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Funeral ceremonies

Humanists accept death as part of the natural order and our funeral ceremonies celebrate the life of the person who has passed away.

A humanist celebrant will spend time with the bereaved family gathering information on the life and personality of the deceased before writing a tribute to the life that was lived.

This will be the centrepiece of the ceremony at which family and friends are invited and encouraged to read personal tributes or choose other readings and secular music.

"Don't you just hate it when a funeral seems to be all God and Jesus and sod all about your good pal? The Humanist Society of Scotland provides people just for this purpose. Called celebrants, they'll whoop up the deceased's life, not mourn it. That's for me."

Reg McKay, Daily Record

Humanist celebrants are aware that amongst those attending the funeral there may be people of faith and respect this. Although prayers and hymns are not part of our ceremonies we usually include a brief period when people can reflect or pray silently if they want to.

Normally when a family engage a funeral director the staff will contact a celebrant on their behalf but they are free to contact the Society themselves, or a known celebrant. Where families ask their funeral director to find a celebrant they should specify that they wish to have one from the Humanist Society Scotland.

HSS also provide advance funeral wishes forms if you are looking ahead to your own funeral.

To find a celebrant for a funeral please click here.

Our fees

The HSS is transparent about the fees charged by our celebrants, which cover the time to arrange the ceremony, a meeting to discuss it, and its preparation, which includes all correspondence and communication, and of course its delivery on the day.

HSS celebrants make no charge for funeral ceremonies for young people under the age of sixteen, or in cases of financial hardship. They also donate 10% of their fee to the society, to support our campaigning on issues of equality and social justice.

Funeral: £145

Extended Funeral: £180

Travel: 55p a mile

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