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humanist ceremonies

A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia.*

The first Humanist UK ceremonies were performed in the 1890s, and as more and more people choose to live their lives without religion, the demand for non-religious funeral ceremonies increases.

It is over two decades since I had to face the funeral of my infant son, but the years have not faded the memories of how it all seemed wrong. I realise how important it is to have a ceremony that is right for the deceased and for the family.

Once you make contact with me, I will arrange to visit you as soon as possible to gather all the information I need to write the perfect tribute to your loved one.

The family meeting is when I learn about the deceased from those who knew him or her, and it is when we’ll think about appropriate music and readings (prose or poetry) to include in the ceremony. Feel free to invite other family members or close friends to this meeting.

The family meeting usually takes from an hour-and-a-half to two hours, but there is no pressure either way. Of course, if you live a very long way off (this is not uncommon today) a visit may be out of the question and, in this case, we will discuss everything by phone and/or email as you prefer.

Once I have drafted the ceremony I will email it to you (or we’ll find some other solution if you don’t use email) so that you can check it’s as you would like it. Please feel free to suggest changes – the ceremony is about the deceased and family, not me. You can call me as many times as you need, it really isn’t a problem.

It is rare that we would need to meet again before the funeral, though we can if you feel it will help, and I will meet you at the crematorium/burial site/venue on the day of the funeral. Unless you ask me to do otherwise, I will wear a dark suit and tie.

If you are having a cremation, ceremonies generally last no more than twenty minutes (some crematoria allow longer but, if you are having a lot of music and longer contributions from family members, we will need to talk to the funeral director about perhaps booking an extension.)

If you are having a burial, please consider how music will be played at the graveside if there is to be any (I am happy to help).

What exactly is a Humanist Funeral? Please click HERE to know more.




I am lucky enough to have the town of Whitby in my geographical area, a place much-loved by the Goth community. If you would like to have a Goth-themed funeral please click  Goth Funeral.

Funeral Services York

Funeral Services in Yorkshire and the Humber