What is a civil funeral?
A civil funeral is a non-religious or semi-religious funeral service that takes place in a secular setting. For this reason, civil funerals are particularly suited to anyone who doesn’t ascribe to a set religion or ideology. A civil funeral will centre around remembering and celebrating the life of the person who has died, and the funeral can typically be personalised in any way that you wish. They can often make a funeral feel more personal in nature.
Where can a civil funeral be held?
Aside from the fact a civil funeral can’t take place at a place of worship, there are generally no rules regarding where you can host a civil funeral. They can take place at any non-denominational venue that is happy to host it, which could include both indoor and outdoor venues, as well as crematoriums, chapels and burial grounds.
Who conducts a civil funeral service?
Anyone can conduct civil funeral service if they feel comfortable doing so. As long as the person conducting the service plans an order of service and feels comfortable pubic speaking, any friend or family member of the deceased could host the funeral.
Alternatively you can choose a funeral celebrant to conduct the service. Funeral celebrants are qualified to arrange and officiate civil funeral services. They will often support a family as funeral arrangements are being made to ensure the order of service is a personal and meaningful experience. Most civil celebrants work independently and will charge a fee for their services. You can find out more about the role of a funeral celebrant in a recent blog.
What does a civil funeral include?
The aim of a civil funeral is to create a commemorative tribute to the person who has died. The service is typically driven by the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their family. Civil funerals are flexible in their approach, and whilst certain formats work well for most funerals, you are able to personalise the service in any way you wish.
Civil funerals can include music, singing, readings, poems and prayers. They can be non-religious, semi-religious, or incorporate some religious or spiritual elements (such as hymns or prayers). If funeral attendees will be comprised of people of different faiths and beliefs, adding moments of silence in to a civil funeral can provide space for reflection or prayer.
How do I arrange a civil funeral?
Civil funerals are arranged in a similar way to faith funerals. The first step to is to reach out to your chosen funeral director, who will arrange an appointment with you to begin making funeral arrangements. If you would like a funeral celebrant to conduct the service then your funeral director will also be able to provide you with a list of local celebrants, or instruct one on your behalf. Take your time to choose music, poems or readings, and ask your funeral director or celebrant for support should you need it.