Hu­man­ist So­ci­ety Scot­land (HSS) Cel­e­brant

Mau­reen Ket­tle, 51, has been de­liv­er­ing wed­ding, civil, funeral and nam­ing cer­e­monies for three years.

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My job in­volves meet­ing with fam­i­lies and cou­ples through­out Scot­land, get­ting to know them, and there­after com­pos­ing and con­duct­ing a com­bi­na­tion of ex­tremely per­sonal and unique nam­ing, wed­ding and funeral cer­e­monies.

When I was younger I ac­tu­ally wanted to join the po­lice.

But as I’m just over five foot I was too small back then for their height re­stric­tions.

I’d pre­vi­ously worked as an Ad­min­is­tra­tor with Hu­man­ist So­ci­ety Scot­land for around seven years.

I could see what a fan­tas­tic job our cel­e­brants did, and so in 2014 took the first step to­wards be­com­ing a Cel­e­brant.

I started out train­ing as a funeral cel­e­brant,

then moved onto nam­ing cer­e­monies be­fore then be­com­ing a reg­is­tered wed­ding cel­e­brant too.

I re­ally feel as though I have the most priv­i­leged job in the world.

I can’t even be­gin to de­scribe what an hon­our it is to be part of so many im­por­tant mo­ments in peo­ple’s lives. Whether that’s work­ing with fam­i­lies who have wel­comed some­one new into their fam­ily through ei­ther birth, adop­tion or a re­nam­ing cer­e­mony or those who have cho­sen to marry, have a civil part­ner­ship or re­new their wed­ding vows. Or the fam­i­lies who are sadly say­ing good­bye to a loved one with a unique trib­ute in a Hu­man­ist So­ci­ety Scot­land funeral cer­e­mony.

How­ever, there are of course dif­fi­cult as­pects to my job,

namely con­duct­ing funeral cer­e­monies for ba­bies, chil­dren or young peo­ple. As a mother my­self it al­ways hits hard. That said though, feel­ing that you have helped the fam­ily through an in­cred­i­bly tough time is re­ward in it­self. You want to do your very best for the fam­ily, to make it as ‘easy’ as you pos­si­bly can for them on the day.

Af­ter a tough day at work my won­der­ful hus­band James is who I tend to vent to.

But within HSS we also have a great net­work of over 100 car­ing, em­pa­thetic and knowl­edge­able cel­e­brants who are al­ways there to of­fer help and ad­vice.

Hav­ing two chil­dren, Greig and Amy, I’m ex­tremely lucky that my hus­band James is also self-em­ployed. James re­ally is the rock of the fam­ily, tak­ing the strain of much of the house­hold stuff and al­low­ing me to fit ev­ery­thing into my busy sched­ule.

I’m lucky that I can of­ten work from home,

so I can sit in my PJ’S in my home of­fice and write cer­e­monies. As soon as I’m down­stairs, with a cup of tea in hand I be­gin work. My morn­ings vary be­tween writ­ing and go­ing to meet fam­i­lies to find out about their loved ones as well as then ac­tu­ally de­liv­er­ing the cer­e­monies.

The only down­side about hav­ing a home of­fice is it’s dif­fi­cult to switch off

but I al­ways make sure to have din­ner around the kitchen table which is a great time to catch up with my fam­ily. I then try to make sure that I’ve fin­ished work al­to­gether by 9pm so I can set­tle down and watch a TV show.

When I have time off I love to just spend time with my fam­ily and our adorable spaniel Mur­phy.

I also en­joy the oc­ca­sional night out at the bingo or catch­ing up on my two favourite pro­grammes, Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS Los An­ge­les.

I couldn’t pos­si­bly name just one highlight... Every Hu­man­ist So­ci­ety Scot­land cer­e­mony is unique, and the com­fort or joy you bring to peo­ple from de­liv­er­ing a well-re­searched and well­writ­ten, com­pas­sion­ate and per­fectly pitched cer­e­mony, is fan­tas­tic.

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