‘She lived well and she died well’: Planning a unique humanist funeral for our mum

When Sarah talks about her mum Joan’s funeral, words like “joy”, “fun” and “celebration” come up a lot. It’s hardly surprising. This was someone who, in Sarah’s words, ‘always said yes to new things’. When Joan died in her 80s, after a very short illness, her daughters knew that her funeral had to celebrate their […]


‘This is how a funeral should be’: How Bernie’s friends planned a good send-off

Maddy’s friend, Bernie, lost the ability to say more than a few words after suffering a stroke. But he was still able to enjoy life and to make his views known. When he died, his friends knew exactly what Bernie wanted for his funeral. With the help of a humanist celebrant, they were able to […]


A non-religious funeral ceremony for a baby

Baby loss awareness week

A humanist funeral ceremony for a baby recognises the depth of the loss and pain, acknowledging the unique significance of the child who has died, and all the ways their short life has touched and left an impression on the lives of the people around them.


What is a humanist funeral ceremony?

Barbara Fogg's funeral led by Simon Bull - Photo by Richard Hackett

What is a humanist funeral? Simply put, humanist funerals are non-religious ceremonies that are about the person who has died, the life they led, and the relationships they forged. They are based on the humanist perspective that every life is individual and valuable. The ceremony is conducted by a humanist celebrant and it is both a […]


Non-religious poems for a baby’s funeral

When struggling with loss and grief, some people find comfort in poetry. When read aloud, a moving poem has the ability to bring people together in quiet contemplation and mourning. The ritual of reading a poem at a funeral is a way of collectively mourning the loss of a loved one.  Whether you’re looking for […]


Who to tell about the death of a loved one

Death notification process

Life Ledger is a free, secure, easy-to-use service that simplifies the process of death notifications.


Five ways to honour a loved one’s memory

Memory bear

The old adage ‘Life’s too short’ can sometimes hit home when someone you love dies. It can make you assess your own life and clarify for you changes you want to make. As a result, some people choose to honour the memory of a loved one by changing something about their own lives: to give their life purpose, to slow down, to travel,  or to strive for happiness. 


It’s time to talk about your funeral wishes

Father and son discussing a humanist funeral

Newsflash: We’re all going to die. It’s inevitable. Life, sadly, is a terminal condition, and death is one of its few certainties. But the reality is that talking about our funeral wishes now will make it easier for our loved ones to plan our funeral when the time comes.


Planning your own funeral

‘Catherine was facing a terminal diagnosis of cancer, but she was also used to planning her life, and considered planning her death and the immediate aftermath no different. She was surrounded by a loving family to whom she felt protective: lessening their distress and pain after she died was very high on her agenda.’


Planning a funeral in advance

Writing a funeral plan

Even when it’s expected, the death of someone we know and love can be shocking and painful. And when planning a funeral, there are so many decisions to be made that the process, combined with the loss, can feel overwhelming. By pre-planning your funeral ceremony and taking those decisions in advance, you can help to make life easier for those you leave behind. 


Pre-planned ceremonies and prepaid funeral plans

Two women discussing funeral plans

If you’ve been thinking about getting your affairs in order, you may have been looking into prepaid funeral plans. But did you know that they don’t include recording your wishes as to the content of the ceremony you would like to have.  Let’s take a look at the differences between the prepaid funeral plans offered by many funeral directors and the pre-planned funeral ceremony service our celebrants offer. 


What makes a good funeral?

Louise Jopling has been a humanist funeral celebrant for over a decade. So, if anyone would knows what makes a ‘good’ funeral, it’s Louise. Here, she shares her thoughts on ‘good’ funerals and why Humanist Ceremonies celebrants are unique.


Poems for funerals during lockdown

Poetry has taken on a meaningful role in lockdown funeral ceremonies. It is being used by many families to help express their thoughts during these challenging times. 


Poems of love for a humanist funeral

Poetry brings comfort to many people and it often features in funeral ceremonies. And while every humanist ceremony is unique, we find that there are some poems which are requested more than others as readings for humanist funerals. There is no religious content in a humanist ceremony, but secular readings and poems often feature. Some […]


Uplifting and humorous poems for a humanist funeral

Humanist funeral ceremonies focus on the person who has died – their story, their history, their unique qualities, and the relationships they forged. Secular readings and poems often feature in humanist funeral ceremonies and, like popular pieces of music, there are some poems which are more frequently chosen than others – some are humorous and […]


Non-religious funerals in London 

London Funeral Director Poppy's

‘As a funeral director, it’s reassuring to have a Humanist Ceremonies celebrant, as they are formally trained and I can be assured of high standards,’ says Hannah. 


