Humanist Funeral Ceremonies.
Humanist funerals and memorial services offer a non religious way to say goodbye to people who are not religious. Many thousands are conducted each year. What is a humanist? According to the Humanist Association humanists are people who “think for themselves about what is right and wrong, based on reason and respect for others. Find meaning, beauty, and joy in the one life we have, without the need for an afterlife. Look to science instead of religion as the best way to discover and understand the world. Believe people can use empathy and compassion to make the world a better place for everyone.”
Humanist Ceremonies™ is an expanding group of 300+celebrants trained and accredited by the British Humanist Association. Clearly there are many other non religious celebrants – they don’t have a monopoly, except on the trademarked name of Humanist Ceremonies.
Humanist funerals are focused on bringing people together to express their sadness at the loss but crucially to celebrate the life they lived. The celebrant aims to focus sincerely and affectionately on the deceased. At the same time emphasising their life style choices, friendships, achievements.
Humanist Celebrants would say that the funeral director is well equipped to deal with the practical arrangements, but the family should chose the style of ceremony. Humanist funerals – like all others – can be held where the family wishes. In practice most are held in crematoria, cemeteries or woodland burial sites.
Working with a humanist funeral celebrant.
British Humanist Association funeral celebrants are thoroughly trained, sensitive people, understanding the grief process. But their focus is to offer a funeral ceremony that will be a fitting goodbye to the deceased. One which the deceased would have been pleased to witness, had they the chance. Celebrants understand cremation and burial procedures and will work with and guide the family through the process of arranging a funeral ceremony.
A humanist funeral celebrant will meet with the family or friends to learn more about the person to make sure the ceremony really captures their life and personality.
The celebrant will also help the family understand practical matters. This will include options for the committal, such as, or the amount of time available for the ceremony. They will listen to your ideas on music or readings and offer their own suggestions if helpful. The celebrant will discuss procedures with anyone who may be reading a tribute or a poem for example.
After all the discussions, they will write a unique ceremony that’s absolutely fitting for the person who has died and the circumstances. Once drafted, it will be discussed with the family representative. On the day, the celebrant will be a calm and reassuring presence as well as leading the ceremony with warmth and dignity.
You can find an approved Humanist Celebrant HERE.