It will be my honour and great privilege to help and to serve in the commemoration of your loved one, and in the Celebration of their life. 

Helpful, caring, considerate, compassionate, listening.

This is the reason I became a Celebrant – I care, honour, and serve.

 +61 (0) 457 00 1922

A funeral should be as individual as the person it commemorates.

But it is more than that. It is a reflection of love and memory, of relationships and connections.  

Every funeral should be an enriching, fitting tribute and an enduring legacy.

A ceremony is integral to the grieving process for those who must somehow go on.

Planning a funeral can be an emotional, and sometimes exhausting, process and the Ceremony is a vital part of that process. Let me help you with that.

Here is what one family member had to say:

There are not enough wonderful words that can describe Lou’s service as a celebrant. Everything he offers comes from his heart. One can see he is truly dedicated and lives to help others. Thank you Lou for being there for our mother’s funeral. It was far greater than we could ever have imagined. You were gentle, caring, highly supportive, and helped us so much through the whole process. You will forever be remembered by us. Thank you so much.. ildiko pedersen

More testimonials here

A Ceremony created by Lou Szymkow, A Life Celebrant; with over 40 years’ experience in public life, will ensure that it is uniquely and authentically your own; an enriching, memorable experience.

I’ll meet with you, and methodically record details of the life lived, ensuring a true depiction and reflection of that life;  I prepare a personal service with confidence, care, and sensitivity, perhaps with solemnity, or with humour; with or without cultural or religious inclusions. The result is a tribute to the loved one as well as help and support to the grieving family, and other mourners, at a time of your struggling with grief & loss.

Below is the form I have created to use in your interview.  Feel free to download it in preparation.

There is more detailed and expanded information as you scroll down this page but a service generally includes some, or all, of the elements listed below.

However, as your Celebrant, I will assist you, but also be guided by the contact person (family, friend, executor) who is responsible for organising the funeral.

  • Music as mourners enter the chapel
  • Ringing of Bells
  • A welcome and introduction
  • Reading by the celebrant
  • Eulogy/Words of Remembrance
  • Spoken Tribute/s by family member/s or friends
  • Reading by a friend or family member
  • Reflection – with music (photos or similar)
  • Personal Reflection – saying goodbye by private words at the coffin or placing of roses or ‘Gifts’
  • Reading and/or Prayers
  • Committal
  • Music as mourners leave the chapel

The following may provide some further guidance:

Service Options

We can confidently work together to ensure the ceremony will be exceptional.

My passion is assisting people, who may be churched or unchurched, through the most challenging event they will endure; the funeral of a loved one.

Awarded for extensive community work supporting people in need, I am also an accomplished trainer, motivator and public speaker, who is Caring, practical, sincere, and determined that your ceremony will be unique, making it memorable and fulfilling.

I am comfortable in all social environments and am well known in Western Sydney as well as in legal circles, vocational education, community groups & support networks.

Feel free to call me any time.

We will meet, discuss and plan.

I’ll offer guidance where I can but more importantly, I will listen. I will ask questions but will also look for words, phrases and stories, images and experiences that will offer me guidance in designing a ceremony that will define the life to be celebrated.

I am at your service and will travel as needed.

Scroll down for more helpful information.

Lou Szymkow jp cmc,
A Life Celebrant
mb: 0457 00 1922

Manyana NSW. Australia

Sample Ceremony 

You may consider one of these options or we can create something new and unique:

·         a traditional ceremony

    • traditional or standard order of service
    • religious and/or prayerful content may be included if requested
    • Cultural rituals or inclusions
    • Below is a sample of the most common service choice but it can be modified in any way
      • (click on the image to enlarge)

·         a simple ritual

    • minimal
    • Concise, caring but brief
    • perhaps include a story of the life lived, or maybe just a reading, poem or common prayer.

·         a solemn service

    • limited or no music
    • silence
    • time for reflection but few speeches or readings
    • quiet and subdued
    • inclusions of readings, poems or common prayers

·         a grand gathering

    • large gathering
    • processions
    • placement of familiar, loved items and/or flags
    • ringing of Bells
    • guard of honour
    • pomp & ceremony
    • flags or bunting
    • ornate surrounding
    • eulogy as well as family & friend tributes
    • filled with ritual and/or activity
    • maybe live music
    • floral tributes
    • photo collage
    • readings and speeches
    • Blessings

