What Does a Celebrant Do?



The dictionary definition of a celebrant is: ‘a person who performs a rite’. This has

traditionally meant a vicar, minister or priest, with the ceremony taking place in a

church or other religious building. These days, we have more choices and the

importance of selecting the right celebrant for your loved one’s celebration of life

cannot be underestimated.

 

The celebrant is there to hold the ceremony together and make sure it runs

smoothly. They set the tone, cue the music and introduce the speakers. It is

preferable to have someone who is not emotionally attached to the deceased, can

speak well and will also deal with any unexpected occurrences. At a crematorium,

the celebrant also has to make sure the ceremony keeps to time.

 

This is the one occasion when your loved one’s life story is to be told, their

memories are honoured and their body is put to rest. The celebrant will meet the

family in advance and – through sensitive questioning and careful listening –

enable them to have their stories and feelings shared, before writing the ceremony

and reading it on the day. The family should choose someone they feel

comfortable with.

 

To find a celebrant, recommendations from friends are helpful and online

research is worth doing – always check the celebrant’s testimonials. It is entirely

your choice who leads the ceremony and, even though the funeral director may

recommend a celebrant, check they are experienced, fully trained and aligned to

your values and beliefs. Bear in mind that celebrants work with the funeral

directors and are not employed by them.

 

Celebrant fees will be listed under ‘prices on request’ on the funeral director’s

website. This means that celebrants can continue to offer a completely

personalised service at a cost that is appropriate to their creativity, experience

and local economic market.

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