Remembering A Life At It’s End. Celebrating A Contribution To The World
A Humanist or non-religious funeral offers a dignified and uniquely affectionate way to celebrate and pay tribute to someone’s life. This is especially appropriate for those who have chosen to live their life without religion. For many people a religious ceremony may not feel right and bring little comfort. As we will meet in the days before the service, this will enable us to talk about the person who has died. The service will then reflect with warmth and meaning, the essence of their life and personality.
Non-religious funerals have the same status in law as religious ones.
How to Arrange a Humanist Funeral
In most cases this will happen when you visit the Funeral Director, this is the person who will make all the practical arrangements for the funeral. Inform them that you have chosen a Humanist or Non-Religious ceremony and Minister. If they are unable to help you directly please don’t hesitate to call me on; 704 877 3658.
Once this has happened we can arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. This will normally be in your own home, or wherever you, your family or friends feel is most comfortable and appropriate.
You may also want to contact me directly if you know that the person is dying, to talk about a Humanist service. In recent years, more and more people are deciding to plan their own funerals. For some this may feel very frightening but for others it is a great comfort to know that they will have their end of life service planned ahead, and that they have taken the opportunity to relieve others of that responsibility at a time when they are least able to cope emotionally with the situation.
I am also happy to officiate at Memorial Services or Acts of Remembrance if requested, in addition to Cremations, Burials, or the Scattering of Ashes.
Time to Talk
You may be feeling anxious or even fearful of meeting to talk about the person who has died. Many people however, find it to be very comforting, helpful and even therapeutic. It can be a time for you and/or family and friends to share their memories of the person who has died, and the feelings of sadness, loss and the many other feelings which can accompany the death of someone close to us.
The person who has died may have liked a particular song or poem, or you may have music or verses which are particularly poignant for you and how you remember your loved one. These can be included in the service. Family members or friends may wish to actively participate in the service. That is fine, but most people find this quite difficult on the day.
You may feel that there are certain aspects of the person’s life that are difficult to talk about, or you may wish to gloss over. This is often the case. Whatever the circumstances of the person’s life or death I am certainly not there to judge or moralize – but to understand and to reflect how you want your loved one to be remembered.
Once we have met I will prepare the Eulogy and during the time preceding the service I am happy to receive any further thoughts or ideas. At the end of the service you will receive a printed copy of the ceremony. This can also be forwarded later by e mail.
Concerns for Others
Some people who request a Humanist funeral may be concerned for the feelings of family members or friends with a religious belief. Although a Humanist funeral is non religious, there is nothing in the service that will offend others. It will focus, in a unique and sincere way, on the life and personality of the person who has died. There will also be a pause during proceedings for personal reflection.
In my experience most people, including those with religious beliefs, frequently say how personal, moving and sincere they found the Humanist service to be. As such it provides a fitting and memorable tribute to the person who has died and a lasting comfort to family and friends.