Funerals in France
Arranging a funeral ceremony for a loved one is difficult enough to cope with in your country of origin, but arranging a ceremony in France can be an extra daunting prospect. Maybe you are unfamiliar with the process? Maybe you aren’t fluent in the language? Maybe you just don’t know where to start?
In France, there is a very short window between the person’s death and their cremation or burial; you have up to six working days (not including weekends or public holidays) to make the arrangements. Within 24 hours you must register the death at your local Marie and decide between a burial or cremation.
As you’d expect in France, there’s a lot of unfamiliar bureaucracy to work through and many decisions to be made; and all with tight deadlines to be met. All of which may feel even more traumatic if the death was unexpected and/or if you don’t speak fluent French.
Well hopefully I can help; by writing and delivering a completely personal ceremony, which pays tribute to your loved one in a fitting and meaningful way.
I’m a fully qualified, experienced and professional Funeral Celebrant. I don’t live in France full time but I do spend a considerable part of the year here; all summer and some additional weeks during the rest of the year. If I’m available, at a time that you require my services, I’d be very happy to offer you the same level of service as I offer my clients in the UK.
Due to the short timescales involved, please contact me as soon as possible to check my availability.
For a meaningful, accurate and sensitive ceremony, it’s always the best option to employ the services of an English-speaking Celebrant. If I’m not available, I can to guide you towards other Celebrants in the area who may be able to help.
What is likely to happen if you don’t use the services of a Celebrant?
Cremation is relatively uncommon amongst French people and the arrangements are very different to those in the UK. Unlike the UK, it’s not the responsibility of the funeral director in France to organise someone to conduct the ceremony. If no-one is employed to officiate, the mourners could find themselves at the crematorium with no-one to lead the service. It’s also not guaranteed to be able to find a funeral director in your area who is able to speak English, and this can add to the difficulty of the situation.
If the crematorium staff were able to find someone to lead the service, this would of course be in French, which could be difficult for the family and other visiting mourners to understand. The best that could be hoped for, is for you to then employ the services of a translator, to translate the ceremony as it happens. It is unlikely that you would be able to have much input into the content, style or tone of the ceremony, and this may result in you not being able to give your loved one the send-off you would ideally like.
For more information or answers to questions often asked see the links below.
Lisa was contacted to conduct my mother’s funeral at short notice in France. She approached her first French service with kindness, sympathy and compassion. She is a wonderful lady who I would thoroughly recommend.