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Celebrant profile:

Lorna Hanlon

Ceremonies performed: Weddings, Naming Ceremonies, Funerals

Since 2010, I have been in the privileged position of being a Registered Celebrant of the Humanist Society Scotland, based in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, and I conduct weddings, partnership ceremonies, funerals and namings in all areas of Tayside, but I also travel to many further flung parts of Scotland, if/when requested! I have lived and worked in Scotland and Europe over the past twenty years, and I am also a freelance writer and trainee proofreader. I am qualified to conduct ceremonies or parts thereof in German and Spanish, and French and Italian on request

I try to live a good life as a Humanist by making my ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and the natural world. I also believe that, within the one life I have, I can act to give life meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.

For me, this includes looking out for and helping others in need in the same way that I would hope if I or my family or friends were vulnerable or in need, that someone who could do so might be looking out for them. We are all part of one human community, and if we all helped each other and co-operated to create a better world then a lot of the world's problems would be able to be improved to a significant degree.

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Wedding & Civil Partnership Ceremonies

I am delighted to be able to offer couples the personal type of ceremony which can be provided in the structure and ethos of a Humanist wedding. As a qualified linguist, I can write and conduct parts of ceremonies in German and Spanish, and also have a good command of French and Italian

How I feel about being a wedding Celebrant
Being a wedding Celebrant is a great honour, and it is exciting and humbling to be performing such an important part of what is such a meaningful day for the couple involved.

My approach to weddings
Within the Humanist wedding structure and ethos, I want to help each couple create an individual and unique ceremony which they and their nearest and dearest will be able to recall with affection and happiness long after the wedding day has passed.

What I love most about conducting weddings
Meeting the people involved in planning what can be one of the happiest days of their lives and sharing in the exciting process of becoming a married couple, as well as the emotional and practical involvement I have in each ceremony.

My advice to you
A Humanist wedding is an affirmation of a belief in your future as a couple together as Humanists, and it is also a way to express your love and unity in a very special and individual way - so I would say it is important to listen to what your heart tells you when making decisions - it is YOUR day, and should be true to the sort of people you are.

My favourite piece of wedding poetry
I was married in a Humanist Ceremony myself, and we had a lovely poem by Roy Croft called "Love", which I read as it said a lot about how I felt about my husband.

My favourite piece of wedding music
There is so much music to pick from, but I had a beautiful piece by Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham called "Violet Tulloch, Queen of Lerwick.", which I felt really connected back strongly to my own Shetland roots.

Comments on wedding ceremonies;
"Just sending you a little note to say thank you for the lovely ceremony that you conducted for us on Saturday,it was exactly what we wanted and we had so many people commenting on how lovely if was.We both had a fantastic day,which began with your lovely ceremony and finished with a big knees up!!"
"We want to thank you again for making our wedding on Saturday such a memorable and special occasion. A number of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how personal it was. It clearly made a big impression on them and set the right tone for the rest of the day."
"We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the beautiful ceremony you conducted. Our guests spoke very highly of the ceremony and the celebrant...thank you for making it exactly as we wanted and for all your help and advice."

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Naming & Welcoming Ceremonies

Naming ceremonies are very important in honouring and welcoming a child into the family, and I consider it a privilege and a delight to be able to offer this very personal type of ceremony to families. It is a real joy to spend time with parents, other family members, and the guest of honour themselves of course, finding out more about the young life to be celebrated on their own special day. I aim to present a ceremony which includes a variety of elements, from the more formal and serious parental and guide parent promises, to more light-hearted moments - humorous poetry, personal anecdotes and stories, and also perhaps a symbolic gesture, and presentation of gifts and keepsakes. The most important thing is that it is your Naming Day, and it will be exactly as you want it to be.

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Funeral Ceremonies

I feel that I am in a very privileged position, and always take my responsibilities extremely seriously - to the bereaved family, the Funeral Directors, the Crematorium and Cemetery staff and most importantly to the person who has passed away. It is such an important ceremony, and it must be as fitting and appropriate as it can possibly be.

What I find most rewarding about conducing funerals
It is a privilege to be invited by a bereaved family to conduct their loved one's funeral. I always feel moved and humbled when I hear that I might have helped a very difficult day become ever so slightly easier to endure.

My favourite piece of funeral poetry
Joyce Grenfell has written some very concise, comforting poems which are very fitting for funeral cermonies. Anne Bronte's "Farewell" is also a beautiful verse which says a great deal in a very few words.

My favourite piece of Funeral music
For me it is "Vide cor Meum", by Patrick Cassidy. It is written in a combination of Latin and Italian, and the last words translate as "I am in peace. See my heart".
As a Modern Languages Graduate, I can write and conduct funeral ceremonies or parts of them as required in German and Spanish, as well as writing and reading in Italian and French.

Recent comments:
"Once again, thanks you for everything, you have a beautiful voice and a gracious, quiet and sincere manner, we were very pleased that mum took this path"
"You carried it out to complete perfection and that means the world to us... many people commented on how lovely and uplifting it was... you are definitely in the right job and will be my first thought and recommendation to others"
"An email to say how complimentary everyone was yesterday about the way you conducted his celebration""The whole family wish to say many thanks for the wonderful tribute you did for him...The comments we received were all good."
"Indeed a number of people said they would now consider a humanist funeral as it made much more sense to them than many religious ones they had attended."
"Once again thank you for your time and oration, you did the family proud."

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