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What is a funeral celebrant?

What is a funeral celebrant

It’s a person trained to preside over funeral services by arranging and organising funeral gatherings. 

They carry out spiritual, semi-religious and non-religious funeral services. Their job is not the same as that of a funeral director though, as this job is more aligned with the technical aspects of the service.

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Funeral Celebrants

The goal of many funeral celebrants is to make the funeral service into a celebration of life’ that pays tribute to the person’s life. How a person lived their life, their character and disposition, and the recollections of mourners. 

Celebrants are the best alternative for people who desire to arrange ceremonies that express their love and devotion, and hold meaning.

This does not mean, however, that they only serve at funerals that are secular, as many of them are experienced in leading spiritual and religious services.

Actually, it is not rare to find funeral celebrants who are, in point of fact, ordained ministers.

They will work with the family to create a ceremony that is both personalised and conforms with the wishes of the deceased, yet attempts to accommodate the preferences of everyone who will be present.

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You can get advice from your local funeral directors. It’s a guarantee that they will have had experience with several celebrants.

Reach out to your local funeral directors for at least a few names, and then call and speak with each of them personally.

Try to meet with the celebrants, and determine which one of them will provide the funeral service you would like.

Another option is that you can search online and see if you can find a directory of celebrants, or conduct your own search, there are many celebrant directory sites available.

Once you have some prospective names, compose a short list of those you find most likely to meet your needs.

You can usually search by area, by kind, civil, content, steps, poems, order, words, page and compare to find a celebrant is a qualified and right person to work on site and help with the civil or non civil ceremony.

Look in the comments section of this article, I’ll make sure we offer help that can make a difference in choosing the right ones to use.

Narrowing down your list to just one funeral celebrant won’t be easy, but you will know once your meet with them who can do right by your loved one the best.

When you meet with the celebrant, explain precisely what type of funeral you are interested in, and furthermore, don’t forget to make clear the amount of influence you want to have over the planning of the funeral itself. Some will be more willing to accommodate you than others will be.

It is also worth considering the person who has died, the family may have raised a preference.

Perhaps the person who has died stipulated the funeral director to use or the family member might have a funeral plan in place, that plan might contain information and input from families or answer a number of different questions and offer suggestions about the preference.

The funeral plan is a good way to ensure all the questions have been answered and your loved one is taken care of following their death.

You could ask a member of the clergy for their advice, exchange some phone calls and that clergy member could share guides and help and call on their experience and memory.

Sometimes the clergy member might have guides that can help you plan and find a celebrant is a qualified for the service.

Above all, when you leave the office of your chosen celebrant, you should do so with the feeling that you can trust this individual to create the perfect service for your loved one, all the while respecting your wishes and input.

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Hiring a funeral celebrant is like making a business deal, just like any other important agreement for certain services. Costs can range from £250-£1,000, depending on the service provided and the experience of the celebrant.

It’s always best to inquire what’s included in this price, and if there will be any further charges on top of the basic cost before agreeing to the deal.

A Highly regarded funeral celebrant will have no problem taking with you and explaining how they price their service.

Certainly, the price isn’t the only thing you need to take into consideration when selecting a celebrant, but it is an important part of the process.

The costs do vary, so it could be to your advantage to shop around a bit. However, once you make your decision, before you sign on the dotted line, keep in mind that you are engaging in a legal contract for services so be absolutely certain to read the fine print.

You need to feel confident that you are receiving the service you want and need at a cost you find affordable.


Each candidate no doubt has their own distinctive manner of working with their clients. You need to be certain that the celebrant you select operates in a manner that makes you comfortable.

After the passing of a loved one, emotions are naturally intensified and it can be quite a relief to deal with someone who can automatically sympathise with you and who has a heartfelt understanding of what you are going through.

The hallmark of a good celebrant is someone who is prepared to work as a team with you, listen to you, obey your instructions, yet still bring their own ideas into the mix, in order to have the appropriate funeral for your loved one.

If you have never done this before and do not know what to expect, the celebrants should be able to talk you through the situation. They will also ask you to share your thoughts, ideas, and wishes for those parts of the service where family and friends get to share what they want to say about the deceased, what you want perhaps to have read aloud, a particular song you’d like to have sung, etc.

A truly good candidate will do all of the above and can assist you in planning a funeral that will embrace the elements that are important to you, plus help you to plan out how the funeral or celebration of life will move forward, all the while making you feel supported and reassured. You might even say that part of the role of being a good celebrant is being a consoler as well as advisor.

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Just as you are not legally required to have a priest or other religious person present at a service or funeral ceremony, neither are you required to hire a funeral celebrant. The decision in regards to who you wish to have lead the ceremony is entirely up to you. However, you may find that there are good reasons for hiring help.

Here are several reasons why you might decide you need a celebrant at your funerals:

1. FLEXIBILITY — If you want to work with someone who can be accommodating and flexible about the form a funeral should take. A candidate is likely to be less rigid than someone of a more religious turn who has specific ideas and beliefs of their own to contend with. Plus, they are likely to have more time to spend with you discussing the arrangements.

2. SPEAKING — If you want someone to be the main speaker in a funeral service. This is a role that requires having a great deal of composure and presence of mind. It is not something that just anyone can do, especially someone who cannot control their emotions.

3. STRUCTURE — To advise you as to how to create a proper structure for the ceremony and to discuss with you what to include in it. There are many versions that can be put into action, and they will be adept at knowing how to insert the things that are import to you into the service.

4. ACCEPTABILITY — Some people find it more acceptable to have celebrants present at a funeral rather than a religious person. Nowadays, there is a trend away from the strictly religious services of the past and to a more spiritual observance of the life of the deceased. A candidate will know how to best express the spiritual side without incorporating religious elements into it.

5. KNOWLEDGE — Although celebrants are not a traditional religious figure, they can still create a environment that can be spiritual in nature and contain some of the aspects and particulars of traditional burial rites. Hopefully, this will satisfy anyone who would have preferred a more religious service, without offending those who wanted to avoid anything that was too strongly religious.

Interestingly enough, you may not be aware of this, and it is highly unusual, but a family member can also opt to conduct a service themselves. This is perfectly legal and acceptable, although it does involve shouldering a great deal of responsibility. Since funerals have no legal status, any person can lead a funeral service if they so choose to.

Ultimately, it is up to the family members who are preparing the civil or none civil service and their beliefs, as well as those of the deceased as to whether or not you choose a more traditional and religious path, or go with a funeral celebrant and perhaps a life celebration service.

Everyone involved must get together and discuss this matter and make a decision based on what is best all around. However, the choice of a funeral celebrant was not always as prevalent and readily available as it is today. It is an excellent choice of achieving the goal of honouring your loved one’s life and at the same time not offending the beliefs of any people present.

Funeral Service

As you can see ‘what is a funeral celebrant’ is a really broad question, I hope you find plenty of value from the article, you can apply this advice to Catholic, Church of England and any denomination.

If you’re interested in doing more research on this topic, why not search for the following terms. Or when making funeral plans, why not involve your funeral director and benefit from their on site knowledge and experience.

What is a funeral celebrant UK

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Funeral celebrants near me

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Funeral celebrant fees

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Associations and Membership bodies

Details here about this search term


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