1. I will always conduct funerals to the highest possible standards of delivery and appropriateness and will attempt in every way to reflect the needs, wishes and beliefs of the client.

2. I will base the script and structure of the funeral (including, where appropriate, music choices) on a meeting with the client and other members of the household, family (including “chosen” family) and friends of the deceased. This meeting ideally will be face-to-face in the client’s home or a Funeral Director’s premises according to the wishes of the client but in line with any current social distancing guidelines. However, if this is not possible, I will use telephone, video software, and email to conduct and follow up a meeting or meetings. I will ensure that the Funeral Director is given prior details of the meeting for security purposes. I will never use my access to clients to promote or impose my own beliefs or values.

3. I will use my listening skills to elicit information on the life, achievements and key moments of the deceased and, further, to build a picture of their character. Where appropriate and necessary, I will conduct research and seek permission to approach other friends or colleagues for information.

4. I will use my writing skills to distill these elements of biography and character into a text that honours, celebrates and / or reflects a life with integrity and accuracy, placing great care on ensuring that personal details such as names etc are properly recorded and pronounced.

5. I will always encourage friends and family to participate with tributes, eulogies or readings and, given the challenges that people may face in delivering these in front of a gathering, will always provide support and guidance as well as a promise to “step in” discreetly should they find it too much on the day.

6. I will always be willing to include religious elements such as prayers, hymns, or readings from scripture if requested.

7. I will ensure that the client receives a draft of the script in good time to allow for corrections, deletions and additions to be made. A final script will be made available prior to the ceremony. I will always endeavour to be punctual in attending meetings, making calls or sending drafts.

8. I will deliver the funeral from a full written text that will also act a running order and which includes other contributions and instructions such that it can be used “as is” by any other officiant or funeral director should I be indisposed at last minute. I will ensure that it is emailed to the Funeral Director in advance to facilitate this.

9. A presentation copy (printed or in PDF format) will always be offered to the client after the funeral ceremony.

10. I will prepare a cue sheet for Funeral Directors, chapel or graveside staff to give guidance as to the overall order of the ceremony with particular emphasis on music cues. I will always ensure that any special requests from the client such as the placing of flowers or draping of flags are communicated to Funeral Directors and crematorium/graveside staff in advance. I will always endeavour to arrive promptly to allow for a face-to-face run-through of all details of music, order of entry or procession that have been decided by the client.

11. I will always dress appropriately in suit and tie but not necessarily in black unless specifically requested by the client. I am happy to wear a kilt if requested. I am always open to wearing a tie, cufflinks or lapel badge that reflects some aspect of the deceased’s life such as a family tartan but always in consultation with the client. I will always consider any other requests for themed attire but will respectfully decline if I feel it unsuitable for the conduct of my role.

12. I will conduct the funeral calmly, audibly and with dignity. I will always practise each script in advance to ensure that my delivery is animated and fluent.

13. I will always make appropriate acknowledgements and thanks in the script and will end the ceremony by thanking family and mourners as they leave, within any current constraints of social distancing.

14. I will seek to establish and maintain good working relationships with staff of local crematoria, cemeteries and Funeral Directors. I will also endeavour to maintain professional links with other celebrants through informal local, Scottish and UK-wide networks and will always be open to sharing skills and experience. I will avoid criticism of any client or of any person working within the funeral industry. I will treat clients and those working within the funeral industry with courtesy and respect.

15. I will respect the confidentiality of information received in the course of my work and will abide by all data protection laws and guidelines. I will not give clients details of other funerals I have conducted except in the most general terms (for example explaining of how a flag was used in the funeral of a person with naval connections to a family in similar circumstances).

16. I will not compromise the quality of funerals in the pursuit of increased income and will limit the number of ceremonies I perform accordingly.

17. I will seek to engage in continuing professional development to improve: my listening and writing skills; my performance, delivery and voice skills; my knowledge of funeral ceremonies and evolving new ideas and trends; my understanding and use of technology in delivering ceremony; my understanding of bereavement issues.

18. I will seek to address and resolve any complaints about my work with urgency and open-mindedness.

19. I will always ensure that I am adequately covered by pubic liability and professional indemnity insurance.

(Photo courtesy of SICA and PhotoJenniK flowers provided by Oor Fleurs of Fife)