Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) Celebrant
Maureen Kettle, 51, has been delivering wedding, civil, funeral and naming ceremonies for three years.
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.