When you think about a humanist funeral, does the word ‘cold’ spring to mind? For some people, the absence of a religious element can signify a lack of warmth. Herne Hill’s humanist minister, Mark Hayford, disagrees.
A traditional funeral in a place of worship will usually include prayers and hymns. It often follows a set pattern and with familiarity can come solace. If you take away that structure, what’s left to take its place, often at a time of great sorrow or trauma? Where does the warmth come from?