Having a Spiritual Funeral for Non-Believers
There is a large percentage of the population who do not believe in God or organized religion. It is difficult to estimate what this number of people is, but estimates range from five to 45 percent of the population worldwide. So, what happens when you want to have a funeral without a clergy-person?
First decide what you want
The first thing to decide is whether you want a traditional or more nontraditional service. And in making this decision, you should certainly consider what the deceased would have wanted. Most funeral homes will allow anyone to conduct a funeral, but this is not true everywhere, so it is a good idea to ask if there are any rules that apply to the person conducting the service, whether it is inside or outside at a graveside.
Finding a clergy-person
The funeral home may be able to help you find a clergy-person if you want someone from one of the major religions. Or you may have to call around, yourself (or assign that task to a friend). However, if you don’t want a person like this, then anyone can conduct a service, and, really, the only requirement is that the person is comfortable with public speaking.
It is also possible to ask a clergy-person if he/she would make their address more spiritual and less specific to one religion. Many clergy-persons are willing to do that. You can also approach someone who is affiliated with a specific church that is known for being inclusive and modern.
What is in a nontraditional funeral?
If you don’t want any scripture read or hymns sung, then perhaps someone could read some poetry or even letters written by the deceased. Designated individuals can tell stories or make short speeches. Someone can sing or play a musical instrument with any kind of music, not just typical church music.
Organization is key
The main take-away here is that even if the funeral is nontraditional, it is helpful if you are organized in what is going to happen and what you want to cover. Plan ahead who will speak and what will happen with music.
Another way to have a nontraditional, spiritual funeral would be to forego having any kind of service, and just wait to have a “Celebration of Life” at a later date. What you choose is entirely up to you.
If you have questions about funeral services in British Columbia, please feel free to call us at (604) 463-8121 in Vancouver.
Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, provides has been providing compassionate funeral services on the Lower Mainland for over 60 years. We have deep roots in the community and take great pride in caring ethics and exemplary service. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about funeral services, please call us at (604) 463-8121.