Lark Ascending… an inspiration

Posted on November 3, 2014 by Judy | Filed under: Celebrant, Ceremony, Funerals, Poetry, Symbolism, Weddings

After a Cherish ceremony, people often ask where I get my ideas from.     Well, firstly, it comes from whoever I am writing for.   We will have had many conversations, so that I get a really good ‘feel’ for their personality, to enable me to get the mood exactly right, whether the ceremony is for a wedding, a funeral, or any other life event.     This is the joy of using a Celebrant for your ceremony – you can have exactly what you want, and what fits with you.  Unlike set scripts, which are template based and merely drop your name(s) in to exactly what was used for everyone else.   I start from a blank sheet of paper every time.


When I’m researching a script for a wedding, a funeral, a baby-naming, I am often inspired by nature.    The skylark is a great example, and I was reminded of this by a posting on Facebook at the weekend by a company called ‘ForageFor’  (See link to their website at the end of this article).     They grow and style all their own flowers, and I love their work….


A beautiful rose from David Austin

A beautiful rose from David Austin

Anyway, Forage for posted a photograph of a rose they have grown called ‘Lark Ascending’, which is from the wonderful Austin rose growing family.    It  also happens to be the title of a gorgeous piece of music by Vaughan Williams.  Vaughan Williams was himself inspired by a poem of the same name by George Meredith.   And one of my favourite poets, Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote ‘Ode to a Skylark’  which contains these beautiful words, which I have used at a funeral on more than one occasion:

We look before and after

And pine for what is not

Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought

To me, this says that some things can be almost unbearably beautiful, that our appreciation of it feels akin to pain.    Have you ever been moved to tears by a beautiful painting, or a poem, or a piece of music?   Even a view that literally makes you gasp as it takes your breath away?   That is what I mean…

What is more beautiful than the joyous song of a bird?

What is more beautiful than the joyous song of a bird?

Here is the link to the lovely music inspired by the Skylark – take time to enjoy it.  It’s one of the finest versions, in my opinion.   t It is played here by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by André Previn…   It is a beautiful piece which is perfect for the period of quiet reflection at a funeral, I think.

Lark Ascending – Ralph Vaughan Williams

If you would like me to design a ceremony for your life event, do get in touch!   I offer a script only service, as well as the complete Celebrant Ceremony.   And it is more affordable than you might think….   Reach me via the form on my website, by email to judy (at)  or on Facebook at  or you can call or text me on 07713 278699

And finally, thanks to ForageFor for inspiring this posting!   Find out more about them at www  or on their Facebook page!