A Guide to Non-Religious Funerals

For many funerals, religion was an expected part of any service. However, some families are now opting to move away from the norm of a ‘Religious Funeral’, and instead choosing to focus on remembering their loved one and celebrating their life as an alternative. Don’t worry, the team here at Paul Young Funeral Director respect all wishes whether that’s organising the traditional religious funeral, or an alternative. We have written a guide to non-religious funerals.

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A Guide to Non-Religious Funerals...

Whilst non-religious funerals don’t adhere to any particular traditions or customs, instead allowing family and friends to pay tribute to their loved one without the need of readings from religious texts, hymns or prayers, they actually follow a similar format to the traditional services that we’re all used to attending.

Taking time to reflect on the individual and their life will help you arrange a fitting service that is based on them. It’s common that your loved one left behind formal instructions as part of their will or could have purchased a pre-paid funeral plan, which meant they documented their final wishes.

The Best Alternative Hearses, the horse-driven hearse, such as A Guide to Non-Religious Funerals

However, sometimes it’s common that they didn’t make their wishes known/took out a pre-paid plan, due to sudden death. If that’s the case it’s always best to ask family members or friends if they have any recollections on their beliefs, or interests.

Paul Young Funeral Director, based in Askern, Doncaster has had experience dealing with both traditional religious funerals and non-religious services, which means he will be able to offer advice, suggestions, and help to recommend celebrants.

What type of Funeral do you want?

In this “A guide to non-religious funerals”, we wanted to make you aware that your choice of funeral service will not be limited as it may be with various religions and cultures. Whether you choose a burial or cremation service, Paul Young Funeral Director can cater for any type of funeral and will be there to make all the arrangements on your behalf.


Who can officiate a Non-Religious Funeral?

Unlike the traditional option, you are not limited to who can officiate the service of a loved one. For example, if the family would like to make the funeral more personal, you could ask a family member or friend of the deceased to lead the service.

Venues for a Non-Religious Funeral

Churches or chapels can still be used for a Non-religious funeral, but of course, you’re not limited to just those locations. In fact, it all depends on the type of person the recently deceased was, and a particular venue could reflect them as a person. For example, a community center of where the loved one attended or worked could be an ideal place, or their own home to make the service that little bit more comfortable and relaxed.


Usually, a wake occurs after the funeral, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, some wakes cannot go ahead as planned, but when they do, a non-religious wake can be held at various places, such as social clubs, pubs, sports clubs, or your own home.

However, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been taking to zoom to host virtual wakes. Oh, and as we come out of Lockdown it’s possibly best to book the venues in advance and let guests know where it is being held and the time.  

Non-Religious Funeral Songs

As funeral services become tailored to suit the loved one more than going down the traditional route, many families opt for modern songs to be played during the service, and it can be a very personal choice to make, though there is no right or wrong decision.


Some songs may include the following:


  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
  • My Way – Frank Sinatra
  • Supermarket Flowers – Ed Sheeran
  • In the Arms of an Angel – Sarah McLachlan

View our recent blog on Funeral Songs here.

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