Judith Seaman, Vice President of the Spiritualists' National Union, describes a spiritualist funeral.
Spiritualists believe that after the death of the physical body, the soul lives on in the spirit world.
For spiritualists, life is eternal, and life on earth is only part of that eternal journey.
A spiritualist funeral service is a time for remembering and paying tribute to the unique life, values and achievements of the deceased.
It celebrates their life on earth, so that those who remain remember them with joy and thankfulness.
The spiritualist funeral emphasises the continuation of life in another sphere of existence beyond this earthly realm, and that the death of the physical body is merely the shedding of a mortal garment that has served its purpose.
Spiritualist funerals will normally be taken by a spiritualist minister or officiant.
The funeral service does not include what many see as orthodox religious language.
Spiritualist ministers and officiants are willing to take a humanist or other non traditional ceremonies.
Spiritualist funerals, with emphasis on remembering the unique personal qualities of the deceased, have an increasing appeal for those who are spiritual but not religious.
Music and readings are used to create special memories.
There is also a period of silent reflection when the deceased is remembered by those present in their own way. Many people find this a profound experience.
Organising a spiritualist funeral
Find the nearest spiritualist church and minister by visiting the spiritualist’s website. It will also tell you more about Spiritualism.
Spiritualist ministers have good relations with funeral directors in their areas, and will collaborate to ensure the funeral is organised as efficiently as possible, and that the wishes of the deceased and his or her family are fulfilled.
The service may take place in a Spiritualist Church or in the crematorium chapel, or both, and be followed by either a burial or cremation.
A simple, positive service can also take place at the interment of the body or the ashes.
Things to discuss with your Minister
- Who will be the pallbearers?
- Who will do the readings?
- What special readings, music would be appropriate?
- How much are the church fees?
- Are there other fees?
- Should you bring young children?
- What about a headstone to mark the grave?
- Are there rules about what memorials you can choose?
Should there be a gathering afterwards
Spiritualist funerals are normally followed by a reception to continue the positive remembrance of the unique life that has passed from this place into the next.
A memorial event can be arranged several days or weeks, or even a year after the passing, and it gives family, friends and colleagues the opportunity to pay tribute in person when they may be too emotional to do so at the funeral.