Outline of a humanist funeral ceremony

The following is an outline plan for a funeral which Humanists UK has developed over it’s many years of providing non-religious funerals (we started in the 1890s). It’s an outline that works well but it’s not set in stone. This example assumes a cremation but is equally applicable to burials.

  • Introductory music
  • Words of welcome
  • Thoughts on life and death from a non-religious perspective
  • The tribute – an outline of the life and personality of the person who has died
  • Readings of poetry and prose
  • Reflection – a few moments for private thoughts about the person who has died, either in silence or accompanied by music
  • The committal – when the curtains are closed or coffin lowered
  • Closing words – including thanks on your behalf
  • Final music