Ceremonies & Ritualsevery life is unique
What is a Celebrant?
Life-Cycle Celebrants are trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The Celebrant’s mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his, her or their beliefs, philosophy of life and personality. The Celebrant comes to the table with no agenda and no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the Celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client. After some brainstorming, the Celebrant spends hours crafting a ceremony that includes personal storytelling, meaningful passages and quotations, unique rituals and appropriate music selections. The result is a custom, one-of-a-kind ceremony that assists the individual, couple, family and/ or community in honouring and navigating life’s big and small moments and transitions.
Honouring Our Son
“Julie’s thoughtful orchestration of Clayton’s Celebration of Life was the beginning of our family’s healing process. Clayton chose to exit this world and this painful and traumatic tragedy was transformed into a beautiful ceremony through Julie’s sensitivity, generosity of heart and genuine empathy and understanding. Julie helped all of us remember the joy that my son brought to this world and how he made the lives of all who knew him richer and deeper. My family will be forever grateful for Julie’s skillful crafting and delivery of such a meaningful event.”
~ Dorothy G., mother
Loss & Release
Life is made up of beginnings and endings. Although an ending may be for the best and may get us to where we need to be, it does not make the letting go of what once was any easier. Ceremonies of Release or Loss help the honouree to reflect on what has been and helps to shift their focus to what is to come. Losses are experienced by each of us in very unique and profound ways. If you are having difficulty moving forward from a loss, a ceremony might be the catalyst needed to get unstuck and transition from that experience. The reasons for a Ceremony of Release or Loss are numerous but some of the more common reasons are: loss of a relationship (divorce), loss of health, loss of a job/ career or after a trauma or an unexpected betrayal. If you have suffered a loss and need a way to take the next step, let me help you do that through ceremony.
“Thank you for leading our sisterhood group with a bedside ceremony for our friend dying of cancer. We knew we needed to gather, but then what? You helped us focus our love and grief into a celebration with our friend, honouring her as the important part of our sisterhood, blessing her and creating a ritual that allowed us all to be strong, present and powerfully filled with strength to go forward. She died knowing she was loved. A life changing and positive experience.”
Kim, ceremony participant
“As the tenth anniversary of my brother’s death approached, I was searching for a way to honour the day in some way that was more than just sitting with my family in sadness. Julie met with my family and I to get a sense of who we are and to get to know my brother through our memories. On the anniversary, she held space for us to grieve, to share our personal feelings and provided tangible rituals to help us move through the grief of the past ten years and into this next chapter of living life without my brother. The experience was truly transformative and healing in a way that I cannot even articulate. The days following were filled with a peace in my soul that I thought I may never find. Julie is uniquely gifted and I am grateful for the experience that we had with her. I still miss my brother just the same but my heart is less burdened with turmoil. For anyone that is looking for an opportunity to honour and remember a loved one, a ceremony like the one we had with Julie is a perfect way to do that.”
In loving Memory
Client’s Kind Words
“Julie was the perfect choice. We could not have asked for someone who could honour our son, Fred, with more dedication, care and concern. Julie spent hours listening to Fred’s music to immerse herself in his energy as she wrote! The creative and meaningful rituals she proposed were right in line with who Fred was and added the necessary symbolism to ease our grief. In a nutshell, Julie is simply an intuitive and innovative Celebrant who cannot be compensated for the value she brings to such intimate events. Her service was priceless!”
“Julie’s open minded, creative and progressive approach with each and every family she encounters is an asset for families seeking assistance while planning an appropriate final send off for their loved one. Her unique approach to funeral services is suitable for those who have no faith background, varying faith backgrounds or who are spiritual or secular and have no church affiliation. Stepping out of the box, Julie discovers that the essence of the person and then magically creates a true tribute. Finding someone with such a profound passion to help others is uncommon but that is exactly what Julie has.”
“When our daughter Kate died, the light and air were sucked from our world. The death of a child is tragic and not the way things should happen in the world. We knew we needed someone to help us celebrate the incredible life of our child. We needed someone who would go beyond the usual funeral service to help us create a personal celebration. Someone who would take the time to truly learn about Kate, her life and who she was. Julie Keon was that person for our family. Her experience as a Life-Cycle Celebrant was evident in her care, attention and nurturing of our raw feelings and dreams for a celebration for our daughter. Julie took the time to listen intently as we told her all Kate. She educated herself about our personal beliefs and she guided us in every step of the process; offering suggestions that we would have never considered. Julie is professional and experienced, and she is also warm, empathetic and soft. She truly extends her heart and support to the families she is working with and she has an intuition about the needs of all members of the family and how to navigate everyone into a sense of calm and feeling present and included in the process. I will always be grateful to Julie for helping me celebrate my daughter in the way I wanted. Kate’s service was beautiful, full of light and love and pink hearts. Julie’s words and her styling of the service were exactly to our wishes and she ensured we were fully prepared for the day. Julie Keon was a gift when we most needed one.”
“It will be one of the hardest days but Julie will help make it easier. It will be an incredibly busy time with one million decisions to make but Julie will help to guide you. You will worry you will not be able to find the words and ideas to honour your loved one but not to worry, Julie will think of just the right thing. My Dad loved a lot of things: running, his cats, a good meal, music, wine and especially a good party with those he loved. He wasn’t a religious man and my mom and I were not sure how we were going to honour and say goodbye to him. Julie helped us in making a difficult time into something uplifting and something my Dad would have been really mad he had missed out on! Julie sat with us and listened to us tell stories about my father, helped with decisions about music, and came up with those little ritual ideas that made for an intimate and personalized service. I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to do my Dad’s eulogy without her finessing and guidance, but am so glad I did. Julie did not know my Dad but after the ceremony, we were inundated by compliments about the ceremony. Longtime friends remarked how it captured his essence perfectly and friends who did not know my Dad expressed how they left feeling like they knew so much about him. Julie, I am not sure how you do what you do, but we are so incredibly grateful you do. Thank you, for helping us find the way!”
“I want to thank you for the wonderful ceremony that you put together for my wife’s Celebration of Life event. We, the family, received so many compliments that I’ve lost count. You captured our love, respect and regard for her and the enthusiasm the family had to tell of the fun they experienced with her. People came to me on the day to tell me they never experienced such a beautiful celebration. Others expressed opinions that if you didn’t know my wife before, you would certainly know who she was now. I was in awe at your ability to capture the mood (or moods) of the individuals who make up our family and then include that into the ceremony. The final event was AWESOME! Thank you so much for making this a day to remember with love.”
“I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for your involvement in my grandma’s funeral. When we sat down with the funeral home to discuss my grandmother’s wishes all I could think of was a funeral I’d recently attended that had felt so impersonal and, for lack of a better descriptor, “canned”: like the name of the deceased had been placed in a service that is read over and over without any thought or consideration to whether it represents the life of the person it’s supposed to be commemorating. My grandmother was a strong, independent, kind, and generous woman, and I knew her service needed to reflect all those things. Your ability to navigate the complexities of our family’s situation was greatly appreciated as my grandma’s funeral certainly did not bring everyone together.Your soft spoken yet commanding presence is such a rare find in an officiant. Grandma would have appreciated your compassion as much as she would have enjoyed your sense of humour. You captured the essence of who she was beautifully and every moment and word was dedicated to celebrating her life, the good times and the bad. Thank you for your support and gentle kindness during my family’s time of need.”