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Funeral Structure



Each humanist (non-religious) funeral ceremony is unique and created to mark the life of the particular person that has died and the wishes of those who are remembering them; this means there is no set script. However, having a clear structure to organize the funeral around is very helpful.


Here is an example of how a funeral ceremony might be organized. You do not need to have any of these components, and you may want to include other aspects. Your celebrant will guide you through the various options, and together you can create an occasion that’s entirely fitting for the circumstances.



  • Introductory music

  • Words of welcome

  • Thoughts on life and death from a non-religious perspective

  • The tribute—an outline of the life and personality of the person who has died

  • Readings of poetry and prose

  • Reflection—a few moments for private thoughts about the person who has died, either in silence or accompanied by music

  • The committal—when the curtains are closed or coffin lowered

  • Closing words—including thanks on your behalf

  • Final music




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