Leo Igwe has a piece on humanist funerals in Nigeria in The Guardian (Nigeria).
ON February 9, 2013, the former Chairman of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, Eze Ebisike died after a brief illness. On March 2, he was buried in his hometown, Okpokume, Mpam, Ekwerazu Ahiazu Mbiase in Imo State. Ebisike was an ex-Catholic priest and an atheist. He was buried after a short humanist funeral ceremony in the compound. The ceremony was a historic event because it was the first time, in that part of the country that someone who was an atheist was given a non-religious funeral.
Another cleric turned atheist and executive Humanist.
For humanists, a funeral ceremony is not a rite of passage for the deceased. A funeral is a celebration of a life lived, a life which has ended. A funeral is an opportunity for family and friends to pay tribute to the memory of someone who has died.
For humanists, when people die, they live on in the minds and memories of their loved ones, not in a heaven or a hell. They live on in the legacies they leave behind, in the good (and also the bad) which they did. They live on in their children, their descendants. Funerals are special times to remember and to relive those sweet memories, and pay our last respects to a person whom we are lucky to have shared this short life with.
That’s a beautiful way of putting it.
Some non-religious people are indifferent to what kind of funeral they have, but Leo is not.
Religious as well as humanist funeral ceremonies are for the living. And there are non-religious persons who would not want their memories to be insulted or corrupted by a religious funeral service. It is important that people respect the wish of their humanist friends and family members and accord them a funeral that is in line with their beliefs and outlook. For me, like Eze Ebisike, when I die, if there is a funeral, I would like to be given a secular/humanist funeral service. I would like my family members and friends to respect this wish. That I be accorded a funeral ceremony that is in line with the humanist ideas, values and beliefs that I professed and lived by during my lifetime.
That seems only fair.