Elizabeth Lucas, Accredited Humanist Celebrant

Celebration of a Life…


When you have lost a loved one, you may consider that a religious ceremony to mark their passing would not reflect the person they were, nor honour their beliefs, feelings or personality. A Humanist Ceremony offers a unique, personal, affectionate and respectful non-religious alternative, where family & friends can say their own farewells in a way that sums up and expresses all that was so special and memorable about the person who has died.

Every life is unique, and every individual should have the choice of being remembered and honoured as the person they were, without reference to an “external power” that may have meant little to them while they lived. You can plan a Humanist Ceremony even if you, or your loved one wouldn’t have defined themselves as a Humanist; the ceremony focusses on the life & times of the person concerned, and celebrates, with tributes, music and poetry all that was so special about them.

There is nothing in a Humanist Funeral which would offend a person of faith; we celebrate the life of the person you have lost in a manner that reflects them, and the content will, hopefully bring comfort, support and even a smile or two as precious memories are recalled.

You may wish to contact me directly, and can then let your Funeral Director have my details so we may liaise, or I can be contacted by the Funeral Director you have chosen. I will then come and visit at a time to suit you, and am happy to speak to any family or friends you wish to be present. This “family visit”, which generally lasts around one and a half hours, is an important time to think about the person you have lost, recall their life and times, achievements, and all the details which made them the unique individual they were. You may wish to tell some stories that meant a lot to you, or which might bring consolation to those present on the day. A little gentle humour is often very appropriate as you recall what made you smile together. You may choose to share photographs, or other documents that tell a story. What goes into the script is your decision, ultimately.

I will be here to guide & make suggestions should you wish. Appropriate music and readings or poetry can be discussed, and I will ensure that the ceremony is all that you wish for as you say farewell to the one you have lost. Friends and family members may wish to offer a tribute, or give a reading, and I can assist them with this if you wish.

Family visits can bring a tear or two, but they are often, too, an occasion to remind each other of special events in your loved one’s life, and to join together in planning the perfect send-off; this in itself can bring great release & comfort.

Sometimes I am asked to visit and consult with someone who has been given a diagnosis of a terminal illness. Such individuals often feel comfort in knowing that they have planned the details and content of their ceremony in accordance with their wishes, thus removing a burden from their family at a time when they are grieving. This is a loving and thoughtful gesture to consider if you feel it appropriate for you.

You may choose to have a moment of silence as you say good-bye (known as “the Committal”), when you can recall your own special memories of the person you have lost, or have a favourite piece of music played.

In the crematorium, you can choose whether to have curtains left open or closed, and you can leave flowers or other mementos on the coffin; your wishes are paramount.

My aim is to provide a ceremony that celebrates and does justice to the life you have lost, whilst offering comfort to those left behind; I have a professional background that readily lends itself to these aims, and I see providing the perfect ceremony as a great privilege.

There is nowadays far more choice than hitherto in how ceremonies are conducted. Your ceremony can be held in a crematorium, in a cemetery or woodland burial site, as a memorial ceremony in a large venue with a simple committal for close family only at the crematorium – if the person who has died has donated their body to medical research, for instance, there may be a delay before an interment or cremation can take place. You may wish for an “ashes-only” ceremony, or an internment or scattering of the ashes. If you wish, I am happy to talk over the options informally with you. Your Funeral Director can offer you detailed information, and you may find the following pages of the British Humanist Association’s website of assistance:

After the ceremony you will be provided with a keepsake script on parchment paper, and if you wish, I can send you an electronic copy of the script which you may wish to share with family and friends.

My fee for a ceremony within 50 miles of postcode S36 1FN is £175; I am available to conduct ceremonies elsewhere by negotiation.



“Liz made sure that …’s ceremony was just right for her, and word-perfect. Thank you to a truly lovely lady”

“Thank you for the ceremony for our Dad. He was captured to a T, and I swear I could hear him grunt with approval several times!”

“You showed great kindness and sensitivity to our Mum, which was very much appreciated”.

“I felt that the ceremony summed up …perfectly, and you spoke about everything that mattered about his life. Thank you so much, and for the lovely copy of the script”.

“I was dreading the funeral, but although I cried a lot, some of the tears were of joy in recalling …’s life and the way you described it”.

“…had a truly tragic life. Your ceremony celebrated the happier times without pretending all was well – it was done with honesty and she would have approved, I think. Thank you”.