The funeral ceremony is related to a person’s religious beliefs and faith. These things decide the common motivations performed at the funeral ceremony, like mourning the dead, celebrating the deceased person’s life, offering sympathy and support to bereaved family members, and several other customs.
The big question is, what do you do if the deceased person was an Atheist? Here are some essential things you should know about an Atheist Funeral Ceremony.
The Atheist Funeral Format
Non-religious people do not follow any religious funeral proceedings or traditions. However, the general format followed for the funeral ceremony remains the same.
Opening Statements – the funeral ceremony starts with a welcome speech to thank the people who have gathered for the funeral ceremony and briefly mention the reason for the gathering. The speaker welcomes guests and mentions the name of the deceased person in the opening statements.
Anecdotes and Stories by Family Members and Friends – the next step involves family members and friends sharing anecdotes and stories about the deceased persons. These are particularly mentioned to remember the deceased person and his/her good qualities. Gary Cubeta from Insurance for Final Expense says some family members might also participate in atheist funeral readings like reading out famous poems that focus on life and death.
Funeral Speech– Also known as Eulogy, the Atheist Funeral Ceremony also includes funeral speeches by guests where people speak something about the deceased person and his/her life. The speech might also mention the vital place the deceased person had in their life. It is an honor for anyone to give a funeral speech at the funeral ceremony.
Moment of Silence – the moment of silence is a gesture of respect to the deceased person. It is part of the atheist funeral ceremony where guests remove their hats, bow their heads and do not speak or move during a few minutes of silence.
Music and Readings– Gary Cubeta from Insurance for Final Expense mentions the atheist funeral readings are intended to provide comfort to mourners that generally include family and friends. These readings allow the mourner to remember the deceased person, and it may also help brighten the mood of the mourners.
The music played at the Atheist Funeral ceremony could be any healing music without any religious verses or connection. Healing music helps the family and friends of the deceased person to go through the grieving process. The music played at the funeral ceremony touches the soul in a manner that cannot be explained in words.
Attire Wore at Atheist Funeral Ceremony.
There are no set rules of what to wear at non-religious funeral ceremonies. Most people wear dark colors at the funeral ceremony as they seem more appropriate on such occasions. If the bereaving family has mentioned any dress code for guests at the funeral ceremony, you need to follow that.
Where Is an Atheist Funeral Ceremony Conducted?
A lot depends on the wishes or desires expressed by the deceased person when he/she was alive. It is common for people to express their desires about how their funeral ceremony should be conducted to their family members. The location of the Atheist Funeral Ceremony could be a family or friends home, a community center, or any place selected by the deceased person’s family.
Since religious rituals do not guide the Atheist Funeral ceremony, the deceased person’s family could choose a funeral, casket, or donate the body. A lot depends on the wishes expressed by the deceased person while he was alive.
What Kind of Gifts Are Given in an Atheist Funeral Ceremony?
There is no specific rule about the kind of items gifted to mourning families during the Atheist Funeral ceremony. It would help if you considered the wishes or notes of the deceased person’s family while purchasing a gift. For such occasions, there are several gift ideas like a simple sympathy card with a short poem or a message.
Gifting traditional flowers is also a good idea. Some also give charities or small donations that help the deceased person’s family meet the funeral ceremony expenses. If the family has mentioned not to give any gifts, you can send a thoughtful card after a week as a sympathy gesture. The suffering and pain of losing a family member last for weeks, so much a comforting gesture is always appreciated.
To sum up, the atheist funeral ceremony is not very different in procedure/events than a religious funeral ceremony. The only difference is the funeral ceremony of the atheist could be a sad event or a joyful occasion celebrating the life and memories of the deceased person.