Tagged: Ceremonies

More choice, more confusion

CrematoriumHow can you choose an appropriate funeral, and someone to conduct it? There’s an increasing choice of funeral styles, but also more confusion. Many still choose traditional Christian funerals, with familiar hymns and so on, but this isn’t appropriate for a significant proportion of the population. Various surveys indicate that only a minority attend church regularly and that few are interested in organised religion. Many young people aren’t religious, while many older people have developed unconventional personal religious beliefs. Many say that they’re ‘Christian’, but what they mean by that varies. Of those who say that they don’t believe in God, some will say they believe in an afterlife.

Because of these changing attitudes and beliefs, many are choosing funerals that are more personal, with modern music and family tributes, but with one or two familiar hymns and maybe a prayer as well.

So now there are traditional church funerals with the traditional liturgy (a prescribed form of worship), non-conformist Christian funerals, religious funerals in the manner of a minority faith, unconventional semi-religious funerals, and non-religious funerals.

Humanist funerals fall into the latter category, but to add to the confusion, there’s more than one type of Humanist Celebrant.

Getting here wasn’t easy

QuoteAt a Humanist wedding recently, the bride’s mother made an unusual speech. It’s reproduced with her permission, but the names have been changed to preserve anonymity.


The following piece is offered, with apologies to Bill Bryson, whose book ‘A Short History of Everything’ put me firmly in my place.

Welcome – and congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn’t easy, I know, in fact it was tougher than you perhaps realise. This is a very special group of people come together to celebrate Susan and John’s Wedding and each of you is more special than you may think.