Things to consider

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Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis

Humanist Funeral Ceremonies – Ceremonies are frequently held in the local Crematorium, Graveside or Graveyard Chapel. These are often the perfect venue with highly trained professionals at hand to assist with all practicalities, but you may wish to consider other options as well as or instead of this.

Small Ceremonies & Private Farewells – You may choose to invite only a few close family members to a small ‘farewell’ or ‘commital’ at the crematorium or graveside and invite a larger circle of family and friends to a Celebration of Life or Memorial at a different venue where you can also provide refreshments.

Celebration of Life & Memorial Ceremonies – Can be held in any venue at any time;

  • The same day as a cremation or burial
  • A few weeks after the funeral, giving you time to prepare and for all family and friends to be included
  • An anniversary of the death
  • The birthday of the deceased or another special occasion
  • These ceremonies may honour more than one life
  • You will be able to include several speakers, pieces of music, slide show etc

Ceremony Venue – Some options are; 

  • Crematorium
  • Graveside
  • Hotel
  • Pub
  • Community centre
  • Home
  • Boat
  • A place which holds special memories

If you choose to have your ceremony at the crematorium there are strict time limitations and costs to consider. If you would like to include several speakers, pieces of music and slide show etc it may be more practical, relaxed and enjoyable to have the ceremony at a different venue.

Involving Family & Friends in the Ceremony – Having a physical involvement in the ceremony can be deeply healing. Tributes and poetry and songs are a great way to be involved but public speaking can be difficult on the best of accasions.  In a ceremony, actions can be equally or more powerful. Sometimes, ‘Actions speak louder than words’

  • Family / friends as pallbearers
  • A procession including all guests – through the graveyard/field, or along the street
  • Live music
  • Songs
  • Well-wishing
  • Candles
  • Placing flowers or other ‘tokens’ on the coffin
  • Shared reflective moment
  • Inviting guests to send photos to be made into a slideshow for the ceremony
  • Signing or writing memories/stories/well-wishings in a special book or on a photograph
  • Creating a jar of memories which includes an object from each guest

Pre-planning & Organising Your Own Funeral – Please get in touch if you would like to discuss plans for your own funeral ceremony.

Ways in which I can help;

  • Free consultation by phone, email or face to face
  • Working with you to create your ceremony
  • Reading your words at your ceremony
  • Conducting a ceremony based on your wishes

We would need to consider the possibility that I may not be avilable on a future date. Being part of a network of Celebrants means that there are ways we can address this kind of practicality.

Choosing a Funeral Director – There are many very good funeral directors around;

If you would like to organise some or all of the funeral yourself it might be helpful to read;

‘The Natural Death Handbook’ – Random House – Edited by Stephanie Weinreich and Josephone Speyer www.naturaldeath.org.uk

‘The Dead Good Funerals Book’ – Dead Good Guides – Sue Gill and John Fox www.deadgoodguides.com

‘Funerals Without God’ – British Humanist Association – Jane Wynne Wilson https://humanism.org.uk/store/ceremonies-books/funerals-without-god/