Reflecting the secularisation of our society, civil funerals were first introduced in 2002.
A civil funeral is one that reflects the beliefs and values of the deceased rather than of the minister, officiant or celebrant.
The ceremony is a dignified tribute and a highly personal memoir, created by the civil celebrant in consultation with the bereaved family.
The celebrant works closely with the funeral director appointed by the family, and maintains personal involvement with the family from the initial meeting through to creating and then leading the ceremony.
If you want a civil ceremony, you should tell the funeral director who might otherwise suggest a religious or humanist funeral which might not fit with your beliefs.
The choice of ceremony will be influenced by religious and cultural traditions, by personal preference, and by the wishes the deceased may have made.
Civil celebrants encourage people to engage with them before their funerals so that they understand better the unique qualities of the funeral ceremony that best match the life, values and beliefs of the individual.
My Last Song encourages planning ahead. So if you think a civil ceremony will be the most fitting for you, or a loved one, make an appointment with a civil celebrant by visiting their website.
Consider a civil funeral if you want an element of religion or spirituality, but do not consider yourself religious or have any religious beliefs.
Unlike humanist officiants, civil celebrants will accept that a hymn or a prayer can be part of a secular, or civil, ceremony. And, like a humanist funeral, a civil funeral will include a period of quiet reflection for those of faith to say a silent farewell prayer.