Why have a funeral?
A funeral should help family and friends express and share their sadness. It should focus their thoughts on the person who has died. And usually, it celebrates their life too. The ceremony deserves to be remembered as an occasion that uniquely and affectionately honours that person’s life. It should capture the essence of their personality.
People often say how moving, sincere and fitting they have found a humanist ceremony. For the immediate family and close friends it is a comfort to have provided a ceremony that they feel their loved one would have wanted.
How do I work?
When planning a funeral I will speak to the family and ideally, meet them and others affected by the death. It is helpful to learn as much as possible about the person who has died. Then the funeral tribute really captures their life and personality. This tribute is the centrepiece of most humanist funerals. In addition, I use music, poetry and prose readings as appropriate.
What happens during a Humanist funeral ceremony?
There will usually be some introductory words, often including some thoughts on life and death. There will be a tribute either from the celebrant or from a member of the family or a friend. It is usual for there to be a reading or some poetry. There will generally be a time for reflection or quiet thought. The farewell (the committal) will follow and the service will end with some closing words.
The kind of funeral ceremony chosen must be right and appropriate for the person who has died and their close family. Nothing in a humanist ceremony would offend people who may be uneasy about a non-religious funeral. The idea is not to be hostile to religious beliefs, but to focus in a sincere way on the reality of the life that has ended
Where do Humanist Funerals happen?
As with other funerals, they often happen in a local crematorium, or at a woodland burial site or in a local cemetery. Some families prefer to have the ceremony at their home or some other suitable venue followed by a brief committal ceremony at the crematorium. Others prefer to have a private cremation, followed by a celebration of the deceased’s life at a memorial ceremony or scattering of ashes.
If you’d like to learn more about funerals, follow these links:
My fee for a funeral is usually £250, including travel.
What they said:
“Felicity was also a friend of my sister and that personal connection made the ceremony even more special. The ceremony was very personal and many people said that it was one of the loveliest ceremonies that they had attended. Her attention to detail ensured the best possible use of the time available.” (Sue’s funeral, Hastings, East Sussex)
“Felicity took such a lot of time to talk to all family members to gain real understanding of Mike and who he was.” (Mike’s Funeral, Bobbing, Kent)
“Felicity was wonderful. So many people commented that it was as if she had known Matt personally.”(Matt’s funeral, Tunbridge Wells, Kent)