·         a celebration of a life lived

    • guard of honour or procession
    • placement of familiar, loved items and/or flags
    • Ringing of Bells
    • lots of chat and enlivening speeches
    • enlivening activity that exemplified loves, likes, a full life
    • lively loved music and maybe song
    • photo collage with a them of adventure
    • fun or fulfilling stories
    • Readings &/or Poems
    • Blessings

·         a celebration of a life lived in fun theme or personal style reflecting the character of the departed

    • decorated or dress-up
    • music and actions to match
    • fun stories
    • guard of honour, procession or dance
    • placement of familiar, loved items and/or flags
    • Ringing of Bells
    • lots of chat and enlivening speeches
    • enlivening activity that exemplified loves, likes, a full life
    • lively loved music and maybe song
    • photo collage and/or physical display with a theme of adventure
    • fun or fulfilling stories & remembrances
    • Readings &/or Poems
    • Blessings

·         a service style that has not yet been thought of;

    • a combination of any parts or all of the above
    • open to the imagination

  • Eulogy

“The eulogy may move us to tears, but it also has the power to heal. It can help us get things in perspective. We start to understand that we can cope best with bereavement not by pushing away what has been taken from us, but by bringing the memories closer and finding ways of moving on with those memories still within us.”            

Andrew Morton – Poet Laureate UK

The word eulogy, come from the Greek word, ulogia, Classical Greek, eu for “well” or “true”, logia for “words” or “text”, together for “praise”, so ‘true words of praise’.

Talk to me and I can help and guide in the preparation of a eulogy.

Eulogy Questions

You will also find answer to these questions on my Questions and Answers  page:

There are also some great tips on Wikihow

Tips for speakers

I will be right beside you with a copy of the eulogy or reading (that’s why you need to be sure I have been given a copy of anything to be said or read).

  • When you walk up, pause in front of the coffin and then bow slightly before going to the lectern
  • At the lectern, pause again and focus.
  • I will place a typed copy of your speech or reading on the lectern in front of you and will be at your side at all times.
  • Run your index finger of your left hand down the margin as you read to mark the line you are reading and the index finger of your right hand to mark & follow the words along the line (so you won’t get lost)
  • if you start to choke and find you cannot speak, lift your chin, pause and take a deep breath:
    • when your chin is raised it closes the tear ducts and crying stops (hence the old expression of ‘chin-up’)
    • lifting your chin also opens your air-passage and you can take a deep breath and regulate your breathing
    • don’t worry about pausing, pauses are good and everyone will understand or be moved by the moment
    • When ready, resume reading or speaking
  • Speak to people at the back of the room to ensure that you voice caries and so that no one is excluded (your words are important and honour the deceased)
  • If you are unable to continue, just turn to me and give me a nod, and then step to the side and I will take over
  • When finished, pause for a moment, step to the centre, pause and bow toward the coffin, return to your seat.

Inclusion & Rituals

  • search my webpage for other ideas because rituals for other types of celebrations can be adapted
    • Bird, Dove, Bubble or balloon release
    • Candles may be light as part of the ceremony
    • Cutouts of superheroes
    • Display of personal items or favorite tools
    • Flowers, petals, pebbles or other items such as membership badges, any small item of significance, may be placed on the casket as part of the service
    • Framed photograph to lead in the entrance procession and to be placed on the casket, on a display/easel, or at the entrance to the chapel.
    • Music – favorite music, songs or hymns can bring back memories (see below on this page for suggestions)
    • Music – soloist, Choir, band, trumpeter, violinist, or bag piper
    • Photo collage at the entrance of the chaple
    • Treasure box or wishing well, into which mourners can place cards, letters or notes of personal thoughts
    • Video or PowerPoint presentation of the deceased life

Almost anything that you can think of is available or can be created, to celebrate or commemorate a life.

This webpage and all of its contents were written for the purposes of copyright,  Created by Lou Szymkow,  for A Life Celebrant–Lou Szymkow,,
© Copyright 2017; © Copyright 2018; © Copyright 2019; © Copyright 2020; © Copyright 2021; © Copyright 2022

A Life Celebrant
Civil, Marriage, Naming & Funeral Celebrant

Lou Szymkow – A Life Celebrant

The Celebrant of choice

Friendly, professional, reliable, helpful, approachable.

  • Civil, Marriage, Commitment, Naming & Funeral Celebrant
  • Commonwealth- Registered Marriage Celebrant
  • Manyana NSW. Australia – covering the Shoalhaven, South Coast to Sydney and out to Canberra & Goulburn

 +61 (0) 457 00 1922

A celebrant for all special occasions in your journey of life.


Your Life Events: Weddings, Commitments; Naming Ceremonies; Funerals, Memorials & More


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