Rev Melanie Restall | Co. SLIGO

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My email:  melanie@interfaithministers.ie
My mobile: +353 86 1652 999
Landline: +353 71 9130 916

Based near Sligo:

Weddings | Handfastings | Commitment Ceremonies | Vow renewal
Baby Blessing
Funerals
Rites of Passage
Spiritual Counselling | Spiritual Workshops | Meditation

Paula-Andy-interfaith-ministers-registered-solemniser-ireland-alternative-weddings-melanie-restall-SMLI’m very happy to work with people of all faiths and backgrounds knowing that we each tune into the wonder of life in our own unique way. Being in a comfortable sacred space can really help us to deepen into our truest selves, and one of my gifts is to create such space, be it in ceremony, in spiritual counselling sessions or in group settings.

To support me in this I draw from the wells of the world’s great spiritual traditions and have come to understand that at their heart they’re all saying the same thing: they’re all about Love.

 

 

I looked in temples, churches, & mosques.
But I found the Divine within my heart.

~ Rumi.

 

Would you like a Ceremony created especially for you?

interfaith-ministers-registered-solemniser-ireland-weddings-melanie-restall-services-collage-2-1I help to answer the growing need for a new way of celebrating life’s major events & transitions.  While still wanting a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony people also want one with that is very personal, one that has great meaning for them.

I work with you closely in the designing & creating of your ceremony, be it a wedding, baby welcoming, funeral or for another occasion. Your input will guide me, helping me understand what kind of ceremony you’re looking for, what your beliefs and traditions are and how you want to express them. Every ceremony is unique, created with love.

Wedding Ceremonies

Legal Weddings


ceremonies-inspirational-interfaith-ministers-best-alternative-weddings-ireland-handfasting-celtic-castle-hse-registered-legal-spiritual-melanie-restallWeddings, such a happy time! and now you can get legally married outdoors! I really enjoy everything that’s involved in creating the perfect ceremony for the two of you, with the two of you – knowing it could include anything from a silent blessing, to a handfasting, to dancing in the aisles!

The process usually begins some months before the big day so we have plenty of time to get to know each other and to feel comfortable working together. After our initial meeting/skype/phone call I send you some questions to reflect on. These help you to focus on the ceremony and your forthcoming marriage in a very conscious way.  Your responses give me an understanding of who you are and what kind of ceremony you’d like.

One of the questions I ask very early on is what kind of atmosphere would you like to create in your ceremony? For example: informal,  celebratory, traditional, spiritual, alternative,  light hearted, intimate, non-religious, reflective, simple,  romantic, elaborate, etc. Your answers to this question help me to set the tone when writing your ceremony.

At this stage my role is to guide and accompany you, to encourage and inspire you, so that between us we create the wedding ceremony which truly reflects your personalities, your unique relationship and your vision for marriage.  I can  send you samples of readings, vows, music and blessings, and together we can explore some of the different ways the ceremony might unfold. I compile everything into a series of drafts until you’re completely happy that we’ve got it all just right.

Couples really enjoy the freedom of being able to have as much involvement as they want in creating their wedding, and they value the opportunity to reflect deeply into their reasons for marrying – very often their vows to one another emerge from this reflection in a natural, heart centred way. So, on the day, their wedding is an outer expression of their unique and beautiful relationship. What a great start for any marriage!

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Wedding Blessing

Maybe you were legally married in another country and now would like a wedding blessing to sanctify and celebrate your marriage with friends and family at home?

Wedding Blessings can take place in your favourite location – on beaches, in gardens or wherever! I’d be delighted to offer you a personalised ceremony.

Renewal of Wedding Vows

Couples sometimes choose to renew their vows in a meaningful ceremony that honours the years they have been together and marks their continuing commitment to their marriage.

Ceremonies for Babies & Children

Baby Welcoming, Baby Blessing, Baby Naming: It is always such a joy and delight for family & friends to welcome and bless your new baby. With your input I can create a really beautiful ceremony.

Ceremonies for children: Some children had no ceremony when they were a baby, I am happy to create an individual ceremony for such an occasion.

Funeral Ceremonies

Funerals

The passing of a loved one is usually a time of deep sadness, grief, and often of other complex emotions as well.  Sometimes it can feel as if we’ve been thrown into a different reality altogether. All this at a time when a funeral needs to be arranged.

I work closely with the family at this time, accompanying you on this part of your journey, as you begin to acknowledge the reality of your loss and prepare to give thanks for the unique life of your loved one and to say goodbye to their physical presence.

In creating the ceremony I will ask you how you would like it to reflect your loved one, so they can be remembered for who they truly were.

