Celebrate a Life

There is a season and a time for every purpose on earth.  Death is part of the natural order, but the sorrow felt by those left behind is inescapable.  That sorrow can often be eased by the sharing of thoughts, feelings and memories.  And a Humanist funeral ceremony offers an opportunity for friends and family to do just that.

Every life is unique and contributes to the life of Man. The loss of someone affects us all in some way. We in the Humanist Association Scotland ensure our ceremonies reflect the individuality of those involved.

Dignified, meaningful, personal and uplifting – our funeral ceremonies are all of these things.  A truly fitting way to celebrate a loved one’s life.

In respecting the rights, thoughts and diversity of the beliefs of all, we offer an opportunity within our ceremonies for private contemplation or silent prayer in a period of reflection.

The structure of the ceremony

We prepare eulogies in close liaison with families and / or friends. Our celebrants will meet with you to discuss the structure of the ceremony, which might include personal tributes or readings by others.

We are proud of our ceremonies and invite you to read some of the testimonials received; see below.

In Loving Memory pages

As on a memorial, the In Loving Memory pages show the names of loved ones there as a permanent record, a reminder of their being a part of the history of this land on which we live.

In Memoriam

In addition to recording of a loved one’s name within our In Loving Memory records; we offer the opportunity for a more comprehensive and permanent memorial page comprising a photograph and extract from the eulogy.

Interment or Scattering of Ashes

The Interment or scattering of Ashes has been with us since the days of the ancient Greeks. History tells us cremation was adopted by the military during overseas campaigns as a way of ensuring a deceased could be repatriated with his loved ones.

In Western Society, it is a more recent concept but one with as similar purpose. It may be the wish of the deceased or their family to have the ashes scattered in a favourite location; or interred in the family grave.

No matter the circumstances it can be quite cathartic to complete this task accompanied by a short and uplifting ceremony which any one of our celebrants (link) would be pleased to assist you with.

Note:  A land owner’s permission may be required for this purpose.

In-life Funeral Ceremony Preparation

When suffering with a terminal illness or simply preparing for one’s demise, it can be important to some to meet and chat everything through with a celebrant in advance. This can provide peace of mind for those involved; knowing their wishes have been noted. And on many occasions the Eulogy is in the main written and approved well in advance; thereby alleviating much of the burden placed on the deceased’s family.


I just wanted to say thank you so much for the preparation you did for Dad’s ceremony and also for the way you conducted it.

So many people came up to me afterwards and said how lovely the service was and a few even said that that was the sort of service they would want at their own funerals. Many who know my Dad very well said that he would have been very proud for his life to have been celebrated in such a way. He would have been absolutely delighted that you made it so easy and straightforward for Bob and myself.

I think you provide a very valuable and sensitive service to people at a time when they are experiencing great distress.


I Wanted to get in touch just to thank you again for your kind words at my dad’s funeral. I have been approached by a number of people who attended that day and commented on your service. One of my Dad’s good friends was delighted in how you managed to capture exactly who he was.
Some of the people that have spoken to me had never been at a Humanist service and were genuinely taken with how personal it was.


Thank you for the beautiful ceremony on Friday.  Many people commented on how good it was, and what a good speaker you are. We all felt that you really understood what Margaret was like.  The whole day became a fitting celebration of a much loved, and very loving woman, and brought together all her friends from all age groups, all over the country and all walks of life.


It suddenly occurred to me after you left our house that you had the awesome responsibility of summing up someone’s life in the space of around 20 minutes – someone you had never even met.  I was desperately worried about whether we had given you enough information – the right information – whether we had done Mum justice – but my fears were unfounded.  I read and re-read the script that you sent me and each time I reached the end I felt like I have gone on a journey.  It just felt so right….