About the National Celebrant AwardI was proud and stunned to win the National Celebrant Award in the Category ‘Outstanding Funeral Celebrancy’ in September 2018. Hundreds of celebrants had been nominated for the prestigious National Celebrant Awards which recognised outstanding celebrants in wedding and funeral categories. Winners were announced at the National Celebrant Convention for Celebrants. This took place 27th September 2018 in Kettering. What it meant for me to win the award Winning the award was in particular special to me. This is because I was nominated by families I have been working with over the last year. They took time and effort to write detailed testimonials. Examples of how I had supported them in the most difficult times of their lives truly moved me. The following words where shared by the judges: “Rosalie had nominations from both funeral directors and families but what set her apart was that some of her nominations came from funerals in very difficult circumstances. One for a stillborn baby which said ‘She filled the process of saying goodbye with beauty and light and most importantly understanding. Her words are part of how we now remember our baby and will remain so into the future.” I design funeral ceremonies around the person who has died and their family, using a modern and creative approach. I believe a good funeral helps mourn a death, pay tribute to a life lived and can give comfort for the time to come. The award was a true recognition for the work I do. It is also an encouragement to continue to explore alternative ways to embrace death and grief as normal parts of life. To find ways to create a space where feelings and thoughts that come with a loss can be expressed in a truthful way. My journey so far I create and conduct bespoke and inclusive ceremonies for any life event. Since childhood I have been fascinated by the big questions of life and how people use creative expressions to make sense of the profound experiences life throws at them. I studied theology and trained as a minister. However, the church felt too exclusive for me as I wanted to support people of all beliefs and none. Yet, celebrants were yet to be invented back then! For various reasons I changed careers to become a management consultant. I worked for 12 years in the corporate world before my life took a new turn after I had trained with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. Becoming a celebrant felt like coming home. It’s a job where all my interests and skills come together. Furthermore as it’s a relatively new profession, there is much room for development and innovation. I founded 'Rituals Today’ in 2015. Then in October 2017 I took the leap to dedicate my time and energy full-time to celebrancy. In addition to creating and conducting ceremonies and rituals:
- I host Death Cafes
- Co-host grief training for professionals who work with the bereaved
- Facilitate Dementia Friends sessions
- Give talks on the future of funerals and ceremony design.