Learn about our humanist ceremonies and find useful information about how to plan a funeral.
# What is a humanist funeral?
A humanist funeral is a meaningful and memorable marking of life’s end. It is for those who wish for a dignified funeral, centred around the deceased and based on humanist values. Our ceremony leaders help you create a personal commemoration of your lost one.
# Who can have a humanist funeral?
Everyone who wish so can request a humanist funeral.
You do not have to be a member of the Norwegian Humanist Association when arranging a humanist funeral. We offer free assistance if the deceased was a member, or if one of the closest relatives is a member.
Interested in becoming a member? Sign up here.
# What happens during a humanist funeral?
A humanist funeral has a clear humanist profile, but there are no fixed elements or formal requirements for the program.
As the next of kin, you plan the content of the funeral ceremony together with the ceremony leader. In consultation with the ceremony leader, you choose poems and music.
Other elements in the ceremony may include eulogies, candle lighting, tolling of bells, photo presentations, and floral tributes.
# What does a humanist funeral cost?
If the deceased was a member or one of the closest relatives is a member, the funeral is free of charge.
For non-members, the following prices apply:
- Regular assistance for a humanist funeral ceremony (including home visits/phone conversations): NOK 4,500.
- Consultation assignment with home visit: NOK 1,700.
- Ceremony leadership only, including scattering of ashes or interment with a short speech: NOK 1,700.
The fee for a humanist funeral ceremony is usually invoiced through the funeral home, or it can be arranged to be sent directly to the next of kin.
# How do I plan a funeral?
Below we have gathered some helpful information and what you need to know when planning a funeral for a loved one.
1. Notifying the funeral home
If you are a family member planning a funeral and wish to have a humanist funeral, you simply need to notify the funeral home. The funeral home will then contact us on your behalf.
If you are arranging the funeral without the assistance of a funeral home or have any questions about our services, you can contact us directly.
2. Assistance from the ceremony leader
Shortly after making the request, one of our ceremony leaders will contact you. Together, you will agree on a time for a home visit. Our ceremony leaders are thoroughly trained both in planning and leading ceremonies, and will assist you throughout the process.
3. The home visit
The purpose of the home visit is to plan the ceremony and talk about the deceased and their life. As next of kin we recommend that you prepare for the visit and perhaps write down some points about the deceased's life and interests that could be highlighted in the speech during the ceremony.
If the deceased has expressed or written down any wishes, it is natural to take those into account. It is mandatory to follow the deceased's documented wishes regarding cremation and who should have the burial rights (i.e., who is legally responsible for the funeral).
- Together with the ceremony leader, you plan a ceremony with music, poems, speeches and any other elements you may choose. Most people prefer to customise the funeral according to the wishes of both the deceased and the family.
- To add a personal touch to the ceremony, you can select music, songs and poems that the deceased enjoyed. There are no fixed elements or formal requirements for the program of a humanist funeral.
- The funeral home or the next of kin contacts other participants, such as musicians or readers.
- The ceremony leader will write a personalised speech based on your conversations. Prior to the funeral, you will receive the speech so you can check that the information is correct.
4. Choosing the burial method and venue
When commemorating a loved one it is natural to desire a dignified ceremony venue suitable for a funeral.
- The funeral can be conducted without the body, with a casket, with a picture of the deceased, with an urn or with a picture and an urn.
- Some places have secular ceremony rooms, while other options may include a chapel, a public crematorium, a cultural center, or a community hall. It may also be possible to hold the funeral at a sports hall or a concert venue.
- If desired, the funeral can be held at home or outdoors.
- The choice of ceremony venue may depend on the selected burial method. For example, a funeral with a casket will require a larger ceremony venue than an urn interment
5. Choosing the burial site
As next of kin, you decide on the cemetery where the deceased will be buried. You have the right to free burial in the deceased's last municipality of residence.
It is also possible to be buried in other municipalities. In such cases, an application must be submitted, and there will be a municipal fee involved.