The death of a relative or close friend can be
a tough experience for many of us. The funeral should give family and
friends both an opportunity to celebrate the life that has been lived,
as well as to express and share their sadness. Each ceremony deserves
to be remembered as an occasion that uniquely and appropriately honours
the person’s life with dignity, respect and love.
A growing number of people choose to live their
lives without holding any religious beliefs, and it is important for
their funeral to respect this. Humanist
Funerals are tailored and personalised ceremonies that make no
reference to religious concepts; they are both inclusive of and
acceptable to those attending for whom religion is part of their lives.
The ceremonies can take place anywhere you choose (except in religious
buildings or sites), though most are conducted at Crematoria or Burial
Some people choose to have a simple Funeral ceremony, followed by a Memorial ceremony. This can be rich
and full of wonderful detail and are typically much more relaxed because they
are held in venues where people feel comfortable – eg. at home, in a pub or
hotel, a village hall, a school, a college – even outdoors if the weather is
I am an accredited Humanist Celebrant with Humanists UK and have
conducted a wide variety (well over 1,000 as at August 2019) of funerals of differing style, formality and
When planning a Funeral and/or Memorial, I usually meet the
family and friends in order to jointly create a ceremony that is unique and
appropriate. Whatever the circumstances, I am non-judgmental and
sensitive to the wishes of everyone involved.
A Funeral Ceremony usually includes music
(recorded/live), poems, readings and tributes (all of which I can
A typical order of ceremony:
- Music for gathering and entrance
- Welcome and introduction
- Tribute(s) – spoken by Rebecca, family
- Poems and/or Readings
- Personal Reflection Time – an opportunity for
quiet thought & private prayer (silent or with background music)
- Closing words – thankyous and announcements
- Final Farewell (Committal)
- Closing music
On the day, I act as the "mistress of ceremonies" and coordinate the whole
ceremony. I will also write tailored pieces, particularly the
tribute, and will read pieces on behalf of family and friends.
Memorial ceremonies have similar content but without the time restrictions associated with many Funerals.
Some recent testimonials:
We are so pleased that we chose you as celebrant. The ceremony
was exactly as we had hoped it might be. All the family thought you were
excellent, and I am sure Jean herself would have been impressed. Interestingly,
several of Jean’s friends told me they had no idea what to expect but were
Dear Rebecca, our families are
extraordinarily grateful for conducting yesterday’s ceremony to celebrate
Chris’s life. Everything about the ceremony had just the right touch and the
love flowed like water. We could not ask for more. Please accept our sincerest
thanks for all the good work, guidance and kindness you gave us at a time when
we were at out lowest ebbs. Anyone who was there will remember a truly
unforgettable event which showed that Chris was a very special person who loved
and was loved and whose love will be remembered for evermore.
What a great job you did ! ..... at the crematorium and Rowing
Club. It was almost as though you knew my sister, from picking up bits of
information from family and friends. The whole occasion was well co- ordinated
by you and had just the right ‘feel’. Thank you again
Thanks for everything. The day
went as I hoped and many people commented afterwards that they've never been to
a funeral of that style before and how it was the best they've ever been to,
which is what I wanted.
Thank you for the script and thank you for the ceremony you provided. I feel it
all went according to plan. I had a very large number of people saying how
great the service was, and how much Jonathan would have been thrilled about it.