All those present commented on the ceremony and the way that you conducted it. Everyone was quite moved, but what I noticed as we all made our exit, was that no one was sad. The atmosphere was one of love and sharing. I am so glad that we met and we were able to share a wonderful day. Francis
More information about humanist ceremonies from Humanists UK
Supporter of The Natural Death Centre

What is a Humanist Funeral?

Humanist ceremonies are non-religious and therefore have no worship or fixed rituals. You don’t have to be a humanist to have a humanist funeral they are appropriate for anyone who would like a non-religious ceremony. The only guideline is that they do not include any religious content such as prayers or hymns. However, it is possible to have a moment of quiet reflection during the ceremony to enable people with religious beliefs to have a private prayer.

An example structure of a humanist funeral ceremony

Introductory music

Words of welcome

Thoughts on life and death from a non-religious perspective

The Tribute – an outline of the life and personality of the person you have lost

Readings of poetry and prose

A moment of reflection – to enable family and friends to think of their own special memories.  This is also an opportunity for those who have a religious belief to have a silent prayer if they wish.

The committal – a final goodbye

Closing words – including thanks and what is happening next

Final music

For further information please download a suggested outline for a funeral ceremony in either Word or PDF format

Choosing a Funeral Celebrant…

Although there has been a huge rise in the number of humanist funerals over the last few years, only a small proportion of these have been conducted by trained humanist celebrants.  Many funeral directors choose to use independent celebrants or retired clergy instead.

Humanists UK has a national network of celebrants who have undergone a rigorous selection and training programme and work to a code of conduct. By requesting a humanist celebrant accredited with Humanists UK, you ensure that the quality of service you receive is of the highest standard.