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Humanist or Civil Service

What is a Humanist or Civil Funeral? 

A Humanist funeral, which is also called a ‘non-religious funeral’ focuses on the person who has died, balancing  the sadness of loss with a celebration of the person’s life. A Humanist funeral is conducted without any religious content and is designed by the family with the assistance of a Humanist celebrant. It is not essential to have a celebrant as the family may feel comfortable leading the service themselves. A Civil service is slightly different in that it can combine religious and non-religious content and is conducted by a Civil Celebrant.

How is it organised?
The Humanist or Civil celebrant will meet and/or chat with the family or friends who are organising the funeral. 
Together they plan the ceremony in a meaningful way. The celebrant will take the time to learn about the person who has passed away. The celebrant leads the ceremony using appropriate words to capture the essence of the person who has died and the service can consist of music, eulogies, readings, poems and words of remembrance which the family may wish to contribute to. We can arrange for a suitable celebrant to facilitate and assist with the ceremony, the majority of which are held in family homes, Crematorium Chapels such as Roselawn or Lakeland or our funeral home. 

A typical Humanist or Civil Ceremony may include some or all of the following: 

  • Introductory Music
  • Words of Welcome
  • Thoughts on life and death from a non-religious perspective
  • The tribute - An outline of the life and personality of the person who has died
  • Readings of poetry and prose
  • Reflection - A few moments for private thoughts about the person who has died, either in silence or accompanied by music
  • Closing words - Including thanking people on behalf of the family
  • The Committal - When the curtains are closed or the coffin is lowered and the final music is played

The Celebrant will guide you through each stage and you will jointly agree responsibilities. 

We have extensive experience in arranging Humanist and Civil services, we will assist you through each step of the planning process.

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