Secular Funeral – Humanistic Farewell Ceremony

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A secular (non-religious) funeral is a farewell ceremony for a deceased person who did not have much in common with the church during his lifetime or religion did not play a significant role in his life. In this case, the deceased may be buried, in accordance with his wishes, in a secular rite. In most of places, despite the fact that the deceased has expressed the will to have an irreligious burial, his family still organizes ceremonies with the priest in fear of sending the deceased without God’s blessing. Until recently, non-religious funerals were available only to wealthy and famous people, today they are becoming more common.


Secular funerals are more often organized in large, highly urbanized cities, where there is a greater demand for this type of farewell to the deceased, reaching almost 20% of all burials. In small countries and towns, unfortunately, they are much less popular, the deceased’s requests are often overlooked, and under the pressure of small local communities, farewell takes place through a religious ceremony.

What Is The Secular Funeral?

Instead of religious values, the humanistic funeral attaches more importance to moral aspects regarding human life, role and death. Secular funerals give much greater freedom than in the case of religious burials. Instead of the priest, the master of ceremonies leads the farewell to the deceased. The whole ceremony does not take place in the church but in the chapel of the funeral home, after which the deceased is taken to the cemetery. There he is hidden in a grave without a cross. Also, the music accompanying the secular ceremony is not church, organ, but more secular – if the deceased expressed a wish, what music should accompany the funeral, this is also taken into account.

A characteristic feature of the humanistic funeral is the memory of the deceased, reflections on his life instead of traditional sermons and sacred considerations. This feature was taken from secular ceremonies for religious funerals, in which not every priest agrees to this form of saying goodbye to the deceased in order to add a few words about the deceased to the entire rite. This increases the popularity of secular burials, in which the master of ceremonies first talks with the relatives of the deceased about the deceased himself, in order to give a speech about the deceased at the funeral ceremony – what kind of man he was, how he lived, what he brought to the life of his relatives, and how he died. Sometimes there is a possibility of reciting a poem or fragment particularly close to the deceased who played a big role in his life. By summarizing the life of the deceased,

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