Spirituality in Life and Death

Written by Director, Gareth Coles:

In my last blog, I talked about religious traditions in death, using my own belief system – Roman Catholicism – as an example. Today, I’d like to talk about a growing trend in funerals: Spirituality.

At Coles, we’ve been arranging Humanist Funerals (non-religious) for a number of years now, but at the same time, we’ve noticed a rise in popularity of the Spiritual Funeral (non-specific faith).

Many people we talk to about their own funerals (if they’re pre-arranging), or arranging a service for a family member, are unsure of what they believe. They don’t necessarily attend a formal place of worship on a regular basis, but they don’t want to close the door on life after death.

Generally speaking, spiritual people have one thing in common – they think of the body as a vessel for the spirit or soul, which lives on following physical death.

If this sounds familiar, then you might be interested to learn about the typical format for a Spiritual Funeral service:

  • Music– play favourite hymns/religious songs, classical music or pop songs for procession, during the service, or recession.
  • The script – focus on the life of the deceased and the beginning of their journey to peace, rest, fulfillment and being reunited in love with people ‘on the other side’.
  • Contemplation – encourage a silent period to embrace the notion that the death of each of us is in the order of things; perhaps use the ‘Tree of Life’ to visualize the concept.
  • Prayer or Readings – include a popular prayer from childhood or readings from scriptures, favourite novelists or poets; you could also feature a eulogy from a family member or close friend.
  • Committal – honour the deceased’s life on earth, thank them for being a part of the lives of everyone at the service, and commit the body at it’s natural end as the soul passes on to the next life/reality.
  • Closing words – invite people to remember this moment and the happier times, honour their feelings, and make a commitment to support those around them through their grief.
  • Blessing –again, you may choose a prayer, or simply a few words to bless/make the most of each day until reunited with the deceased in peace and love.

Whatever you choose to believe, at Coles it is our mission to ensure your rite of passage into the next life is marked and remembered – exactly the way you’d like it to be. If you have strong feelings about the way you would like your funeral service to be conducted, you might be interested in our pre-arrangement service (no upfront payment required) to help give you peace of mind that all the important details have been recorded with us.