What is a humanist minister? A Humanist Minister remembers the life of the person who has passed away, and celebrates everything they achieved. Humanist minister are becoming a lot more popular as some people don’t wish to have a religious ceremony due to not being very religious themselves. Also the ceremony can seem more personal to the family and friends due to the use of favourite songs and readings from loved ones. The ceremony can take place at a crematorium, a cemetery or at a woodland burial ground.
Humanist ceremony can include
- A non-religious reflection on death
- Readings of poetry and prose
- Reminiscences about the person passed away
- A eulogy
- A talk focussing on the achievements of the dead person, and the meaning of their life.
- Ritual actions
- These might include: Candle lighting, sharing reminiscences with the people alongside you, moments of silence and reflection.
- Formal words of goodbye
It’s likely that some of those attending a humanist funeral will have religious beliefs, and humanist funeral ceremonies usually contain a period of silence and meditation that can be used for private prayer.
On receiving a request to conduct a humanist ceremony a celebrant will visit the family to help them decide exactly how they would like the ceremony to reflect the life of the person concerned. The humanist will then write the tribute and plan the event to ensure that all of the contributions fit smoothly into the whole ceremony.
Write a eulogy
A eulogy is simply a speech about a loved one who has died.
This speech is usually given during a memorial or funeral ceremony. It is often read out by a close friend or member of the family.
Most people have no idea where to start when writing a eulogy so here are prompt/ questions to consider and include in your speech.
- a brief “life history” of the person who has died
- important achievements/ events that they achieved
- details about family, friends, work, and hobbies
- favorite memories of the deceased
- How would the person like to be remembered?
- Who was really close to them?
- What did I really like about them?
- Do I want someone else to give the eulogy on my behalf on the day? –
- Is anyone else planning to speak about the person at the funeral?
- Do we need to avoid saying the same thing twice?
Most eulogies last between 5 and 15 minutes but there are no hard and fast rules here.