I wrote last week about my cousin Ian dying at the tragically young age of 44. Yesterday I attended Ian’s funeral. His parents had told us that it would be a humanist service. As an atheist I am of course completely biased in these matters. What a relief it was that the sadness of events was not compounded by the half-hearted droning of some hymns written in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Instead a few of Ian’s favourite songs were played, amongst them Lou Reed’s Perfect Day and Bryan Ferry’s Let’s Stick Together. There was of course no minister or priest but a Humanist celebrant who had with Ian’s parents’ help, prepared a tribute to him which the celebrant presented in a very compassionate and poignant way. The bright modern surroundings of the South Lanarkshire Crematorium at Blantyre, ironically the birthplace of Scotland’s most famous Christian missionary, perhaps lifted the mood of those who attended at least a little bit.
The Humanist Society website says:
‘Humanism is an ethical way of life that comes from within all of us, which extends to all people, irrespective of their chosen life styles or personal decisions and views, that most fundamental of welcomes which assures them of fairness, compassion and tolerance.
There is today, more than ever, a call for non-religious ceremonies. Funerals, weddings (now legal of course) and naming ceremonies now number in their thousands. The personal and caring approach our nationwide team of Celebrants offers a fresh and very much appreciated service and is of great support to families to help them in their grief and indeed celebration!’
Amen to that.
The Humanist Society of Scotland site is HERE