Funerals

We'll help you though this difficult time

Death may be inevitable, but for those left behind saying goodbye is naturally a distressing experience, no matter what the circumstances.

Humanist funerals acknowledge this in a respectful and sensitive way. We believe that every life is unique and therefore a funeral ceremony should reflect that individuality.

In this way a Humanist funeral can be properly called a celebration of a life that was and the lasting impact that person had on those around them.

While every ceremony is different as everyone has their own story, it will often follow the format below.

  • Entry music
  • Introduction and welcome
  • Reflections on life and death
  • Tribute to deceased
  • Period of reflection
  • Committal
  • Closing words
  • Retiral music

Our Celebrants are there to guide you through the entire process. It’s important to them that they spend time with you and your family to get to know the life and character of the deceased. They can also advise on music and other content.

"Nature’s law is that all things must change and pass away, so that in time, other things may come to be…” Marcus Aurelius

This personal approach ensures that your loved one will be given the warm, sincere and above all uplifting ceremony that they deserve. Many families have told us that they derived comfort not only from the ceremony itself, but from the initial meeting, when they were able to revisit old memories and relive some of the good times.

The formal stuff

What you need to know before the ceremony

All CHA Celebrants are trained, regulated, insured and agree to adhere to a code of conduct.

This ensures that your experience will be of the high standard required by you and by us as a professional organisation.

In most cases when you contact a Funeral Director they will have the contact details of their local CHA Celebrant(s) and will make arrangements with them on your behalf.

If you want to contact a CHA Celebrant directly, please feel free to do so and they will be happy to help or guide you in the right direction.

We are very much aware and sensitive to the fact that all who attend are united in a desire to pay their respects to a loved one.

In keeping with the Humanist ethos, a CHA funeral doesn’t include any acts of religious worship. By that we mean a CHA Celebrant won't ask you to bow your head in prayer or stand to sing a hymn. At the same time, as a CHA funeral is concerned only with the life of the deceased it’s inclusive of all faiths and none.

If it’s important to you that a ceremony has an act of worship then it's far more appropriate for the ceremony to be conducted by a Celebrant of a religious body who shares those beliefs. As such we strongly recommend that you (or your Funeral Director) contact your local Minister or Priest who will be happy to assist. In this way, you will be assured the ceremony will be conducted by a religious Celebrant who is sincere in their belief.

If for whatever reason a Humanist or religious ceremony is not appropriate you may wish to consider an Interfaith or Civil Celebrant who is part of a reputable organisation.

We understand that when you are organising a funeral, you only get one chance to get it right and you are putting your trust in the Celebrant to ensure that this is the case.

Sadly, many individuals who offer their services as “Celebrants” to Funeral Directors are not members of any organisation. They are not trained, regulated nor insured and unfortunately on many occasions we have had to step in to assist bereaved families who have had distressing experiences as a result.

So our advice is - don’t be shy in checking up on any ‘Celebrant’ that is offered to you by your local funeral director. If they are a member of a reputable organisation then their details should be easily accessible online.

While we do not promote or endorse any particular internet search engine, it’s fair to say that “Google is your friend!”

Fees

Unlike religious celebrants, we do not receive a salary, so our fees cover the time and skill needed to gather the information, to compose a fitting tribute to the deceased and to deliver it in a professional, warm manner on the day.

2016: In the region of £175 for a ceremony in the Celebrants local area. If excess travel is incurred i.e. more than 50 miles in total then travel will be charged at 50p per mile.

Your Celebrant will be happy to confirm their fee in advance.

Create a lasting legacy

We are funded entirely by our Celebrants. Our aim is to keep administration costs to an absolute minimum so at the end of each financial year any surplus funds can be donated to good causes.

Details of these donations will be published on our website and on our Facebook page. By choosing a CHA Celebrant to conduct the funeral of your loved one, you are actively contributing to our promise to make a difference to the lives of others. We hope this brings you some small measure of comfort at a difficult time.

Get started

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has produced a booklet which is is full of practical advice and has links to many other sources of useful information. To open it, click on this link - When someone has died

Funerals are often arranged with a notice period of only a few days, perhaps a week at most. Usually your Funeral Director will call us but please feel free to contact one of our Celebrants directly.

One last but important point – you should ask that the Celebrant of your choice is contacted before the date and time of the ceremony is finalised to ensure that you are able to secure their services.

Contact us