If someone close to you has died and they didn't believe in God, you may be wondering how you should plan their funeral. Because the majority of the world's religions will have funeral traditions, it is much easier to plan the funeral for a person of faith. While you should obviously avoid anything religious being included during the funeral of a loved one who was an atheist, you will still want to make sure that everyone who attends the funeral is comfortable and has the chance to pay their respects to the deceased. Below is a guide to three things you should consider when planning an atheist funeral.
Make the funeral a celebration of life
The majority of world religions have a focus on the afterlife and the meaning of life after death. This fact can cause problems at an atheist funeral because you will not be able to fall back on the idea that the person has gone to a better place. At the same time, you do not want to say that the person is gone forever and their body is now just biological matter which will be eaten by worms. You can strike a happy balance by making the focus of the funeral the deceased person's life. At the funeral service, you should focus on the things they accomplished during their life, and celebrate the love they shared with others.
Read poetry and sing popular songs
Although you will want readings at the funeral service, it is important that you avoid readings from any form of holy scripture or religious hymns. Instead, you should replace these with readings from secular poems or non-religious quotes which deal with life, the passage of time, family and love. These readings will be able to inspire and comfort both religious and non-religious people who are grieving.
Resist the urge to insert your own opinions
If you are a religious person, you may be tempted to add some of your own beliefs about God or the afterlife into the funeral service. While your intentions may be positive, it is important to understand how upsetting this could be for other people who would feel you have disrespected the deceased. For example, you should not question the fact that the deceased did not believe in God. You should also try to discourage others from talking about religion during and after the funeral service.
If you would like further advice about organising an atheist funeral, you should contact a funeral home today.