Religious and non-religious


There are a range of choices available about when a service is conducted, where it takes place and who composes and conducts the ceremony. Traditionally, a funeral service takes place immediately before cremation or burial, but increasingly people are choosing to have the service at a different time. For example, you may choose to have a memorial service (which could take place before or after the burial or cremation).

When deciding about who will lead the ceremony your choice will depend on the person who has died and their personal, religious and spiritual beliefs in life. As part of the funeral planning process, we will first ask you whether you would like to use a professional celebrant, or whether you would like to conduct the ceremony yourself.

If you would like to use a professional celebrant then there are a wide range of celebrants available. You may prefer a church minister, a humanist officiant or a civil celebrant – which would be influenced by whether you would like a religious, non-religious or semi-religious service. There are a wide range of celebrants and we work hard to try to introduce you to a celebrant with whom you will be able to establish an easy rapport.

Celebrants and Ministers may have varying costs but we will be sure to advise you of these when you tell us your preference.

Once chosen the Minister or Celebrant will meet with you to understand the individual story. It is here that you can discuss poems, readings and prayers to create the most fitting tribute.

It is important that you make your wishes known. The person you choose to work with may have a set way of structuring a service, but if you want something different that is OK. The sharing of memories of a loved one is very personal and we will work with you in order to ensure that the individual is reflected just as you wish.

Below, we have set out some information about celebrants but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss this further.

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Religious Ceremonies


If the person who has died was religious, they may have left wishes that their local religious officiate conduct their funeral. The officiate may be willing to hold the service at another location (eg a natural burial ground or cremetorium).

You may have preferred prayers, readings or hymns, but if you are not sure, the officiate will provide guidance when you meet.

If it is your preference to have a religious service for your loved one, you can liaise with the officiate personally, as much or as little, as you wish. If you would prefer Full Circle Funerals to liaise, please advise us of this and we will do so and keep you informed.

Humanist Officiant


Humanist ceremonies offer a very personal way to say goodbye and to remember the person who has died without any religious content. It is all about celebrating the individual and the connections made throughout their life and focussing on the life they have lived. The individual does not need to have been a practicing humanist in life, in order to have a humanist funeral.

There are some humanist officiants who will allow a prayer or religious reading to be spoken in the ceremony; however, they will require someone else to read. Non-religious poems, readings and music are welcomed in the ceremony and family and friends are offered the option to speak.

Civil Celebrant


Civil services tend to sit between a religious service and a humanist ceremony and most civil celebrants will capture the personality and experiences of the individual as well as including some religious content as required.

Music, hymns, prayers or readings can be incorporated and family and friends are welcome to participate in the ceremony. The most important part of the ceremony is the tribute to the person who has died and this may include recounting life experiences, memories and personal anecdotes.

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Family or friend


You do not have to have a Minister or celebrant leading the service. You, family members or friends could oversee the ceremony. This is a way to create a very personal service, but should be carefully thought about as some speakers may find this difficult on the day.

Full Circle Celebrant


Here at Full Circle Funerals, we have a civil celebrant available within the team. David has completed a celebrants’ training course and can deliver services to commemorate your loved ones.

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