Rituals performed at services can be deeply moving. They are a wonderful way to involve all the guests, and reflect the beliefs and personality of the deceased.

Here are just a few examples of bespoke rituals I  have used – or created – to suit each service.

For a very spiritual white witch, we each brought a flower from our own garden and created a central vase of flowers. We sat in a circle, with the flowers in the centre. We lit candles to represent the four points, and wrote 3 words each on to cards that represented her spirit. We then threaded them onto a string and tied it in a loop, forever encircling her energies and keeping it safe.

At a very small memorial service, the family brought some of the deceased’s favourite knick knacks and jewellery and invited guests to take a piece to remember her by.

For  a Chinese man, each row of guests approached his coffin, stood in a straight line and made 3 deep bows in respect, before approaching him individually. It was wordless, silent and very  moving.

Simply having family members wheel in the coffin at the beginning, and out again at the end is incredibly symbolic.

For one woman, we asked that everybody bring a flower to lay on her casket – the brighter the better, instead of having traditional floral arrangements on the top.

The beauty of using rituals is that there are no rules. We can create something that is unique, just for you.