Sean Joyce

A day in the life of Sean Joyce

1. How long have you been a celebrant for?

Fifteen years and will shortly do my 700th wedding

2. Why did you become a celebrant?

My daughter asked me to.

3. What involvement do you have or had with CANZ at a branch or national level?

Over the years  I've attended almost every local education opportunity, attended most conferences, read most of the newsletters and facebook updates. Over the years I've learned so much and enjoyed so much more than I can properly describe or acknowledge. I am in awe of the great people who give so much time and energy to this organisation. And it is probably cheaper then the insurance I would need were I not a member.    

4. What ceremonies do you perform?

I think I've done every kind of ceremony there is.

5. What do you enjoy about being a celebrant?

I love every bit of I. From the first meeting to the last. I love meeting those special people who have decided to trust each other and take that mad leap into their life together. I love the bride who said to me – Tell them I'm pregnant otherwise they'll think I'm fat.

6. What are some of the hardest parts of being a celebrant?

Being restricted by the necessity of only being in one place at any one time.

7. What was the most memorable ceremony you have performed?

Probably a 'Living Wake', ceremony. That is a celebration of a person's life while they are alive. In this case, the Lady had terminal cancer and for the sake of her family, wanted to make her inevitable death and passing as easy for them as it could be.  

We had a lovely two hour event in a tidy hall where 70 or so of her family and friends celebrated her life. She spoke first and, with my assistance, set the tone. She was a widow, a mother and a grandmother. Her three children each gave lovely and funny 15-minute tributes. These stood out among the many other sincere and well-intentioned items. And they were so much more healing than the typical 2-3 minute eulogy a funeral would allow. The mother was delighted with the event and knew her family and friends would support each other when she died. They could also, of course, watch the video we made.

A Living Wake would not suit everyone but it can be meaningful for those facing a fatal prognosis or those seeking a reconciliation of some sort. Like most community rituals the effectiveness does not rely on it being particularly well organized or even comfortable in all its parts.

8. What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?

1, Join CANZ, Become a Sole Trader.

2, Keep deposits in a seperate account and they will more or less cover your tax bill.      

9. How do you like to relax?

I enjoy Toastmasters, walking, and I watch a lot of TV.