Hello. My name is Emma Curtis and I'm a secular minister, celebrant and ceremony consultant. I'm here to help create whatever ceremony you need, whatever you believe in, however you or your family express yourselves. It is my role to guide you, to support you, and to facilitate, develop, create, officiate the ceremony you need to honour, celebrate and process life's transitions and move into the future. I'm also a resilience and grief counsellor, so if you are going through a bereavement I can create a ceremony that will be truly supportive to you and your family and continue to support you after the service, if you wish. I'm a professional opera singer / actor too so if you want help with your reading or presentation on the day, I can help you with that.
I create non-religious secular or spiritual ceremonies, and also ceremonies where different members of a family have different beliefs. You can have whatever music, readings, ceremonies, prayers, and expressions of creativity and love that you want, and if you want, you can have none. The most important thing is that the ceremony suits you and your loved ones, whatever you believe in.
I listen carefully to everyone that I serve. Every person, every couple, every family is different - completely unique. No-one that I have ever worked with truly fits any 'standard' or formulaic ceremony. That just wont do. I'll create a ceremony specially for you. I wont judge you for your beliefs, your language, your history or even the way that your family functions. Nobody is perfect and we are all unique. Here are some words of testimonial from people I have served as a minister - whether writing and officiating ceremony or supporting their journey.
Our culture is losing the healing and empowering nature of creative self-expression and ceremony. And I'm fighting to bring it back!
I also feel that we don't really know how to celebrate any more. In the hustle, bustle and pressure of our modern lives, we can quickly forget about the soulful purpose of our ceremony. Expression of our joys and our griefs in ceremony is the way that we integrate our experience. Celebrating a marriage is not only about showing the world how much we love each other, but about really feeling and processing that commitment and the beauty of that moment for ourselves at the moment that we promise to share our lives. The memory of the promises we make and how much they meant to us in that moment can get us through any darker days ahead. Honouring the death of a loved one is about remembering all the reasons we love them, and celebrating them, as well as saying 'goodbye'. Creating that ceremony and being able to be truly present at it is such a vital part of the healing process. My pastoral support training means that I can help you through perhaps one of the toughest journeys in life. I really feel that the conventional, and often impersonal, ceremonies we have become accustomed to in the UK are not serving us.
I listen to what is important to you, what language you use to express yourself and what you believe in. We'll chat and, if you need some ideas, I'll offer suggestions of different types of ceremony from ancient or modern traditions, or even something this is inspired just for you. Sometimes you'll know just what you want and then I can help you bring it all together.
I want you to be comfortable being who you are, and I want you to get what you need from your ceremony. After all, the ceremony is for you, so that you can step through into the next phase of your journey with clarity, ease and love.
I'm a Secular Minister, which means that I am fully trained in ceremony and pastoral support, and that simply honour the beliefs of the person/people I am serving. It is your beliefs that matter. My personal belief is non-denominational and trans-denominational, acknowledging that, as with everything in Nature, we too are subject to the cycles of life and death. I believe that all things are possible and nothing definitively impossible, no one person’s belief is more valid than another.
I am also an opera and concert singer and have been performing as a soloist on international stages throughout of my career. You can find out more about my singing here. I am now very comfortable in front of a large crowd, but I wasn’t always, far from it! I know how hard it can be to stand and speak in front of others, to find self-expression and confidence. Drawing on my personal experience I offer voice work and coaching, empowering people to feel great about using their voices, to feel inspired and confident. I am also certified as a Laughter Yoga leader. Being able laugh, even in times of sadness, has helped me get through some of the toughest times.
As a classical singer I also have some other helpful skills. I speak German, French and Italian. I can also help with designing your order of service if something different and special is needed, and with music editing if you can’t find the perfect track the way that you want it. I also work as a spiritual counsellor and guide and I'm trained as a Grief Specialist.
The Practical Stuff
Founder and CEO of Ceremony Matters offering advanced training in person-centred ceremony writing and other classes for practicing celebrants who wish to improved their practice.
Ceremony Matters runs Focused On Funerals, the National UK Funeral Celebrancy Conference for Continued Professional Development.
Winner of the National Celebrant Award for Influencing the Wider Profession of Funeral Celebrancy 2018
Representative to the Funeral Celebrancy Council - representing independent celebrants and part of the team that drafted the Funeral Celebrant Accord.
Minister of the Year - runner up 2017 - The Good Funeral Awards - the first non-religious minister to be recognised in this category.
Celebrant of the Year 2015 and 2016 Finalist - Award 'Commended' - The Good Funeral Awards
Secular Minister, ordained by Venus Rising Association, honouring the belief systems of those I serve.
Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Dip CBH and a grief specialist in private practice in Cavendish Square W1 and Surrey
Senior Associate of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Certified Thanatologist - Grief, Bereavement and Mourning Specialist, trained by Dr Alan Wolfelt at the Center for Loss, Fort Collins Colorado - specialisms in Complicated Grief, Carried Grief, PTSD and Traumatic Grief and Group Facilitation.
Member The Good Funeral Guild and speaker at the Good Funeral Guide's Be Better conference 2019.
Graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, plus two years post-graduate study diploma.
Fellow of the Music Academy of the West.
Trained in Sound Healing and Psycho-acoustics by Tom Kenyon
Certified Laughter Yoga leader.
I speak German, French and Italian very well and with good pronunciation.
Audio and video editing, and some graphic design skills.