Non-Religious, Highly Personalised and Uplifting,

Humanist Funeral and Celebration of Life Ceremonies

in Harrogate, Leeds and North Yorkshire

I'm a humanist funeral celebrant in Harrogate, writing and delivering bespoke, highly personalised, inclusive, non-religious funeral, memorial and celebration of life ceremonies in Harrogate, Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales., If you are looking for a good listener, writing skills that document and reflect your loved one's story and character perfectly, and a friendly, relaxed, supportive, professional, empathetic and experienced celebrant - accredited by the national non-religious human rights charity, Humanists UK - you're in the right place!

Because I come from and live in Harrogate in North Yorkshire, 'A Grand Goodbye' seemed an apt name for the service I am offering as a humanist funeral celebrant.  I believe everyone deserves a grand goodbye. We only get one life (that we know about) and so it seems only fitting that we say our final farewells in a fitting way. - with love and care, respect, beauty and and element of lightness; with story-telling, emotion and in celebration of our being part of the world. 


You may have been to a humanist funeral before or you may just be looking for someone you can relate to, who can do the honour of saying goodbye to your relative, partner or friend in a respectful but highly personalised, uplifting and  engaging way, with their story at the heart of their ceremony. 

Whatever style of grand goodbye fits your loved one you can guarantee that your funeral, memorial or celebration of life ceremony will be beautiful, warm and memorable  for you, your family and your friends. And yes, as well as being symbolic and meaningful,  it doesn't need to be traumatic on the day. If you want it to be, it can be lighthearted and celebratory in delivery. 

"We really loved today, you did an amazing job.

Thank you for such a perfectly delivered service.

You captured A and our family so well.​​"

What is a Humanist Funeral?

A humanist ceremony is everything you would expect in terms of importance and significance - but much more unique, heartfelt and flexible.


As an accredited humanist celebrant, I write and deliver beautiful, love-fuelled, creative, moving, totally bespoke story based ceremonies that are designed for everyone to enjoy. Whatever background, culture, spiritual or religious belief you and your families hold, the funeral, memorial and celebration of life ceremonies I write and deliver are a wonderful, non religious and inclusive way to mark, remember, celebrate and commemorate the important people in your life.. 


Each ceremony script is written fresh each time, to completely reflect your stories and memories, your loved one's personality and your/their wishes, incorporating your own thoughts and their thoughts and feelings, a choice of readings, music, contributions and a lot of love and support.  


There are no rules, so while each ceremony is entirely respectful and meaningful, each and every ceremony is completely different and as far from the constraints of a civil or religious ceremony as you can imagine! 

What's Included in the Ceremony?

No two Grand Goodbyes are the same because no two people are the same. Life stories are interesting and incredible, whatever path has been trodden and however long a life's journey has been. And it's important to say goodbye to our loved ones in the right way for them.


When a loved one dies, the effect of grief on family and friends can be traumatic and the last thing you need is extra stress regarding the funeral service. I'm very easy to get along with and will work with you and your chosen Funeral Director to make it as stress-free as possible for you. 


Following an informal meeting lasting a couple of hours, with members of the deceased's family and/or friends, I write a completely unique script that is sent to you for approval before the ceremony. I can advise of all aspects of the ceremony and guide you in your choice of music and readings or other contributions if you need a little help. 

Whether your want the funeral to be traditional or a little different, whatever style you choose, your ceremony will be written and delivered to be totally reflective and respectful of the person who has died and comforting to their family and friends.. 

A Helping Hand

As an experienced humanist celebrant, I will be there to support and encourage you, and guide you every step of the way. We work together to plan the ceremony, and once I have written the script, you have total editorial control of your loved one's story, readings,  music and anything else you would like me to include.

" Rachael has an engaging style, which helped develop an easy rapport and gave me confidence in the process at what is a very difficult time for me and our family and friends....."


"You have been a pleasure to work with, despite the difficult circumstances, your patience and understanding are really what has made it possible." 

The ceremony usually includes:

  • Entrance Music

  • Words of welcome and an introduction to the ceremony

  • Thoughts and feelings about life and death

  • The tribute - a brief life story of the person who has died based on memories of family and/or friends

  • Readings, poetry, memories or reflections from family or friends

  • A quiet moment of reflection with music or perhaps a slideshow if applicable

  • The committal (the final respects)

  • Closing words

  • Exit music

All outdoor funerals, memorial  and celebration of life ceremonies  or ceremonies that are held in places other than crematoriums will include optional use of my PA system and a presentation script is always included as a keepsake.

With me, you get an experienced humanist celebrant, a creative, professional writer, a professional delivery, support throughout the writing and delivery process and lots of advice and guidance in the weeks and days leading up to the funeral or memorial ceremony.


  Images © Sirastudio 2020     Copy © Rachael Meyer 2020