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Guide to Non-Religious Funerals

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Traditionally, funerals would have been held in a church and included hymns, prayers, and other religious elements. However, increasingly, people are moving away from such types of funeral service and choosing to celebrate the life of a loved one differently.

A non-religious funeral is often chosen when the deceased didn’t practise any specific type of formal religion. It’s also the most appropriate option if the deceased was a humanist or atheist.

There are no historical guidelines and traditions. The format tends to be dictated by the deceased person’s wishes or by their family.

In this article, we will look at what a non-religious funeral entails and how to plan one.

What is a non-religious funeral called?

It’s commonplace for all religions to have traditions and rituals for honouring the dead and helping families handle their grief. However, if a person is not religious, it’s still essential for them to find a fitting way to remember a departed loved one and say goodbye.

There are a variety of alternative funerals you can have in the UK, such as DIY, atheist funerals, humanist, and non-religious funerals. Even direct cremation can be considered as an alternative funeral..

A non-religious funeral is a ceremony that honours the deceased but is not tied with any traditions, rituals, or beliefs of any particular religion. Many of the same elements can be included, such as readings from loved ones, eulogies, and music. It is often also a celebration of the life that the deceased person lived, their personality, and achievements as a way to honour them.

Can you have a non-religious funeral?

Something else that has become more commonplace is to separate the funeral into two halves. Treating the funeral and farewell ceremony as two completely separate events opens up a range of different options.

It also provides several benefits for loved ones. For example, it gives them time to consider the type of ceremony and come to terms with the loss. This, in turn, makes planning and attending a celebration something that’s not quite so painful. A unique send-off also means everyone can be invited, including children and pets.

Who can officiate a non-religious funeral?

For a religious funeral, it would generally be a vicar or priest who conducts the service. However, if a loved one didn’t have any religious beliefs and you decide to arrange a non-religious funeral, there are several options for someone to officiate at the funeral.

eulogy that covers the life and character of the person who has died.

  • A moment for reflection: The celebrant calls for a moment’s silence for thought.
  • Music and readings: Friends and family stand up to give readings, and music is chosen that reflects on the person who has died. It could be a favourite artist, music genre, or a group they belonged to.
  • Non-religious funeral poems and readings

    Words are an important outlet to show your admiration and grief, so it’s critical you choose wisely when planning a loved one’s funeral. Finding non-religious funeral readings can be a challenge, but there are more options if you turn to poetry. Here are a few examples:

    • Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
    • Death Is Nothing at All by Henry Scott-Holland
    • I Carry Your Heart With Me by EE Cummings

    If you want to avoid poems, there are many other options for non-religious readings for funerals. For example, why not combine memorable quotes from the deceased, or create a reading based on a catchphrase your loved one used? This can form a compelling and thought-provoking tribute.

    Music for non-religious funerals

    arrange a funeral by calling Pure Cremation today. We can take care of your loved one’s cremation, and when we return the ashes to you, you can arrange a simple memorial service or celebration of life that’s perfect for you and your family.