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Brown coffin behind pampas grass and candles, with a few people sat down around it

What is a Humanist Funeral?

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 by arranging a humanist funeral.

At Kenna and Turner, we appreciate how unfamiliar humanist funerals are to the majority. Due to this, we are here to offer some guidance. We hope that such information can ease this sensitive and difficult time for you, which we are here to support you through.

What is a Humanist Funeral Service?

Funeral services are most commonly arranged around faith and religious beliefs. These elements will be down to the beliefs of the sadly passed individual, 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, humanity, and internal beliefs, beyond religion.

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

This type of memorial offers sentiment, honesty, and focus on the life of the individual, rather than overarching outlooks. A humanist funeral is still an appropriate means for those of non-religious backgrounds.

What Happens at a Humanist Funeral?

Now we’ve considered what a humanist funeral is; we need to explain the working and arrangements of a humanist memorial celebration.

A humanist funeral is 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 at the forefront. You can 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 before 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 funeral’s pace. 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 to pay tribute to a special someone through their 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 advance. Songs, poems or expressions that are desired to be spoken during the service are completely down to you and your loved one.

Where are Humanist Funerals Held?

Due to the freedom humanist funerals provide, they can be held at any location where deemed appropriate. For some individuals, this will follow 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 a funeral can be difficult. To ensure that you can deliver the wishes of your loved one, finding a funeral director who offers and arranges humanist funerals will alleviate the pressure on you and your family.  Once you’ve selected a funeral director, you’ll need to find a humanist funeral celebrant with who you trust and connect. They will 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. What is important is that those ideas focus on quality 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. Making arrangements with your funeral director will be recommended for an accurate cost.

You can 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 unique arrangement, is available at Kenna and Turner.