Last week I spoke about how I fell into celebrancy.
After training, I eased my way into leading funerals, but avoided the more cheerful ceremonies. This was frankly because I was scared. That doesn’t make much sense, I know. Why should a wedding be more scary than a funeral?
That, however, was the fact of the matter, and I didn’t market that side actively.
But eventually, my website was picked up and my first celebration ceremony enquiry came in. It was from a young lady whose parents were holding a garden party in eight days’ time. The father had come through critical illness and they were celebrating his return to health. Unbeknown to the mother, they also wanted a Ring Blessing, as he had fallen ill during the wedding and they had been unable to finish the ceremony. Would I conduct this ceremony?
I had never done a Ring Blessing before, of course. I only had eight days to get it together. Because it was to be a secret from the mother, I could not contact the family with a draft for them to approve. (The only guidance they could offer was that it should not be religious.)
More to the point, I was not really available!
As I explained when the daughter rang, I was literally on my doorstep with wife and son and suitcases, about to go off for a week’s holiday in Germany. I therefore gave her the details of another celebrant, who might be able to help. I said I would check emails as best I could while I was away, just in case, but basically I was unavailable.
No emails came though while I was away or even on the Friday when we returned. So I had dodged that bullet, as I thought!
On the Saturday, I went out for the morning. When I came back, my wife said, “They’ve rung and they want you for tonight!” She had noted the time and address, and I was committed!
So I spent the afternoon planning what I thought I should include and set off for Enfield. I arrived almost an hour early, so sat in the car. The advantage of getting this “gig” so late was that I had not had time to get nervous.
Until then. I would not care to repeat that hour or so!
When I went in, I apologised for interrupting the party and introduced myself to the 40 or so people present. We then had our Ring Blessing ceremony, which took about 10 minutes, after which I headed off home again.
The ceremony seemed to be well received – not least, by the mother who cried tears of joy.
I had broken my duck and would happily lead other happy ceremonies in the future. (That’s not to say that I don’t have occasional attacks of nerves, but I know I’ve got what it takes!)
So if you’re contemplating a ceremony of some kind, feel free to invite me to make your big day special!