Hommage laïque

 

Secular Memorial

Paying tribute to the deceased

Just as much as we feel the need to celebrate happy moments in our life, starting with birth, death is a passage that deserves to have its own rituals in memory and honor of those we lost.

With a secular memorial, we can honor those who left us too soon, left a mark on our heart and whose existence we want to preserve in memory. After all, aren’t they still walking besides us?

It’s also an opportunity to reminisce about the precious bond which has been shared with the deceased, and finding solace in this difficult time. By going gently and kindly through the grieving process and by releasing all the emotions that come with loss.

As with each secular ceremony, there is no one way to pay tribute. It’s all up to you, what you envision and want.

Although it is a funeral, a secular memorial lets you break free of an impersonal and stern setting, while customizing each step of the ceremony. With a tone matching what is known of the deceased and with meaningful personal references relating to the life of the deceased.

A secular funeral gives you a moment of recollection beyond sadness by embracing hope and renewal. Like a bridge between a visible and an invisible realm, that breathes eternal life into a memory and forever connects you to the Afterlife.

Secular Memorial

My Approach

Like with the other symbolic ceremonies I officiate, above all I want to be there for you and help you celebrate the deceased loved one and the connection you had with them.

That is why I do not celebrate funerals in a rush or without preparation. I purposefully picked an approach that takes into consideration the time and space that these — difficult — moments need, so that all the emotions that these moments release may be honored. Together, we can create a beautiful, timeless and memorable tribute.

Much like tea is left to brew to reveal all of its aromas, I am convinced it’s necessary to take the time after this hardship to question how you want to ritualize this event and start the grieving process in a healthy way. Because, as you go through this process, many memories, signs, anecdotes will knock on the door of your mind. They are a part of how you want the loving bond you shared with the deceased to be remembered and to endure through time.

Hommage laïque Suisse
hommage laïque marylin rebelo

When it all began...

In 1996, we found out my dad had cancer. We would say our goodbyes only four short months later.

Our family’s beliefs are not steeped into any religion. We felt the need to plan a celebration to pay tribute to my beloved dad, but without including the church.

He was a bass player, so music needed to play a leading role in the celebration of his life. My mum and I gathered his fellow musicians, and we created a lovely ceremony, full of joy and humanity, where he could, once more, be part of his jazz band.

My love of words and writing already burning inside me, I wrote him a love letter that I read out loud to the people who came to celebrate his life. We wanted this celebration to be neither dark, nor bleak, nor tedious. We wanted to pay our tribute and bring colors to this very unique event. I will never forget it.

Unbeknownst to me, this moment would also be the starting point of my attraction to the world of secular celebrations…