Creating a unique and meaningful ceremony, one that reflects the personality, the stories, the spirit and beliefs of the person whose life is being remembered and celebrated can be a source of comfort and healing at this time of great sadness. I can help you choose readings, poems, pieces of music, etc, and also can offer to help you in the writing of the eulogy.

I will ensure the whole ceremony is prepared with great care and conducted with sensitivity and compassion.

As spiritual counsellor I can support you and your family up to and beyond the funeral. Many people feel very tender and raw at this time, and some choose to  seek help after the funeral is over. I can offer you such support, a space where you are deeply held and listened to, a space where you are free to express any emotions around your grieving.

Living Funerals

Some people who are terminally ill choose to celebrate their lives with their loved ones before they die, giving all a chance to express things which might otherwise be unsaid. I am happy to help with such celebrations.

Funeral Planning

Some people choose to plan their own funerals, this can be a very rich experience, one that can help the person feel a sense of completion to their lives. I can offer help and guidance with this.

Spiritual Counselling & Soul Friendship

There are times when we long for someone to be there for us, to compassionately support us in a soul centred relationship – maybe when we’re going through a very painful or difficult time or maybe when we realise that there ‘just has to be another way’ and we know we can’t do it alone.

As Spiritual Counsellor & Soul Friend I offer you a safe, sacred & compassionate space where I help you connect with your deepest self, your spiritual self, your true home. This is a place of complete acceptance where you can discover how to heal and release the patterns, the struggles & stories that have prevented you from achieving happiness, peace and fulfillment.

In this same space I can also help you reflect on your spiritual awakening and the beautiful unfolding of your spiritual life, supporting you as you integrate this awareness into your everyday life.

And I offer support if you’re in a spiritual crisis – maybe questioning the purpose and meaning of your life – especially during times of transition such as making major decisions, facing loss, bereavement, new commitments etc.

If you allow yourself
to be the person you are
then everything will come into rhythm.

~ John O’ Donohue

I will honour and respect your own beliefs & spiritual practices as I walk alongside you, supporting you with compassion and listening to you deeply. I might offer some spiritual practices such as meditation, guided visualisation, silence, movement, and centering prayer if I feel they could assist you, but you may choose to decline such offers, it is always up to you.

My role is to be there with you fully in an intuitive, compassionate  and skilful way while helping you to rediscover your own inner truth, wisdom, strength & beauty.

Some practicalities about sessions:

Sessions are confidential and usually 50 – 60 minutes long.

They can be in person, when we are face to face, this would be in the Sligo area. Or they can be by Phone or Skype, these online sessions are not restricted geographically.

Sessions can be booked singly although most people benefit from a short series of sessions.

Feel free to call me if you’d like to find out more.

Spiritual Workshops

These are a great way to come together for Support, Growth, Encouragement, Inspiration, Discovery, Sharing, Challenge, a Sense of Belonging and Fun!

I offer a variety of workshops & courses: 

All are experiential with opportunities for individual and shared reflection; all of them are held in a safe, sacred & confidential space; and all of them reflect my own interfaith background.

Together we develop trust and a sense of belonging while discovering our inner truth & ways to live that truth. 

Meditation & Spiritual Practice

  1. Five Sessions offering you space to deepen & explore:  
  2. Gratitude Meditation & the Practice of Being Present
  3. Mindfulness Meditation & the Practice of Acceptance
  4. Loving-Kindness Meditation & the Practice of Compassion
  5. Healing Meditation & the Practice of Forgiveness
  6. Meditation on our Inner Nature & the Practice of Stillness

These sessions are to help us nurture our connection to our spiritual selves,to our innate goodness, wisdom, truth and beauty. We look at various ways to support us in doing this, sampling meditations and exploring spiritual practices in an experiential way which helps us to integrate them into our everyday lives. The sessions might include creative expression, movement, chant, silence and working in pairs.

Enlightenment is a divine accident,
but spiritual practice makes one more accident prone.
~ Zen quote

Poetry of the Mystics

 In this workshop we enter into a meditative space as we immerse ourselves in the mysticism of poets from Rumi & Hafiz to Mary Oliver & Thich Nhat Hanh. These inspirational poems, enhanced by gorgeous music, can create a beautiful heart opening energy which encourages our own creative & spiritual expression.

How

did the rose

ever open its heart

and give to this world all of its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light against its being,

otherwise we all remain too

frightened.

– Hafiz

Soul Space – A Day of Calm for You

Ever longed for a real break – from all the non-stop busyness of your life?

This day is just that – time for you to slow right down, stop, and find your inner calm & peace – your true foundation. You”ll be able to relax, drop into your heart energy, a space of beautiful expansiveness where you can nourish & care for your soul self. You’ll learn some tips & techniques you can take away with you.

