What Is A Humanist Funeral?

Funerals are one of the hardest events to partake in. However, when they can be memorable to celebrate a loved one’s life, they are easier to approach and justify.

Standing as a memorial ceremony, humanist funerals are a favourable way to truly remember and celebrate life and legacy, especially for those of non-religion. Religion and faith are commonly attached to such celebration; however, this will leave behind those without such outlooks.

A humanist funeral offers a means of unity and celebration, in a respectful, righteous, and meaningful way, focusing on the life of a loved one, rather than their beliefs.

Following the views and wants of a loved one, who has sadly passed away, is one of the most comforting ways to mark their loss, which can fully be displayed through arranging a humanist funeral.

We at Kenna and Turner however appreciate how unfamiliar humanist funerals are to the majority. Due to this, we are here to offer some guidance surrounding the topic of ‘what is a humanist funeral?’.

We hope that such information can ease this sensitive and difficult time for you, which we are here to support you through, actively arranging funerals and memorial ceremonies.

If you have any questions about arranging a humanist funeral, reaching out to our team will be encouraged.


What is a humanist funeral service?

Funeral services are commonly arranged around faith and religious beliefs. This will be down to the beliefs of the individual who has sadly passed, to honour and respect their life.

When such beliefs deviate from religion, family members may feel stuck when considering memorial ceremonies, and ways to truly follow the wants of their loved ones.

A humanist funeral can deliver just that, a ceremony that instead focuses on legacy, on humanity and on internal beliefs, beyond religion.

A humanist funeral can be just as impactful, just as memorable, and just as important as a religious-based celebrant, as it will carry meaning behind its structure.

Offering sentiment, offering honesty, and offering focus on personal lives, rather than overarching outlooks, a humanist funeral is still an appropriate means, in fact, more appropriate for those of non-religious backgrounds.


What happens at a humanist funeral?

Now we’ve considered ‘what is a humanist funeral?’, it’s important to raise awareness of the workings and arrangements of a humanist memorial celebration.

A humanist funeral is in fact a free arrangement, meaning that ideas can be secured through personal beliefs and wants. As the traditional religious structure of hymns, readings and respects will be bypassed, flexibility is present to select the contents of a humanist funeral.

For ease, most will be arranged following a traditional funeral format, where the active ceremony will take place prior to the burial or cremation. However, freedom will be found when choosing songs, readings, the delivery of a eulogy and the acknowledgement of the person who has passed.

Through the sensitivities of bereavement, a humanist funeral will be led by a humanist celebrant, chosen by family and friends, to deliver and hold the pace and flow of the funeral. They will be responsible to deliver the wishes of those who have passed, to mark their lives and memory.

The nature of a humanist funeral is to reflect and embody the legacy and tribute of a special someone, through their own ideas. It allows for celebration to be instilled into the bereavement process, standing as a respectful memorial ceremony.

The structure of a humanist funeral can be pre-arranged, just like traditional ones, where wishes can be secured in an advance surrounding which songs, poems or expressions will be desired.


Where are humanist funerals held?

Due to the freedom of humanist funerals, they can be held at a location, where deemed appropriate. For some individuals, this will follow the similar choices of a religious ceremony, such as the crematorium.

However, for others, their favourite place, gardens, or community centres are suitable for a humanist funeral, to unite and celebrate life.


How to arrange a humanist funeral?

Arranging any funeral can be difficult, down to the sensitivity and the bereavement of loss. Due to this, finding a funeral director, who offers and arranges humanist funerals will be encouraged. This will alleviate the pressure from you as a family, to ensure that you can deliver the wishes of your loved one.

Once you’ve selected a funeral director, you’ll also need to find a humanist funeral celebrant with who you trust and connect, to deliver the human touch to your memorial ceremony.

With the support of both parties, you’ll work to arrange a humanist funeral by sharing your ideas, securing the wishes of your loved one, and selecting the contents of your service.

Many individuals feel overwhelmed at this point and will feel like they need to include a wealth of ideas to make the ceremony memorable. Yet what is important, is that those ideas focus on quality rather than quantity, to reflect the value of life and legacy.

Support will be provided throughout the process to help you feel comfortable with what’s ahead through your arrangements.


Humanist funeral costs

Each humanist funeral will be different, depending on the scope of its arrangements. However, the average memorial celebration falls between £150-£300. For an accurate cost, making arrangements with your funeral director will be recommended.

You can in fact contact our team at Kenna and Turner for more information on ‘what is a humanist funeral?’’, along with costings and ideas to truly deliver a memorable celebration of life. We are a team of compassionate, supportive, professional, and caring individuals, here to help you through this difficult time.

Arranging funeral services, no matter the scope is available with our help.


Humanist Funeral FAQs

What do I wear to a humanist funeral?

The dress code for a humanist funeral is very similar to a traditional ceremony. Suitable attire of darker colours is usually favoured. However, through personal wishes, notes may be added to offer direction on this.

How to select the right poems to read at a funeral?

Selecting poems for a funeral should be completed by sourcing those which have meaning, which reflects life, which reflect the wishes of your loved one, and which also stand respectful and meaningful. Ideas can be provided on working with our team to arrange a humanist funeral.

Do humanist funerals allow any religious content?

Justifiably, a humanist funeral surrounds a non-religious route. To include religious content will direct traditional services, more suited for memory.

A humanist funeral may be new to you. Yet you may believe that it’s suited for yourself when the time comes, or for a loved one through a recent loss. We are here for you, to share ideas, make arrangements and hold a humanist funeral with respect and value.

Reach out for information on our additional services, available through humanist funeral arrangements.