Non-Religious Funerals

Non-religious funerals offer a personal and fitting way to say goodbye to those who have lived without religion.

These types of funerals bring people together to express sadness at the loss, but also to celebrate the life lived. They focus sincerely and affectionately on the person who has passed away, paying tribute to the connections they made and left behind and the way they lived their life.


Whilst a funeral director is the professional most likely to deal with the practical arrangements of a funeral, the type of ceremony you choose is entirely up to you. Since funerals themselves have no legal status, non-religious services, can be held in a variety of places, although in practice most are held in crematoria, cemeteries or woodland burial sites.

Working with a Celebrant

Humanist and funeral celebrants are sensitive people, empathetic to the experience of bereavement but focused on providing a funeral ceremony that will be most fitting for the circumstances. They are familiar with cremation and burial procedures and will guide you through the whole process of arranging a funeral ceremony.

Funeral celebrants and humanists:

  • Meet with the family or friends most closely connected with the person who has died to learn more about that person and ensure that the funeral justly captures their life and personality
  • Advise on practical matters, such as options for the committal, for example, or the amount of time available for the ceremony at the crematorium or burial site
  • Listen to your ideas on music or readings and provide their own suggestions if needed
  • Share their ideas and draw on their experience when appropriate
  • Liaise with those involved in the ceremony, for example, anyone who will be reading a tribute or a poem / piece of prose
  • Write a unique ceremony that’s absolutely fitting for the person who has died and the circumstances
  • Are a calm presence on the day, leading the ceremony with warmth and dignity
  • Give you a presentation copy of the final script.

Family members or friends can also conduct the ceremony. Hillier Funeral Service are happy to offer advice where needed and guidance on the day. The contents of the service is up to you, the freedom to choose whatever music you feel is most appropriate – the song that fits the tone of the ceremony, or their favourite song that they’d always sing. You can also include a reading from their favourite book, quotes, a period of silent contemplation, poetry, or the sharing of memories. Asking different family members to participate with the readings can help get people involved in the ceremony and make the service more personal to the deceased and their life.