Planning a funeral in advance

Even when it’s expected, the death of someone we know and love can be shocking and painful. And when planning a funeral, there are so many decisions to be made that the process, combined with the loss, can feel overwhelming. By pre-planning your funeral ceremony and taking those decisions in advance, you can help to make life easier for those you leave behind. 

Humanist funerals and the coronavirus pandemic by Joan Bakewell

Baroness Joan Bakewell, talks about the lockdown, the important work of humanist funeral celebrants, and why we all need video technology skills.

Seven ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed humanist funerals in the UK

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, but it has also changed the way funerals are conducted and how we support friends and relatives who are grieving. Here are seven ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed how humanist funerals are being planned and conducted by humanist funeral celebrants in the UK during the lockdown.

Pre-planned ceremonies and prepaid funeral plans

In today’s blog, we’re going to be exploring the differences between the prepaid funeral plans offered by many funeral directors and the pre-planned funeral ceremony service we offer. 

Planning your own funeral

Humanist funeral celebrant Kate Hobson tells us about the conversation that prompted her to make her own funeral plans. Perhaps this will get you thinking about yours…

It’s time to talk about your funeral wishes

Each year, Dying Matters Awareness Week aims to raise public awareness about the importance of talking more openly about dying, death, and making funeral wishes known. This year, the need to speak about end of life care and funeral wishes with family and friends has never felt more pertinent. Humanist funeral celebrant, Adele Chaplin tells […]

The importance of rituals in grieving

Committal rituals can help the bereaved to say goodbye. When there isn’t a committal, symbolic gestures can be a substitute. As well as being a way of saying farewell, they can help mourners to feel connected to the person who has died, and express love, closeness or admiration.

Supporting grieving friends and relatives during the coronavirus lockdown

During the lockdown, many people will be physically alone, while dealing with grief. As a nation, our attendance at funerals, memorials, and wakes may be severely restricted at this time. But as individuals, our support for grieving friends and relatives remains unlimited.

Using technology to plan and deliver funeral and memorial ceremonies

Humanist funeral ceremonies have traditionally involved a gathering together of friends and family, to celebrate a life lived. And while it’s understandable that  people want to come together in person, during the coronavirus pandemic that’s not always possible. With the current COVID-19 outbreak and rules on self-isolation and social distancing, we feel it’s important that […]

One funeral celebrant’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

Humanist funeral celebrant Cate Quinn has made a short video explaining what you can do before, during, and after a bereavement, to say a meaningful and dignified goodbye to a loved one during the lockdown.

Online ceremonies and the coronavirus pandemic

In the event that you and your family cannot gather together to attend a funeral, we want to reassure you that there are still ways to celebrate a life lived and say goodbye to a loved one without the need to bring people together physically in one place: a humanist memorial ceremony that is shared online.

Humanist memorial ceremonies

A humanist memorial is a non-religious ceremony which focuses on the person who has died, the life they led, the relationships they forged, and the legacy they leave. It can take place weeks or months after a funeral or direct cremation.

Humanist funerals for immediate family

On 23 March 2020, the Government introduced new restrictions on social gatherings including stopping all social events​, except funerals. From this point onward, only immediate close family members are advised to attend funerals. Because people will not be able to gather to offer condolences and pay their respects in the usual way, some families may […]

Resolving family funeral disagreements

When siblings who haven’t spoken to one another in years suddenly face planning a funeral or a memorial for a parent, a humanist funeral celebrant can often become an intermediary trying to make sure everyone’s wishes are met. 

Coronavirus and funerals in the UK

Planning a funeral for a loved one is emotional and potentially stressful at any time, but with coronavirus (COVID-19) now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are additional factors to take into consideration. You’ll want to know how the virus may affect the funeral ceremony and what steps you can […]

Poems of love for a humanist funeral

Poetry brings comfort to many people and it often features in funeral ceremonies. And while every humanist ceremony is unique, we find that there are some poems which are requested more than others as readings for humanist funerals. There is no religious content in a humanist ceremony, but secular readings and poems often feature. Some […]

Uplifting and humorous poems for a humanist funeral

Humanist funeral ceremonies focus on the person who has died – their story, their history, their unique qualities, and the relationships they forged. Secular readings and poems often feature in humanist funeral ceremonies and, like popular pieces of music, there are some poems which are more frequently chosen than others – some are humorous and […]

What is a humanist funeral ceremony?

With the growth in demand for non-religious services for weddings, funerals, and namings, it’s no surprise that ‘What is a humanist funeral?’ or ‘What happens at a humanist funeral?’ are popular questions on social media these days. It’s likely you may have been to a humanist funeral yourself or know someone who has. With over […]