Humanist funerals and memorials are non-religious ceremonies that support you to both mourn your loved one and celebrate their life. They are based on the humanist perspective that every life is individual and valuable. The content of each humanist ceremony is unique – because each person is unique!
Humanist celebrants work with families to create meaningful, memorable, non-religious ceremonies.
With a humanist funeral or memorial ceremony, there are no rules! It’s what you want and what they would have wanted that counts.
In addition to the tribute (which is also known as the eulogy), the ceremony can include music, poetry, readings, multimedia presentations, videos, and participative acts (even during socially distanced ceremonies and those shared live via video streaming).
Here’s what people say about humanist funeral celebrants and the personal touch:
‘Many people commented on how much they enjoyed hearing about all the different parts of Dad’s life.’
‘The celebrant found a way to both tell the story of Dad’s life, and to mark his passing.’
‘The service was perfectly tailored to my late father in a way that a religious service would not have been.’
‘One person thought the celebrant was a family friend, as the tribute was so personal.’
Humanist funerals and memorial ceremonies celebrate the life of the person who died.
‘The service was both a celebration and a ceremony.’
‘Everyone attending commented on what a pleasant difference it was from the more traditional religious ceremonies they’d attended, and that it was the perfect ‘positive send off’ for the deceased.’
‘A true celebration of my wife’s life.’
Our celebrants’ personal approach and attention to detail mean so much to families.
‘The celebrant took the time to speak to, and include comments from, all family members which was important to us.’
‘The celebrant delivered a truly appropriate eulogy in a sensitive manner and made special efforts to include the music we requested. I shall be forever grateful for her help at a time when I felt completely helpless.’
‘The celebrant’s preparations were thorough and meticulous, and the ceremony not only ran like clockwork, but also hit exactly the right tone. Although most of the credit should go to her, it is also clear that Humanists UK provides excellent advice and training.’
People tell us they find comfort in both the personalised ceremony and the process of working with a humanist celebrant.
‘The celebrant guided us through the process and ceremony with consummate ease, making us all feel safe and in good hands. I cannot thank him enough.’
‘Delightful, comforting ceremony for family and friends.’
‘Our celebrant helped us to remember what is good about life and love, as well as bring to the surface wonderful memories of my Mother, even at this time of loss.’
Humanists UK’s training, mentoring, and continuous professional development programme supports celebrants to work with you in a sensitive and professional manner.
Many people tell us that attending a humanist funeral makes them decide that that is what they’d like for their own send off.
‘A lot of people said they would like a humanist service after being at this one.’
‘Some of those attending the humanist funeral said they now knew exactly what they wanted.’
‘The celebrant made the service about my dad, which was wonderful. I’m going to put this in my will to do the same thing.’
Many of our celebrants are also trained to help with planning your own funeral — something many people take great comfort in doing.
Because humanist funerals are non-religious, they are inclusive for people of different faiths and none.
‘The Humanist ethos and approach really suited our family, and at the same time allowed family and friends of other faiths to experience the ceremony in their own way.’
‘The celebrant conducted an outstanding memorial. Everyone who attended was impressed.’
We are proud of our funeral celebrants who, in 2020, conducted themselves with bravery and selflessness in addition to their usual repertoire of skills of sensitivity, kindness, and empathy. Quickly designated as key workers, celebrants found themselves on the frontline of the pandemic, alongside fellow funeral professionals.
Celebrants immediately made themselves available to conduct planning meetings with families by phone or video. And, they delivered socially distanced and live-streamed ceremonies. We know that their actions have brought comfort to many people at the saddest point in their lives.
We continue to strive to plan and conduct ceremonies safely and sensitively. We are here to help you.