Bartolomeo & Perotto Celebrates Life in Non-Traditional Funeral Services

By: Milton Moyes
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Traditional thinking about funeral services generally includes religious elements, such as holding such services in a house of worship and by honoring the departed with blessings, liturgies, the reading of scripture, and similar invocations related to the faith of the deceased. It’s possible that this line of thinking may cause anxiety to bereaved families who hold no religious beliefs. Or who are trying to determine the best funeral service option for a their departed loved one who held no religious beliefs and/or specifically requested a non-religious ceremony in either their will or spoken wish.

In fact, the idea of secular funeral services is not at all unusual, especially when you consider that almost 23 percent of the U.S. population does not identify with any religion. And this religiously unaffiliated segment of the population is now considered (ironically) the second largest religious group in America, according to National Geographic. With the population of those identifying as not affiliated with any religion growing so rapidly, they have even been tagged with a new moniker: “Nones,” which evolved from the numerous and increasing survey respondents who check off “none of the above” on questions relating to religious affiliation.

We at Bartolomeo & Perotto don’t support the negative connotation in that term and will refrain from using it; however, we have long been versed in providing non-religious funeral ceremonies. In a traditional religious funeral ceremony a member of the clergy generally helps the family and loved ones with the important element of remembering and celebrating the life of the departed. In a non-religious funeral service, this emotional healing course is performed by a Funeral Celebrant, who provides a meaningful farewell or eulogy in honor of the departed, helping to heal the pain of the bereaved with the power of a well-told life story.

Bartolomeo & Perotto lives and works by our motto - “A Life Remembered, Lives On,” as all of our Funeral Directors are trained and certified as “Funeral Celebrants,” by the InSight Institute. In this capacity, our Celebrants can design a funeral service that incorporates those unique stories, songs and experiences that define your loved one’s life. We encourage family and friends to share their remembrances and unique stories in order to help everyone reflect on that life and memorialize it. Not only do these memories and stories help warm the hearts of those left behind, but they are instrumental in moving the healing process forward.

The loss of a loved one presents an overwhelming time of turmoil for those who survive them. In the capacity of “Funeral Director,” Bartolomeo & Perotto takes care of the logistical challenges of planning and conducting an appropriate funeral and ensures the comfort of family and guests. In the capacity of “Celebrant,” we serve as a “life tribute specialist” who shapes and shares the final memories of the departed to help heal the pain left by their passing.  

Bartolomeo & Perotto non-religious services are completely personalized and individualized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased. Personal touches can include the display of photos and memorabilia, candle-lighting ceremonies, floral displays, music, or any other form of tribute that best reflects the life of your loved one.

Personal touches can be simple. Florists have become quite adept at creating themed arrangements. Along these lines, you could showcase an important component of your loved ones’ life through a unique floral arrangement. The personal touch for a sports fan could be the display of a favorite team jersey or prized collection of trading cards. For someone who dabbled in the arts or crafts, a display of their work. If your loved one was exceptionally devoted to his or her work, there are likely a variety of ways to create a display of that commitment to their career.

Did your loved one have a notable favorite food? Now that New York law allows us to offer food to the bereaved, Bartolomeo & Perotto may be able to offer that food item in honor of your loved one. If mom loved angel food cake and we can find a way to make it happen, we will gladly serve it!

All in all, there are numerous ways to memorialize, celebrate and express love for the deceased in a non-religious funeral, and Bartolomeo & Perotto assures you that we have extensive expertise in planning and providing such services. We will ensure that your one’s life will be remembered and live on.   



Bullard, Gabe. April 22, 2016. “The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion.” National Geographic. Retrieved from:

Pew Research Center. November 3, 2015. “U.S. Public Becoming Less Religious.” Pew Research Center. Retrieved from:

InSight Institute. Web Site. Retrieved from:

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