A funeral service is a vital and integrative part of beginning to heal from your loss. The service itself has two main purposes, ﬁrstly in paying respect to and celebrating the life of your loved one, and secondly to acknowledge your deep sadness at this time of signiﬁcant loss. In today’s modern world many people are uncertain in their beliefs and have their own individual ideas about life and religion – not everyone wants a traditional religious funeral. I offer a sensitive and uplifting alternative to the traditional route.
The Ceremony will focus on the life of your loved one and be a positive and honouring tribute from both family and friends; a chance to share your grief with others and to express your loss in a way that is signiﬁcant to all the bereaved. You will take great comfort in holding a service which the deceased would have wished for.
I will discuss all your wishes and ideas with you and together we will create a service that commemorates and reﬂects, in the most ﬁtting manner, the individual whose funeral is to take place. You may want family or close friends to participate in the service by means of readings, poems, live music or simply by their own personal tributes. Again because we are personalising this ceremony there are no set rules - I welcome and encourage all those who wish to take part to express their own sentiments and to say goodbye in ways that have signiﬁcance for themselves and all those present.
This participation can be particularly appropriate and positive for those who are grieving, but at the same time be sensitive to the occasion.
You may prefer to hold a service that makes no mention of any form of religion or afterlife. It may be that the person who has died was agnostic or atheist. However it is important to consider that some people attending the funeral may have faith. To this end, if you feel it appropriate, a period of quiet reﬂection may be included within the service to allow those who do have religious beliefs to say a silent prayer.
If the service is being conducted at a crematorium it can normally be arranged for religious symbols to be removed from the chapel prior to the start of the service if you so wish.
In our changing society more and more people are ﬁnding themselves unassociated with a church, or find that church no longer has signiﬁcance for them. They may still have a faith that is a personal spiritual belief - not necessarily shared with others nor related to a traditional religion.
A Semi-Religious Funeral Service has some religious elements. Prayers, hymns, and readings from the bible may still be included without being the focus of the service. This is ideal where the deceased person had a background of traditional religion but was not a church goer, or was not necessarily a believer but still felt that there is possibility of an afterlife.
Such a service may be particularly appropriate for the deceased and, by acknowledging a religious aspect, may also bring comfort to mourners who do have faith.
Many people are uncertain in their beliefs yet do not wish to deny the possibility of an afterlife or some continuing spiritual existence. I can conduct an agnostic and speciﬁc funeral which reﬂects personal beliefs whatever they may be.
Participants are welcome to suggest hymns and music, or to read appropriate pieces both spiritual and secular, which make the Ceremony more personal and moving. Being independent of religious and humanist organisations, I can create a service which sensitively considers differing beliefs about life and afterlife.