Funeral care for transgender people – a video

My colleague and fellow celebrant, Emma Curtis, has contributed to a short video on funeral care for trans people – especially in the current lockdown.

It’s aimed at transgender people but is actually a really useful watch for anyone who wants to ensure that a funeral really reflects the life and wishes of their loved one even in these restricted times.

Funeral Care and Grieving During COVID

Have you ever thought about making a will? In this video we've teamed up with Ash Hayhurst, Emma Curtis, Jayne and Lyra to talk about funeral care and the current logistics. This film is a pre-cursor to a more comprehensive film about funeral care for transgender people in the UK.Captions are embedded.

Gepostet von My Genderation am Mittwoch, 20. Mai 2020

Michael Hannah, Dundee, May 2020

COVID White Paper and resources

There is a really useful collection of ideas and resources here – very useful for funeral celebrants and anyone involved in the world of funerals, bereavement, grief and loss. It’s a bit USA-centred but valuable none the less: COVID White Paper.

Plus… a link to the University of Durham Centre for Death and Life Studies COVID-19 hub.

Michael Hannah, Celebrant, Dundee 20th May 2020


A nice video by Neil Dorward, celebrant, mentor and trainer on his new YouTube channel. It’s about gratitude – specifically to funeral directors and their staff for all they do especially in the difficult days of lockdown.

But gives me the opportunity to say thanks to you Neil for helping to set me personally on the path to becoming a funeral celebrant and all your help and guidance.

Michael Hannah, Dundee 15th May 2020

Dundee Courier

I was interviewed by the Dundee Courier on Friday regarding virtual funerals. Wasn’t sure how it would turn out as I’m not very experienced speaking to the press but it’s a nice article.

With talk of lockdown being eased, maybe it seems we won’t need to go down this road but some countries are already noting signs of a second wave and actually, I think the idea of online ceremony is here to stay.

So it’s good that funeral celebrants in Tayside and Fife are able to offer this service.

Thank you to Claire Warrender and the Courier for the article.

Michael Hannah, Dundee, 11th May 2020

Bereavement Charter for Scotland

There’s a new Bereavement Charter for Scotland – available here. It contains 15 statements which describe what the best bereavement care and support should look like. It has been developed to support individuals and communities who struggle with the death of someone they know or someone in their community. There’s more information here.

Coincidentally, one of the funeral celebrants I’ve been in contact with lately, Emma Curtis, has prepared a very useful “guide for people who worry what to say to a grieving person.”

I think we all struggle with what to say to a person who is grieving. And sometimes we end up not saying anything at all – but it’s so important to make and maintain contact. Emma’s guide gives a lot of advice on how to do that in a sensitive and practical way.

Michael Hannah, Dundee, 8th May 2020

Masters at Glasgow

I just heard today that I’ve been accepted on the University of Glasgow’s MSc in End of Life Studies.

This is a totally online part-time course so I’ll be able to continue my celebrancy work around it. It will be great to work both on the practical side and pursue an academic interest in the subject at the same time.

Ultimately I’d love to do some research in the field of ceremony and funerals …. but one step at a time! Very pleased, though, to have this to look forward to.

Michael Hannah, Dundee, 7th May 2020

Celebrant support networks

Being a funeral celebrant can be a lonely business. Of course you meet all sorts of amazing people in the families that you work with. And you build good relations with funeral directors and arrangers.

But it can be hard to build up good working relationships with other celebrants in the area. And that has been put into sharper focus by the lockdown.

I’ve started to build a loose local network – we “meet” on Zoom every week and share experience and ideas.

I’ve also joined a UK-wide support network that was created in response to the COVID-19 situation. I’ve found it a really helpful way to exchange support. It’s also really good to talk through ideas with people who are working in very different places and who have really varied professional backgrounds and approaches. There’s more information about this funeral celebrants support network here.

Michael Hannah, Dundee, 6th May 2020

Funeral Celebrant Accord

The Celebrancy Accord

The Accord defines the attributes and skills required of an excellent funeral celebrant and is intended to set the standards by which all celebrants offering funeral services should be measured.

In summary, an excellent funeral celebrant:

  1. Is professional
  2. Cares for their clients
  3. Is calm and shows natural leadership
  4. Writes personalized ceremonies
  5. Cares about their self development

For more information about this see the Funeral Celebrancy Council.

I have also set out my own personal Code of Conduct.

Michael Hannah, Dundee, 2nd May 2020