top of page
  • paulakclements

Modern Non-Religious Funerals

Because we live in such a diverse society, the constraints of a modern civil funeral service do not suit everyone. Contacting a funeral director when someone dies remains one of the first tasks on the “to do” list of the bereaved. The bereaved visit a local funeral home or contact an on-line funeral service provider to plan the funeral.

Funeral directors have a long history of providing traditional services. The full range of options for a burial service or cremation service at a crematorium are explained to the bereaved. For example, the choice of a religious officiant or a civil or humanist celebrant, or the style of coffin, possibly the use of a natural burial site rather than a cemetery. But, often the choices for other types of end-of-life ceremony are not discussed. So many people planning a funeral think they have to use a crematorium if they do not want a burial service.

As a civil funeral celebrant, I officiate and deliver different types of end-of-life services across Surrey and Hampshire. Funeral services at local crematoria can be much more modern and celebratory in style, but many traditional rituals remain. Added to this are the strict time allocations for each service. Many bereaved have a sense that this is not the right type of farewell they want for their loved one and want something different.

When someone dies the law requires that their body is buried or cremated. Think of this as an administrative function. A crematorium service combines the farewell ceremony with the administrative part.

You are perfectly entitled to split the funeral into two parts. This gives you the power of absolute choice to hold a celebration of life or memorial service where, when, and how you want. Pubs, clubs, your home, hotels, barns, vineyards and woodland sites, the choices of venue for celebration of life services in Surrey and Hampshire is vast and varied. You can have a separate or unattended cremation or burial at a different time.

If you opt for a celebration of life or memorial service no-one will dictate to you the format or content. Instead of a traditional black hearse to transport the coffin, perhaps you want to make a statement with leopard print livery (as pictured)? Instead of floral tributes, you would love all the attendees to write a farewell message on the coffin. Your choices for a fitting farewell to your loved one are unfettered.

Planning an end-of-life service is highly personal for the bereaved. When you are about to start planning you may not be sure which type of service would be right. A professional civil funeral celebrant will be able to talk you through your choices to help you assess whether a funeral service or celebration of life service would be most suitable. The celebrant can help you to plan the detailed content and will be able act as the officiant on the day to deliver your funeral ceremony.

The Good Funeral Guide is an excellent resource for information if you have a funeral to plan. It is a good starting point so that you know exactly what your options are.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page