 

About me

For many years my spiritual journey has been weaving into my whole life, steadily gathering  momentum until in 2005 my wish to deepen my own spirituality and to serve the spiritual needs of others drew me to the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation where I was ordained in 2007. Since then have been a practicing Interfaith Celebrant, Spiritual Counsellor, Group & Workshop Leader, & Supervisor.

I’m especially drawn to work with those who long for spiritual connection and expression but who feel they don’t belong in the traditional religions. I love guiding such people to connect to, draw from, and express their spiritual selves in a way that is comfortable for them.

I’m nourished by many of the world’s great spiritual traditions and I’m inspired by many of the world’s great spiritual teachers from East and West, including some who are contemporary. My daily formal practice is meditation; practices such as mindfulness, loving kindness etc, are ongoing in everyday life!

Prior to this part of my journey most of my working life has been in the caring professions, with a few years as a craft worker. I have followed my passion in doing various courses, including mountain leadership, tai chi, non violent communication, five rhythms dance, and reiki.

I really enjoy living near Sligo, close to the beaches, mountains and lakes, close to nature which is giving me a growing appreciation of the Celtic calendar.

Testimonials

Fiona and Glen Mulcahy:

We celebrated our marriage on the ancient celtic fire festival of Bealtaine – the 1st of May (2014) – in Brigits Garden, Co Galway. While researching all possible options for the type of ceremony we wanted, we came across the Interfaith website and contacted Melanie Restall. We knew from the beginning that we wanted something spiritual yet non-secular, intimate and personal, family oriented and inclusive, surrounded in nature. What Melanie offered us ticked all of those boxes and more. She listened attentively to our desires and worked with us closely for three months preceding our nuptials. This included e-mails, skype calls, a visit in person to meet her and a rehearsal the day before the wedding. The reflective questions Melanie e-mailed us helped us to understand ourselves more as a couple, as well as giving her an important insight into our lives. Our long, almost weekly, skype calls with Melanie, in turn, fine tuned each part of our ceremony, which included a blessing for our 2 year old daughter, lighting four candles to represent the elements, a traditional celtic hand-fasting, lighting a Bealtaine fire, as well as blessings, poems, songs and music.

Melanie was meticulous in bringing our dreams to life in the most meaningful of ceremonies. She offered us a stillness of spirit that resonated with all of our guests, who were so touched by her sincerity and warmth. We do not hesitate in recommending Melanie to anyone who is looking for an extra special, heartfelt, personal ceremony.

 

Paula and Andrew Smyth:

Serendipity and luck brought us to Melanie; in searching for a perfect venue to have our wedding day, we came across Melanie’s details at the hotel. We wanted to create our own ceremony, making it personal, unique and intimate and after speaking to Melanie on the phone, our hopes for such a ceremony were realized.

It was very important to both of us that our ceremony was a true reflection of us as a couple, including the readings and music we used. Through many Skype calls & emails, Melanie guided us through every aspect of the ceremony; from the initial greeting, the vows, the order in which it all came together and she skillfully incorporated any aspect that we wished to include.

Her reflective questionnaire was very useful in getting to the heart of our relationship. As a result, we had the most beautiful, intimate ceremony in the chapel in Markree Castle, a small space that was filled with love! A lot of our guests commented on how personal the ceremony was and that is all thanks to Melanie. Her patience, guidance, and delivery on the day gave us a ceremony we could have only dreamed of.

 

Faye and Richie:

Thank you, Melanie for being a part of and helping us with our special day.

When we first contacted you just 5 weeks before our wedding, we knew straight away that we were very lucky to have found you.

Everything happened so quickly but having the time to speak to you about ourselves and the ceremony always made us think hard about we were doing. Our conversations with you made us realise even more that we were making the biggest commitment of our lives and how happy and excited we were to do so. You encouraged us to think about every word that went into our ceremony to make sure it was exactly what we wanted and you supported all of our choices.

From the poems, reading and guidance you gave us, we created a ceremony that was meaningful to us, our families and all our friends and we will never forget it!

We can never thank you enough!

Alicia and Simon:

Melanie helped us every step of the way – we talked through what we wanted and what was important to us. We spoke with Melanie frequently as together we built our ceremony. Melanie supported us and provided us with examples to help us come up with something that was perfect for us, and every song and every reading had a meaning for us.

The day of our wedding, at the altar, we felt relaxed – and our personalised ceremony was perfect. Not a dry eye in the house! Afterwards, our guests commented that it was the most unique and personal wedding they had ever been to, that they really did feel like they had been part of something special in our lives and had got to know us even more through our stories and our songs. One guest even commented that he never thought he would hear Wonderwall played at a wedding but how perfect it was!

Thank you Melanie for helping make our day perfect for us.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about what I can offer and how I can help I’d love to hear from you!

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