As humanists, we believe that we have one life and that we have a responsibility to ourselves, our fellow living beings and the earth to live that life as best we can. That means trying to be respectful, tolerant and kind.

We believe that humanist funerals should reflect these beliefs.

A celebration of life

We know that when a family requests a humanist or non-religious funeral, they are essentially asking for a ceremony that places the person at the heart of it. This could be a reflection of their loved one’s beliefs. It could be to fulfil their known wishes, or what the family feel they would have wanted.

A humanist funeral ceremony is a celebration of life.

Of course, we appreciate that not everyone who attends a humanist funeral shares humanist beliefs. However, when someone close to us dies, we all share the same feelings of sadness and loss and have the same need for reassurance and comfort. For that reason, our ceremonies are, quite rightly, inclusive of all faiths and none. 

Mourners and a funeral officiant standing by a coffin

The funeral ceremony

Although they don’t include collective acts of worship such as prayers or the singing of hymns, there is usually a period of quiet reflection where those in attendance can choose to remember their loved one in a way that is right for them and their beliefs.

Your celebrant will spend time with you learning about your loved one’s life and personality and about the memories you would like to share.  They will then weave these together to tell their story in just the right way, as a celebration of your loved one’s life. Importantly, you will have full control over the content of the ceremony. 

You have the freedom to include readings, poems and music, and the opportunity to have others pay their own tribute if you so wish. Your celebrant can help guide you through this and can support you with suggestions based on their experience.

Funeral director

The torso of a funeral director in formal dress, holding a top hot

When you engage a funeral director, they will normally contact a celebrant on your behalf. However, you may prefer to contact us or one of our celebrants directly. If you don’t have anyone specific in mind, just ask your funeral director for a celebrant from Humanist Society Scotland.

We are the longest standing and most trusted provider of humanist ceremonies in Scotland.

Two people wearing black suits hold hands at a funeral ceremony.

Humanist funerals

The loss of a loved one is difficult, but arranging a funeral ceremony shouldn’t be. 

Our celebrants will work with you to create a personal and meaningful ceremony for your loved one that celebrates their life.  

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