Civil funerals

Civil funerals

A civil funeral gives you the opportunity to celebrate the life of your loved one by creating a personalised and dignified ceremony which reflects the individual wishes of the deceased and their family.

Where can the ceremony be held?

A civil funeral can be held almost anywhere you wish and is appropriate for:

  • cremations
  • burials at non-religious burial grounds
  • woodland burial sites

How is the ceremony created?

Your celebrant will help you create a dignified and meaningful ceremony incorporating your wishes and requirements. You may wish to include music, readings or poetry which have a special significance to you and your family and which reflect the life of your loved one. It is most important that your ceremony meets your expectations. You will have the opportunity to check and amend the content before the ceremony takes place.

Types of funeral ceremonyVenn diagram of types of funerals

Religious service: taken by a member of clergy from a particular faith. Such services normally follow the accepted liturgy of the faith in question.

Civil funeral ceremony: prepared and presented by a professional civil funeral celebrant. These ceremonies reflect the exact needs of the bereaved family and can include hymns and prayers if required.

Humanist funeral: taken by an officiant of the British Humanist Association. Such funerals are entirely secular and will not include hymns or prayers.

How can I arrange a civil funeral ceremony?

For further information or to arrange a civil funeral, contact The Institute of Civil Funerals:

Last updated: 29 November 2019