Secular Funeral Services
Many modern funeral rites are steeped in the cultural and religious traditions of their ancestors. But, there is a growing population of secular or atheist people in America. Because of this, a funerary service for a secular individual may be different from what you might expect going into the service.
A Tribute to Their Life
Since atheists do not believe in a god or the afterlife, there is much more of an emphasis on the life of the deceased. Eulogies are focused on fond memories, and loved ones the deceased left behind. These tributes are done with respect, without using religious phrasing or references to gods or the afterlife. While there are no religious rites given, someone may read a poem or a favorite quote.
Avoid Platitudes about the Afterlife
Words of comfort at a funeral are often centered around niceties such as “he’s in a better place.” Because secular individuals do not believe in the afterlife, such platitudes should be avoided. While they will probably be taken as intended, it is best to not use such terms. Instead, phrases like “they will be missed” is a safer phrase to go with.
Like most funerals, secular services are held so that friends and family can mourn together, and receive closure about the loss of a loved one. Where some religious services focus on the afterlife and passing on to a better place, atheist services serve as a way for families to come together and appreciate the life that the deceased lived.
Families of the deceased may prepare memorial services or a repast after the burial services. Generally, this depends on the cultural traditions of the family. During this time of loss, it is best to show support to the family of the deceased through memorial charitable donations, flower arrangements, or meal preparation.
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.