Civil Funeral Ceremonies
A civil funeral is a dignified and formal ceremony, predominantly (but not exclusively) non-religious, suitable for cremations and burials alike. It is an appropriate and meaningful ceremony that celebrates the life of the deceased. A civil funeral can take place at any suitable venue, in agreement with the celebrant – e.g. crematorium, non-religious burial ground.
A civil ceremony will be tailored to reflect the wishes of the family and is focused on celebrating the life of the deceased. The person who conducts the ceremony is called a celebrant and will have been trained fully to a professional level.
A civil ceremony gives you the freedom to make choices about the style and content of the Ceremony. You can choose from a variety of readings and include special pieces of special meaning or significance, but you can also include items with religious references if you wish. Your celebrant will advise you fully about all of your options and how the service can be presented. You may also want to include other family members or friends in the Ceremony or specific music that you feel is suitable. The Ceremony will be a totally unique, a tribute and celebration of your child's life.
The celebrant will usually be found through your funeral director or local Register Office, however there are also professional bodies mentioned below where you will also be able to search for a local celebrant. The celebrant will normally contact you directly and arrange a convenient time to meet with you and your family. When meeting the bereaved family, the celebrant will explain what is involved and what options are available. During this discussion the family will be asked for as much information as possible about your child.
The celebrant will help you to decide how to arrange and present your choices to create a ceremony which reflects the personality of the deceased and the wishes of the family. This will include a tribute to your child (produced from the information you have provided), which recounts and celebrates their life and personality.
Association of Independent Celebrants
The AOIC was founded to provide a network of professional, highly trained and reliable Celebrants. It is an organisation that gives its members the chance to join together and support one other, receive recognition from other professions and a "group voice" to lobby in political campaigns. Above all, the AOIC encourages its members to operate under their own right and with their own individuality.
Focusing on everything that made them unique, the service allows friends and relatives to celebrate the life of the person they have just lost. Sometimes a person's life or beliefs illustrate the fact that they may feel it more appropriate to have their service created by an Independent Celebrant, rather than one based on dogma or religion. There are no "set rules" for these "Celebrations of Life" services. The Celebrant together with family, friends and participants will create exactly the service you want.
The benefit of using a member of the Association of Independent Celebrants is that we have well trained people from many different backgrounds, experts in creating non religious, semi religious, new age or holistic funeral services.
Institute of Civil Funerals
The IOCF train and represent Civil Celebrants who strive to offer a Funeral that's driven by the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their family, not by the belief or ideology of the person conducting the funeral. Civil Celebrants are happy to include a religious or spiritual dimension in a funeral service, if it would be appropriate.