A man wearing a black suit stands in front of a coffin during a funeral ceremony. He is performing a reading and holds an open book.

Funeral Poems and Readings

Funeral poems and readings can be a meaningful part of a humanist funeral ceremony or memorial service, helping loved ones to express their feelings and to honour and celebrate the character of the person you are saying goodbye to.

You may already have a poem or reading in mind that you would like to include during the ceremony, for example an extract from your loved one’s favourite book or some comforting words from a song. Your celebrant will of course be able to advise and support you with some suggestions too. You may wish to have a family member or friend perform the reading or you can ask your celebrant to read it, whatever feels right and most comfortable for you.

Here are a few examples of some funeral poems and readings which may be helpful, read by some of our humanist celebrants.

Life Goes On by Joyce Grenfell

Rainbows by Michael Olakunle Adesanya

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns

Without You by Akif Kichloo

Love You More by James Carter

Grieve by M A Hamilton

An autumnal tree canopy

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