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Funerals without religion

A funeral service should be a reflection of a person’s life – their loves, their achievements and the things that made them who they were.

If the deceased was not of a religious orientation and a religious ceremony is felt to be inappropriate then one option is for us to arrange a civil funeral for you.

Civil Funerals

A civil funeral can be held almost anywhere, with the exception of religious buildings and churches. The ceremony is appropriate for either a cremation or burial at any non-religious burial ground, such as a Local Authority Cemetery or woodland burial site.

The person who conducts the ceremony is a trained professional Civil Funeral Celebrant, many of whom are members of the Registration Service.

The Civil Funeral Ceremony gives you the freedom to make a number of choices about the ceremony, such as the music to be included and readings to choose from. Religious elements such as hymns and prayers can be included if desired, as can contributions from family members and friends.

For further information, please visit the Institute of Civil Funerals website.

Humanist Funerals

The British Humanist Association (BHA) offers a personal and dignified funeral ceremony for those who have chosen to live without religion. As with Civil funerals, a humanist funeral can be held anywhere except a religious building or church.

Humanist officiants are men and women familiar with the procedures of cremation and burial who can empathise with the experience of bereavement. They are sensitive to the family’s wishes yet ready to give clear guidance when needed. Unlike a civil funeral, however, Humanist officiants will not include any religious elements such as hymns or prayers and any music chosen must not have a religious connotation.

We will help you to plan and arrange a personal and dignified funeral ceremony, and conduct it on the day.

Nothing in a humanist ceremony would offend people who may be uneasy about a non-religious funeral. The idea is not to be hostile to religious beliefs, but to focus in a sincere way on the reality of the life that has ended.

The Humanist Celebrants will speak to you and, ideally, meet you and others affected by the death. It is helpful for the officiants to learn as much as possible about the person who has died, so that the funeral tribute really captures their life and personality. If required, they will give you a transcript of the service.

For further information, please visit the British Humanist Association website.