First published in 1940, this book has been helpful for over half a century to people not comfortable with the religious format of typical funeral services. The author, renowned humanist Corliss Lamont, last revised the text in 1977. Now, from her own experience as a humanist chaplain, Beth K. Lamont, widow of Corliss Lamont, has added two new scripts of humanist services, and has welcomed a new updated edition by humanist J. Sierra Oliva. Mr. Sierra has added new dimensions and a new emphasis on celebrating the deceased’s life in these suggested scripts for last rites.
As in earlier versions of the book, there are meditations and eloquent passages of prose and poetry to express appreciation, grief, and farewell when a friend or loved one dies. One may choose according to individual preference the text and music deemed to be most appropriate. The service is dignified and reminiscent of past relationships with the deceased, stressing love, the beauty of life, the human kinship with nature, and the naturalness of death.
In the quest for solace at a time of grief, one can turn to this nonreligious service for security, comfort, and purpose in accepting the finality of the loss of a loved one.