Memorials/Other Ceremonies

A humanist memorial or ceremony away from the crematorium

Why a humanist memorial? You can decide to opt for a “direct cremation” (the simplest kind of cremation with no mourners present).  Then you can hold a memorial later. At the ceremony the ashes may or may not be present. The memorial is also a good option for people who have given their bodies to medical science.  Or you might want a memorial because there is a special location which the deceased loved.

At difficult times like during the Covid-19 pandemic, a memorial can be a way of bringing people together, in person or online, who could not attend the funeral.

A humanist memorial puts the bereaved family and friends in control.  It gives people the freedom to use their imagination.  They can create a ceremony that is unique and personal.  It can be free from the often old-fashioned conventions of the funeral. For instance, families might book a favourite pub, restaurant or social club as the venue. It also means that the ceremony can be arranged at a time to suit mourners, for example at a weekend.  Then people can get there more easily.  It could be held on a date which is significant.  The birthday of the deceased, for example, or a significant date like VE day or May 1st.

Have a look at my blog on the Humanists UK website about how a humanist memorial can help a family:

I can help you arrange a humanist memorial event

  • You contact me by phone or email;
  • I come and see you to gather information to prepare the ceremony. We talk about the options, such as whether the ashes are to be scattered (some families prefer to do this privately or not at all);
  • You organise the venue, be it a pub, restaurant, social club or a favourite beauty spot and any catering, music or entertainment.  If it is being done on line, I can help you to organise that too.
  • I send you a draft ceremony, which we refine by phone and email
  • You collect the cremated ashes from the funeral director
  • We all get together on the day and celebrate the deceased in a way which is appropriate

For other non-crematorium options, including doing it yourself, plus lots of advice on making environmentally friendly choices, see