Funerals | New rules for coming out of lockdown in England

Since the first lockdown, the rules on attending funerals have kept changing – and there are more changes ahead in England as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.


Can we hold a funeral at home?

Humanist funeral by Sira Studios

You may be surprised to learn that (outside of lockdowns) you can have a non-religious funeral ceremony at a range of venues.


Funeral Planning | Top Ten Tips

There are many things to think about when planning a funeral. Humanist funeral celebrant Adele Chaplin has created her top ten tips for funeral planning to help you navigate the process.


What is a eulogy and how do I write one?

The best advice for anyone writing a eulogy is to speak from the heart, in a way that fits the person who has died. You’re writing the eulogy to fit the person, rather than fitting them into a pre-designed format. 


Humanist memorial ceremonies

A humanist memorial is a non-religious ceremony which focuses on the person who has died, the life they led, the relationships they forged, and the legacy they leave. It can take place weeks or months after a funeral or direct cremation.


Planning a funeral while in lockdown?

Adele Chaplin by Ruth Leach Photography

 If you’re planning a funeral while in lockdown, there are many things you will need to consider. Humanist funeral celebrant Adele Chaplin has created a list of five things to consider.


Why are more people seeking humanist funerals?

Humanist funerals and memorials are non-religious ceremonies that support you to both mourn your loved one and celebrate their life. They are based on the humanist perspective that every life is individual and valuable. The content of each humanist ceremony is unique – because each person is unique! Humanist celebrants work with families to create […]


Biker funerals in the UK

Biker funeral UK

Humanist funeral celebrant Adam Jacobs is a dedicated motorcyclist and Lincolnshire emergency blood biker. He tells us why he’s keen to give fellow bikers a good send-off.


Becoming a humanist funeral celebrant

Humanist funeral celebrants provide an alternative to religious ceremonies for people wishing to say goodbye to a loved one in a non-religious way. Dawn Thewlis explains how she became a humanist funeral celebrant – and what it means to her.


Humanist Funeral Celebrant, North Wales | David Atkinson

Humanist funeral celebrant David Atkinson

Like many people, David Atkinson found the first humanist funeral he attended was unlike any other funeral he had experienced. He was so captivated by the personal approach to the non-religious ceremony, that he decided to apply to become a humanist celebrant.


Humanist Funeral Celebrant, Cambridgeshire | Alex Collis

Humanist celebrants are the ideal choice for families looking for something personal and unique.


Humanist funerals and the coronavirus pandemic by Joan Bakewell

Baroness Joan Bakewell, talks about the lockdown, the important work of humanist funeral celebrants, and why we all need video technology skills.


Seven ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed humanist funerals in the UK

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, but it has also changed the way funerals are conducted and how we support friends and relatives who are grieving. Here are seven ways the coronavirus pandemic has changed how humanist funerals are being planned and conducted by humanist funeral celebrants in the UK during the lockdown.


The importance of rituals in grieving

Committal rituals can help the bereaved to say goodbye. When there isn’t a committal, symbolic gestures can be a substitute. As well as being a way of saying farewell, they can help mourners to feel connected to the person who has died, and express love, closeness or admiration.


Supporting grieving friends and relatives during the coronavirus lockdown

During the lockdown, many people will be physically alone, while dealing with grief. As a nation, our attendance at funerals, memorials, and wakes may be severely restricted at this time. But as individuals, our support for grieving friends and relatives remains unlimited.


Using technology to plan and deliver funeral and memorial ceremonies

Humanist funeral celebrant, Adele Chaplin shares her experiences of using technology in the planning and delivery of funeral and memorial ceremonies.


One funeral celebrant’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

Humanist funeral celebrant Cate Quinn has made a short video explaining what you can do before, during, and after a bereavement, to say a meaningful and dignified goodbye to a loved one during the lockdown.


Online ceremonies and the coronavirus pandemic

In the event that you and your family cannot gather together to attend a funeral, we want to reassure you that there are still ways to celebrate a life lived and say goodbye to a loved one without the need to bring people together physically in one place: a humanist memorial ceremony that is shared online.


Resolving family funeral disagreements

When siblings who haven’t spoken to one another in years suddenly face planning a funeral or a memorial for a parent, a humanist funeral celebrant can often become an intermediary trying to make sure everyone’s wishes are met. 


Coronavirus and funerals in the UK

Planning a funeral for a loved one is emotional and potentially stressful at any time, but during the coronavirus (COVID-19)  pandemic there are additional factors to take into consideration. You’ll want to know how the virus may affect the funeral ceremony and what steps you can take to limit its effect.