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What is a Civil Funeral?

A civil funeral is shaped by the wishes, beliefs and values of the person who has died and those who loved them. Unlike a religious or humanist ceremony, the beliefs and ideology of the person conducting the funeral plays no part in shaping the format or content of a civil funeral.

A civil funeral ceremony

Civil funeral ceremonies are unique and respectful and they may include prayers, and hymns. They can be held almost anywhere except in a religious building or at a religious burial site. Usually, they are held in a crematorium or non-religious burial ground. A civil funeral:

  • is a highly personal ceremony which reflect the achievements, the personal qualities and the values of your loved one
  • tells the story of the person who has died, what they did and what they liked
  • aims to give comfort to all those attending the funeral whether they hold strong religious beliefs or have no religious faith
  • has great flexibility so that you may choose those pieces of music, pop or classical, modern or old and the readings and poems that have special meaning

A civil funeral ceremony gives you the freedom to celebrate the life of the person you loved in a way most appropriate to them.

Civil funeral celebrant

As your celebrant I will lead the funeral and work closely with your funeral director. I will meet with you, so we can discuss the format and content of the ceremony.

We’ll discuss your loved one’s life, their childhood, teenage years, marriage, work, family, hobbies and interests. We’ll discuss their likes and dislikes and what made them laugh. We’ll explore their qualities and their achievements so their story can be told in all its richness.

At the heart of the ceremony is the tribute. You or another family member may write this but, usually, I will draft this for you. I will also write the supporting elements of the ceremony based on our discussion.

You and your family may wish to contribute to the ceremony by reading a poem, some prose or the tribute. Alternatively, I will deliver everything on your behalf.