Religious Funerals vs Humanist Funerals vs Civil Funerals: Which One Should You Choose?


Most people don’t want to give much thought to their funeral, or the funeral of anyone they are close to, but planning ahead of time has so many benefits that it really is worth doing.

Aside from the fact that you’ll be able to save on price changes — and you’ll be able to pick your own music and location to either be buried or have your ashes scattered — planning ahead will give you and your loved ones peace of mind when the time comes. This allows you or them to go peacefully in the knowledge that everything has been sorted out.

When the time comes to plan your funeral, you’ll need to decide whether you would like a religious funeral, a humanist funeral, or a more simple civil funeral. Deciding this can actually be a really tough thing to do, and it’s always suggested that you employ the help of a professional funeral planner like Exit Here, who can answer your questions and help you communicate your wishes effectively.

Religious Funerals vs Humanist Funerals vs Civil Funerals

Religious Funerals

There are hundreds of religions that are recognized when it comes to funerals, but to help you become familiar, the main religious groups are:

  • Christian
  • Jewish
  • Hindu
  • Sikh
  • Islamic
  • Buddhist

Most religious groups will have their own services and methods of send-off for its members, and in many cases, you will need to have been part of the following or congregation before you have your funeral overseen by the officiant who may perform funerals.

Many religious funerals are followed later by a more secular memorial for those who don’t feel comfortable joining in a religious service, but this is by no means expected.

Humanist Funerals

Humanist funerals are becoming very popular choices with people who may not have a particular religious leaning and would prefer a celebration of life. There are no official orders of service or beliefs in a humanist funeral, and all officiants will be non-judgemental and offer a simple goodbye with no fuss at all.

In recent years, it’s become a really popular idea to have humanist funerals held in areas such as woodlands. Also, specific crematoriums and burial sites have been popping up all over the place to accommodate these types of send-offs.

Civil Funerals

Civil funerals, much like civil weddings, have been a very popular choice for many because they are the perfect balance between religious funerals and non-religious humanist funerals.

Civil funeral celebrants (the officiant who will oversee the funeral) will understand that religion and faith is very popular and that people may believe in various things that don’t particularly fit in with more organized beliefs. Civil services are very client-focused and really work hard to ensure that the beliefs of the deceased person are honored in a way that they wanted to be honored, and with the planning, they had put in place.

Civil funerals remain an incredibly popular choice for many people as they balance spiritual and non-secular beliefs.