Funerals and memorial ceremonies

Is a Humanist funeral ceremony right for you?

A funeral ceremony or memorial is an occasion for saying goodbye to your loved one. But it is also much more than this. It is a time to join together in remembering that person with affection, and to acknowledge and celebrate the many and valued contributions they made during their lifetime.

Humanist celebrants provide an opportunity for those who would feel uncomfortable with a religious ceremony to plan a unique and sensitive funeral or memorial. Although prayers, hymns or other religious elements are not included, music, poetry and prose are combined to create a highly personal and uplifting occasion. Such ceremonies are dignified and respectful, whilst remaining flexible and more relaxed if desired. There is always a period for quiet reflection when everyone may choose to remember the individual in their own way and according to their own beliefs or faith.

How will the ceremony be planned?

As your Humanist celebrant I will meet with you to discuss your wishes in full. I will be able to offer advice and make suggestions on the content of the ceremony, and prepare a tribute based on the detailed information that you provide. Together we will plan the format of the ceremony, the music, poetry or prose to be included and I will ensure that, as far as possible, any special requests are met. If family or friends would like to take an active part in the ceremony, I can support them in refining their contribution as well as by providing advice on how to deliver it. I aim to ensure that the end result reflects the life of the deceased with warmth and affection whilst fully meeting the needs and the wishes of family and friends.

I received this email after my very first funeral ceremony. Further comments from families can be viewed by clicking on the ‘testimonials’ page.

‘I am just writing to thank you, once again, for the lovely service yesterday. None of us would have been able to deliver the tribute because of the sadness of the occasion but the warmth of your delivery made you feel like one of the family. It must have been a huge challenge carrying the whole service for the first time as a celebrant but you got everything so right. The tone and pace were perfect. I do hope you continue with this vocation because you are exceptionally gifted at it and will be a huge comfort to the families of the bereaved. Many, many thanks.’