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Living Funerals


Although the concept of a Living Funeral or Pre-Funeral has been around in other countries like Japan for several decades it is just beginning to build in popularity in the UK.


So, what is a Living Funeral? Really it is a name tag for the concept of celebrating a person’s life with them whilst they are still alive. Some people choose to have a living funeral because they have a life limiting illness or are in end-of-life care. Others because they are elderly and feel that a crematorium service is not how they wish to have their life remembered.


A living funeral can be a wonderfully meaningful experience for everyone who is involved. There is no blueprint dictating what format it should take. The when, where, and how is 100% the decision of the individual who has decided to hold a living funeral. A high-profile living funeral in the UK was Kris Hallenga’s living “FUNeral” held in 2023 in Truro Cathedral. With elements like Dawn French giving a eulogy as the Vicar of Dibley and a silent disco it is a fine example of how broad ranging and joyful a living funeral can be. Equally a small gathering of friends and family can be curated to include the elements that will suit the individual who wants a living funeral.


The reasons for choosing a living funeral are personal and varied. Often it is to create memories with friends and family, to help people come to terms with death, or to share life stories that friends and family might not know. One of the biggest reasons is to have control about how their life is celebrated. Some people who have held a living funeral have found it helped their own mental wellbeing.


If you think a Living Funeral could be right for you, a professional civil celebrant will have the knowledge and skills to help you create the living celebration of your life in exactly the way you want.

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