Humanist funeral costs: why choose a humanist funeral?
If your loved one was not religious, or if you would prefer to celebrate their life without the sombre mood and traditional feel of many religious funerals, a humanist funeral is ideal for you.
Although some people may be sceptical about holding a non-religious service, a humanist funeral is a beautiful and meaningful way to say goodbye to a loved one without any religious ceremony, which may be unnecessary if the deceased did not practice in life. A humanist funeral is also more inclusive for friends and relatives of the deceased with different faiths.
Due to the highly flexible and personalised nature of a humanist funeral it is almost impossible to provide a guideline to expenditure. A humanist funeral can be as cost-effective or as expensive as you choose, to suit both your personal situation and the nature of the deceased.
Whether they would have preferred a quiet, personal ceremony or large event with all the traditional funeral elements, the content and therefore the cost of a humanist funeral is entirely up to you.
Humanist funeral costs: hiring a celebrant
Once you have decided that a humanist funeral is the right thing for the deceased, the first thing you need to do is hire a humanist celebrant. The cost of this is much the same as hiring any other religious ceremony provider – between £150 and £300. This is open to discussion, however, and you should feel free to talk about price with the celebrant of your choice.
You can also discuss the fees of your celebrant with your funeral director when planning the ceremony. They will be able to recommend local celebrants for you to meet and discuss the funeral costs with, as well as any other questions you might have.
Humanist funeral costs: including religious elements
There are many reasons why you might wish to include religious elements in a predominantly humanist funeral ceremony. If this is your intention, however, you must ensure that your celebrant is comfortable doing so.
Although there is no worship and no prayer in a humanist funeral, some celebrants may allow you incorporate technically religious content that had a personal significance to the deceased, such as a hymn that they loved when they were alive, in a secular context.
Nevertheless as humanism is an atheist/agnostic movement, many humanist funeral celebrants will not in principle incorporate any religious elements into the funeral at all, so clarify this before committing to a particular celebrant.
Humanist funeral costs: location
The costs of a humanist funeral will also depend on exactly where the funeral is held. Many humanist celebrants hold funerals in cemeteries or crematoriums, as with typical funeral ceremonies.
However, due to the humanist emphasis on science and nature as opposed to religious ideas about an afterlife, eco funerals are very popular. These are often less expensive than traditional funerals due to the relative affordability of an eco coffin or cremation in comparison to a hardwood coffin, gravestone or tomb. Leasing a plot is also less expensive.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is clear that the cost of a humanist funeral is highly subjective. It can however be a very cost effective way of celebrating your loved one’s life, and your funeral director will be only too happy to advise.