Humanist Funerals: The Rise in Popularity

Humanist funerals are replacing the tradition and ceremony of religious funerals with a focus on a life well lived, rather than a person’s faith.

More people than ever before now identify as non-religious. The faith-based aspect of religious funerals has fallen out of favor, resulting in an 80% decline in traditional religious funerals in the five years leading up to 2019.

humanist funerals

Consequently, Humanist Funerals, Direct Cremations and Celebrations of Life have all grown in popularity. Such services can be tailored to the individual via their funeral plan to ensure it reflects their final wishes, while also providing a source of comfort and a way for loved ones to navigate grief and loss.

The main focus of humanist funerals is the life of the departed loved one. The eulogies or tributes will dominate the service, and consist of anecdotes and information provided by family and friends, read out either by them or a humanist celebrant.

Humanist funerals can take place anywhere, although many are still typically held in crematoria and cemeteries. They may mirror a religious funeral in structure by including readings, music and eulogies but without reference to any particular faith or deity. 

Readings might include a poem or a passage from the loved one’s favorite book, and their favorite song could replace the hymns. Many people also request that family and friends wear colorful clothing to their humanist funeral, rather than the traditional black and somber dress code. 

Such details can be recorded in a funeral plan, which allows you to organise and pay for your funeral in advance. It gives you peace of mind that you will get the farewell you want at a price you can afford, and eases the financial and emotional burden on those you leave behind.


Whether you’d like a humanist funeral or a religious service, Capital Life can help you personalise your funeral through one of their comprehensive range of funeral plans. For more information or to see which plan suits your best, call one of our helpful advisors on 0800 411 8688 or contact us.