MPs back move for non-religious funerals

NON-religious funerals could be set to become more common as MPs have backed a law prompting communes to make a room available where possible and to set up a service.

At present families have the options of only a religious service, one at a funeral parlour or crematorium or no service at all but Meurthe-et-Moselle MP Hervé Féron, who oversaw the proposal, said 30% of people wanted a “secular funeral”.
The possibility of civil funerals – funérailles rép­ub­licaines – has existed since 1887 but communes had not been held implicitly responsible for them and so they were rare.

In Paris, François Michaud-Nérard, the head of the city Services Funéraires, said 40% of people were atheists or non-believers and religious services did nothing for them.

Unless the funeral was for a cremation, where a room is available, there was no place for families to gather during a burial. He added that both believers and non-believers should be able to have fun­eral services for loved ones.
However, he said it was an undue burden to expect communes to bear extra costs of hosting civil funerals so he expected that families would have to pay a fee to go ahead.

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