A Guide to Planning a Secular Funeral Service

If your loved one wished for a secular funeral, you may have questions around what this means, what is included in a secular funeral service or how you can make the ceremony as special as they were. This is our guide to understanding secular funerals and some ideas to help inspire you to plan a unique, thoughtful ceremony.

What is a secular funeral?

The word ‘secular’ is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as ‘not having any connection with religion’. If your loved one asked for a secular funeral service, this simply means they don’t want mention of religion in their ceremony. The service does not need to include any scripture readings or hymns or take place in a church or other religious building. Instead, there is the opportunity to share special memories, music, poems and readings, which make the ceremony completely centred around your loved one.

A secular funeral can take place anywhere and be conducted by anyone too. As there are so many options to choose from when organising a non-religious ceremony, we would recommend talking to a local funeral director about all your ideas, so they can help to arrange this for you. To search for local funeral directors in your area, click here.

Ideas for planning a secular funeral service:

With countless opportunities to personalise a secular funeral for your loved one, it can be hard to know where to begin with planning some ideas. We have collated some inspiration below for music, readings and poems which could be included in a non-religious ceremony. However, we encourage you to think about the person you have lost and what they loved, such as their favourite song or poem, to make sure the service you are planning is meaningful to them.

Secular Funeral Music

Songs have a unique way of evoking a certain time in our lives, or memories with loved ones. Choosing a song which has fond memories of your loved one attached to it is a wonderful way to celebrate their life at a funeral. Some popular choices of songs for secular funeral music include:

Secular Funeral Readings

An extract from your loved one’s favourite book is another wonderful way to celebrate them when you are struggling to find the words to say yourself. These are some examples of excerpts from novels which you may find poignant to read during the service.

Secular Funeral Poems

Similarly to readings from novels, poems can help you to put into words the complex emotions that come with losing someone. You could of course write your own, or read one of your loved one’s favourite poems. If you are struggling to know where to begin with finding a suitable poem, these are some of our recommendations.

 

Are you planning a secular funeral and looking for the support of a funeral director local to you? Our free search tool allows you to compare prices and contact funeral directors easily. For more advice on organising a ceremony, you can  find more useful insights on funeral planning here.

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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