When a loved one dies, it can be challenging to know how to honor their life without religious traditions. A non-religious funeral is a perfect way to celebrate the life of someone who didn’t practice any formal religion.
When someone dies who did not practice any specific religion, or when the deceased had been an Atheist or a Humanist, their family may choose to hold a non-religious funeral. This type of funeral service does not follow any historical guidelines or traditions, and the format is usually dictated by the wishes of the deceased person or their family. This article will guide holding a non-religious funeral and some tips on conducting one.
A non-religious funeral service can be conducted in many different ways, depending on the wishes of the deceased or their family.
Here are a few tips on how to plan and execute a non-religious funeral:
- Choose a venue that is special to the deceased or their family. This could be a favorite park, beach, or even their own home. Choosing the right venue is essential as it will help set the tone for the service. If you have the service at a funeral home, you may want to ask about their policy on religious iconography. Some funeral homes are happy to accommodate non-religious funerals, but others may have strict guidelines.
- Planning a non-religious funeral service can be a daunting task, but it is essential to remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of resources available to help you plan the perfect service for your loved one.
- The most crucial thing to remember is that a non-religious funeral service should be a celebration of life. It should be a time for family and friends to come together and remember the good times. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so be sure to do what feels suitable for you and your loved ones.
- Ask close friends and family members to share memories and stories about the deceased during the service. No one will refuse to do this, and it can be very comforting to grieving people. Close friends and family should also be asked to do readings during the service. If the deceased was an avid reader, ask someone to read one of their favorite passages. Doing what the dead may have liked to do is an excellent way to pay tribute.
- Play music unique to the deceased or has significant meaning to their loved ones. Another essential thing to consider when planning a non-religious funeral is the music. What type of music did the deceased like? What kind of music would they want to be played at their funeral? These are tough questions to answer, but they’re important nonetheless. Choose songs that will comfort those grieving and honor the deceased’s life. Music also helps set the tone of the service, so be sure to choose wisely.
- Consider creating a photo collage or memory table with pictures and mementos of the deceased. Photos are a great way to remember the dead, and they can be exceptionally comforting for grieving family and friends. Creating a photo collage or memory table is a great way to display these photos, and it also gives people something to look at during the service. It also gives people a way to interact with one another and share memories of the deceased.
- Finally, don’t forget to plan for refreshments after the service. This is a time for people to gather together, share stories, and support. Offer light snacks and drinks so that people can stay as long as they’d like.
What Do You Wear to a Non-religious Funeral?
Clothes to wear during a funeral are dictated by the culture, religion, and personal choice of the deceased and their family. There are no specific guidelines for what to wear to a non-religious funeral. However, it is generally accepted that dark clothing is appropriate.
When attending a funeral, you may have noticed that everyone is dressed in dark clothing. Black has been the traditional color of mourning for centuries. It is a sign of respect and solemnity.
Wearing black to a funeral is also supporting the grieving family. By wearing black, you say that you share in their sorrow and grief. So, if you are attending a non-religious funeral, it is appropriate to wear black clothing. Black clothing also has the added benefit of being inconspicuous.
What if I don’t have any black clothes? If you do not own any black clothing, don’t worry. You can wear dark-colored clothing that is muted in tone. Navy blue, dark gray, and brown are appropriate colors to wear to a non-religious funeral.
What about white clothing? Wearing white to a funeral is generally not considered appropriate, as it is seen as a symbol of joy and celebration. If you are unsure what color to wear, err on the side of caution and choose something dark in color.
Can I wear jeans? It is generally considered appropriate to dress in excellent, clean clothing that is comfortable enough to sit in for an extended period. That said, jeans are acceptable as long as they are not ripped or overly casual.
What Do You Say at a Non-religious Funeral?
Words an individual might say at a non-religious funeral differ from what is displayed at a religious funeral. There are no scripture readings or hymns that must be included, so the eulogy becomes more critical. The praise should be personal and reflect the deceased’s life as lived, rather than focus on an afterlife.
Some thoughts and words that could be shared about the deceased during a eulogy might be:
- What kind of person were they?
- What were their hobbies and interests?
- What made them laugh
- Anecdotes or stories about them
- How they will be missed.
These are only suggestions, and the eulogy should be tailored to the deceased and their loved ones. After the tribute, there may be a period of silence for people to reflect on the dead’s life. This is followed by closing remarks from the officiant or a family member. The closing remarks should offer comfort to those who are grieving and emphasize how the life of the deceased made an impact on those who knew them.
Non-religious funerals provide an opportunity to focus on the deceased’s life and how they lived rather than on the afterlife. By including personal thoughts and stories in the eulogy, loved ones can create a meaningful tribute that celebrates the life of their lost loved ones.
A non-religious funeral does not have to be sad or depressing. It can be a celebration of life that allows friends and family to share memories, support one another, and honor the deceased personally and uniquely. What matters most is how the deceased lived their life and how they will be remembered by those who knew them.