets in colour and black and white -
cooper service sheetclarke service sheet
OSBOURNE SERVICE SHEET 1tn ADAMSON INSIDE SHEET 07tn ADAMSON FUNERAL SHEET 06Sample Order of Service booklet.
Sample of an Order of Service booklet.



MANDY OSBORN SERVICE SHEET 2MANDY OSBORN SERVICE SHEET 1
Funeral Celebrants Diary
Funeral Celebrants Diary
How to create a fitting service. See Bookshop for ordering a copy!
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