Celebrant launches online ceremonies for Fifers to remember loved ones

A Kingsbarns celebrant has launched an online ceremony service to help grieving Fifers during the lockdown.
Cate Reid is offering the online service.Cate Reid is offering the online service.
Cate Reid is offering the online service.

With funerals in Fife restricted to just six attendees, and other parts of Scotland allowing no mourners, Cate Reid, working with Michael Hannah in Dundee, launched the new service, with the whole service taking place online.

It means online ceremonies can be watched by a large number of people, and can be as long or short as the family want it to be.

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The format is flexible and can include readings, poems, tributes and more, and allows for participation from family and friends.

The ceremony can also be recorded.

The service using Zoom, the online video conferencing app, scheduled to suit the family, and invites are then sent to the attendees. It can also be streamed through Facebook or YouTube if large numbers of viewers are expected.

“This idea arose from discussions with other celebrants across the UK – some of whom had celebrant contacts in Italy and Spain where no funerals can take place and where people have been experimenting with Zoom,” explained Cate.

“Our initial scepticism was overcome firstly by our personal experiences with Zoom and then my colleague Michael tested and carried out a mock funeral which led us to believe that we could create a truly respectful and dignified space online.”

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While Cate and Michael know that people will miss out on meeting up in person, and that some might find the technology daunting, they believe it will help people.

“We both have experience of online training and we use zoom regularly in a professional capacity,” Cate added.

“Services at crematoriums are often recorded, however families need to fit in with the crematorium restrictions.

“I would like to stress that this is new for all of us, but we are confident we can support families during this difficult time.

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“The lockdown is just intensifying a trend that is already apparent where people are using tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and social media to interact professionally and socially online in new and creative ways, so in time I think that people will come to expect that there will be online options for funerals and other ceremonies.

“A favourite topic of our networking group is the changing face of the Scottish funeral which has always evolved.”

If you would be interested in doing an online service, or finding out more information, contact East Neuk Celebrants via a funeral director, or use the website eastneukcelebrants.co.uk.