A funeral ceremony that celebrates a life
non-religious funerals focus on the deceased’s life: their unique personality, experience and values  

A bespoke celebrant-led service as an alternative to a church funeral

Human beings all over the world — no matter their culture or religion — have always marked the rite of passage after a death with a ritual or a ceremony of some kind. 

  • everyone has the right to be mourned and remembered
  • everyone deserves a good send-off
  • everyone left behind should be able to share their grief

For believers, a church funeral is appropriate, beneficial and healing.

But if your loved one was a non-believer, or did not habitually frequent a church, there are two options: do nothing at all or plan a non-religious funeral with the help of a professional celebrant.

We have the training and experience to create and conduct whatever end-of-life ceremony you are looking for, be it a non-religious funeral, a graveside ceremony, a memorial service, or an ash-scattering.

The celebrant helped us plan the event from beginning to end and gave us very useful suggestions. After a conversation with the family, they created and conducted a beautiful ceremony for my father, which was both solemn and light-hearted.”

we help you find the right words

Our task as celebrants is to create, draft and deliver a unique, personalised funeral ceremony to celebrate the life of a person dear to you.

During the family visit, we will discuss your options for the funeral service, ask about your loved one’s life and achievements, listen to your stories and anecdotes and gather together a wealth of information about their personality, temperament, passions, and relationships with others.

Your words will then be woven into a bespoke funeral ceremony script that includes a tribute or eulogy, reflections, contributions from others, a slide show or video, and your choices of readings and music.

By weaving together these different elements, the ceremony will give voice to your words and include your family, friends and wider community. We will create the atmosphere that you want, modulate the emotional impact of the service, and seamlessly manage all the participants to create a harmonious and uplifting ceremony.

A professional celebrant to help you create and conduct your funeral ceremony will be a huge relief. 

  • you will be able to grieve and share your grief with others, in the full knowledge that your words and feelings will be faithfully and honestly conveyed
  • you will publicly acknowledge the unique value of your loved ones’ life
  • you will not be forced to put on a brave face and speak in public yourself, or rely on a friend who would perhaps represent their own feelings rather than yours.

We had told our celebrant that there were no words to express what we were going through, but for my mother’s funeral they found the words, exactly the right ones, conveying our feelings and reflecting her spirit and beliefs perfectly.”

photo credit Funet

building blocks for a non-religious funeral ceremony

When we write your bespoke funeral ceremony, we use many elements that are common to traditional ceremonies:

  • Words. These include: opening words; reflections on life and death; written and spoken contributions from friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances; a tribute, eulogy or life story celebrating your loved one’s life; a committal; closing words.
  • Images. If the venue is equipped with a projector, a slide-show or video is a powerful way to conjure up various moments of the deceased’s life. A family member can be given the role of making the video. If there are family members who live far away and were unable to make it to the funeral, there is also the possibility to livestream the event.       
  • Music: The venue will hopefully have a sound system of some kind so that music can be played at the beginning, during the reflection or committal, and at the end of the ceremony. Your celebrant will ask you whether you have any favourite pieces or songs with particular significance for you.
  • Contributions. These include: readings or poems, short speeches, informal anecdotes or spontaneous memories of the deceased.
  • Mood. Silence, smiles, laughter, tears, hugs.


possible order of service for a funeral

A non-religious or humanist funeral does not follow a standard format and can be completely personalised. There are no rules. 

However, in our experience, it is useful to have an idea of the shape your ceremony will take.

 The following is a suggested order of service:

  1. Introduction and words of welcome
  2. Reflections on life and death
  3. Contributions and recollections from relatives and friends
  4. A tribute or eulogy celebrating the deceased’s life
  5. A ritual moment to mark the committal
  6. Closing words

A non-religious funeral can be held anywhere

A secular funeral or memorial service can be held in a civic building or town hall; in a funeral home or funeral hall of a crematorium; in a deconsecrated church or chapel, hotel, theatre or other venue; in a private home or garden; in the mortuary or at the graveside — practically anywhere.

Provided that:

  • correct permissions have been obtained to hold the ceremony at the chosen location
  • transport of the coffin and the route have been authorised by the mayor
  • the funeral agency is collaborative

For information regarding  pet funerals see

photo credit Simona Filippini

Our advice in the event of a death

    1. Don’t panic. There is no obligation to make decisions right away.
    2. Contact one or more funeral agencies. Don’t feel pressured if an agency approaches you. It is your right to choose the agency you are most in tune with.
    3. Find a celebrant and check their availability here .
    4. Make an appointment with your celebrant for the family visit. Anyone who wishes can join in and talk with the celebrant about the deceased: family, friends, acquaintances.

    At this point, the funeral ceremony is in our hands.

    We will outline your options for the ceremony and advise you on choices for music, readings, or images that best represent your loved one. 

    We will create a first draft of a ceremony that is unique to your loved one and send it to you for comments and corrections

    On the day of the funeral, we will be at the venue ahead of you to make sure everything is in place and will warmly welcome you and your guests. 

    We will then officiate the funeral ceremony with empathy, sensitivity and professionalism.

    Find out more about secular funerals

I appreciated the celebrant’s professionalism and sensitivity from the word go: his ability to listen and empathize was key to creating a fitting ceremony despite the complicated situation.” 

Click here if you want to know more about the other farewell ceremonies

Click here if you would like to know more about secular and non-religious funeral

All your questions will be answered here

We would love to know whether you have attended or organised a non-religious or humanist funeral.

Tell us about your experience. You can email us, or contact us via Facebook or Instagram

en_GBEnglish (UK)