A Humanist funeral is a way of saying goodbye to someone without religion or superstition.
We recognise the profound sadness of saying goodbye, at the same time as the importance of celebrating the life and legacy of the loved one.
Humanist funerals have been conducted since 1896. A Humanist funeral is a non-religious ceremony (service, if you like) that is both a dignified farewell and a celebration of a life. If the deceased lived his or her life without religious belief, a Humanist ceremony may be the most appropriate choice.
The death of someone close to us is sad, shocking and painful. This is true for us all, whether or not we have religious beliefs. Humanist Funerals are a celebration of the life that has been lived. They include personal reflections of the family, readings or poems chosen by family members or friends, and music that was special to the deceased.
During the ceremony we remember the deceased’s achievements, look at the serious and lighter events of that life that mean so much to you, hear favourite prose or poetry, and listen to much-loved music. I will, in my introduction, say a few words about Humanism. If you want me to, I can put greater emphasis on this. During the ceremony there will be a minute’s silence for each person to reflect on the deceased’s life in their own way. Members of the family may participate in the ceremony as much or as little as they wish.
At the end of the ceremony I will make any announcements you wish, for example if you are having a collection, or inviting people back home or to a local venue. Before we all leave I will give you a presentation copy of the ceremony for you to keep.
Every ceremony is individually crafted, not a standard script with just the name of the deceased changed, but typically a humanist ceremony might include three pieces of music, a welcome, a tribute, time for reflection, the committal and, finally, the close.