Rites of Passage


Rites of Passage

Our services have a theme rather than following a liturgy or set order of service, but will usually include time for silent reflection as well as hymns, readings and prayers. Readings may be taken from a variety of different religious scriptures or from secular sources. As Unitarians, we draw from the wisdom of all faiths and branches of human knowledge.

WEDDINGS
Our Chapel is registered as a place of worship for the solemnisation of marriages, including those between same-sex couples. We recognise that each couple is different and so there is no set form of ceremony. What is important is that the ceremony reflects who you are and the love you have for each other. Your ceremony can be religious or humanist, you can choose your own readings and vows or even write your own provided that the ceremony includes the words required by law. You may want traditional hymns and prayers or live music and a hand fasting. You may wish to incorporate elements from different faith traditions. If you decide that the Chapel is the right place for you to marry, then we will work with you to create a personalised ceremony which celebrates your love and which will be a memorable day for you and your guests.
If you wish to arrange your wedding, please contact, Jane Russell, 01455 634032.

NAMINGS
The birth of a child is cause for celebration. Many parents wish to welcome a new child into their family in a formal way in the presence of family and friends. Whether you choose to call the ceremony a Naming Ceremony or a Baptism, the purpose is to give thanks for your child and for you and others to make promises to him or her that are heartfelt and meaningful. We do not have a set ceremony nor initiate the child into a particular faith although the ceremony will reflect your own spiritual beliefs, if any. You may choose religious or secular readings and poems, include prayers and a hymn/song or music of your choosing. Perhaps you would like an older sibling or a grandparent to take part in the ceremony too. We will work with you to create a ceremony which reflects who you are as a family.
If you are interested in arranging a ceremony for your baby or child, a thanksgiving following adoption or a ceremony for an older child, please contact, Jane Russell, 01455 634032.

FUNERALS
You may be thinking ahead to your own funeral and wondering whether a Unitarian service would be appropriate for you or perhaps, as next of kin, you have the task of arranging a funeral for a loved one.
When a person dies, it is important for family and friends to be able to gather together to remember the person who has died, to acknowledge their grief and sorrow and to say goodbye to them. The Chapel is available for funeral services before a cremation or burial or for a memorial or thanksgiving service shortly after or at a later date. If the person who has died has not left any specific instructions, then we can offer help and guidance in relation to readings, poetry, prayers, hymns or music which will reflect that person’s spiritual beliefs and character. A friend or family member may wish to give a eulogy or ask the celebrant to read it for them, or there might be space set aside for a short time of sharing and remembrance or words of tribute. The celebrant will also be able to attend the crematorium or graveside if required.