A Humanist Funeral

The death of someone close to us can be a time of great sadness and stress and preparing the right farewell in the immediate aftermath may feel daunting. For someone without religious beliefs, a Humanist ceremony is a fitting way to celebrate their life and commemorate their achievements. It is often an uplifting and comforting experience with the focus on all that was good and memorable about the person who has died.

How I will work with you

As a celebrant I will help you to create a moving and significant occasion. Whatever kind of ceremony you are planning (cremation, burial or memorial) I will meet with you so that we can talk about your wishes and decide how these can best be implemented. If you are already clear about what you want to include, I will help you to shape the ceremony as a whole. If you are not yet sure, I will be able to suggest ideas, music and readings. At the heart of most humanist funerals is a warm and honest tribute to the person who has died. Some families ask me to write this for them; others like to make it more collaborative, with contributions from close friends and family.

Most funerals take place in a crematorium but I also conduct ceremonies at cemeteries and woodland burial sites. Some families choose a more informal venue for the main part of the ceremony, with a committal either before or after at the crematorium or burial site. This gives more time for shared memories and it can be comforting to be in a place much more in keeping with the life of the person who has died. I have conducted ceremonies in village halls, club houses and back gardens and am happy to work with you around whatever feels appropriate and important.

On the day of the funeral I will lead the ceremony, speaking as much or as little as is required, and will support and introduce everyone who is making a personal contribution. Afterwards I will give you a presentation copy of the full script which you may like to copy for anyone who could not attend.

My standard fee in 2019 for preparing and delivering a funeral is £200 plus travel expenses, although more may be charged for more complex or weekend ceremonies. The fee is normally included in your funeral director’s bill.

Getting in touch

You can get in touch with me direct, or ask your funeral director to make the first contact with me.

“Thank you for all you did for Mum’s cremation service and celebration of life. Both felt so very personal and right. We appreciated all the attention to detail and your sensitivity. You are very good at what you do!”