Five Things I wish more pagans knew about funerals, by Awen Clement.

By Awen Clement   who is a pagan priest with an interest in the rituals around death

By Awen Clement
who is a pagan priest with an interest in the rituals around death

  1. You can cleanse and bless the body yourself, including anointing with oils, saining with herbs or any other rites appropriate to your path. You can be supported in this by a pagan priest, end of life doula or a funeral director if needed. 

  2. You can host a funeral ceremony at any location of your choice including outdoors. It doesn't have to be held at the crematorium. If you want to hold it in the woods or by the sea then you can.

  3. You don't have to use a traditional coffin. There are variety of eco-friendly alternatives available including felt or cloth shrouds and willow coffins. 

  4. There is a network of pagan priests who are experienced at leading funerals across the UK. You don't have to settle for a civil or humanist celebrant. Many of them will travel if there isn't someone in your area.

  5. You don't have to use a funeral director. You can take care of the person yourself, transport them yourself, hold the ceremony as you wish and arrange for a direct cremation yourself. But if it feels too much, a good funeral director will help you arrange these things without taking over. 

Awen Clement

About Awen Clement
Awen is a pagan priest and civil celebrant based in Birmingham who offers ceremony and ritual to help navigate the big changes of life, particularly around birth and death.  She uses ceremony to bring people into connection and believes that a good funeral should lift those who attend and not send them home feeling worse than when they arrived. She has recently commenced a project called Weaving the End to offer a central resource about funerals for UK based pagans to help them receive what they need spiritually at the end of life. You can connect with on Facebook.