What is a Celebrant?

Are There Different Types Of Funeral Celebrant?

There are some services that don’t change much over the course of a century or even a millennium, one of these is funerals.


Though there have been adaptations. One of which is the splitting of how a funeral is arranged to who leads the funeral service.


They are tasks that do not need to be completed by the same person. In fact a funeral celebrant could bring a whole new meaning to the process.

There are celebrants for many different types of traditional services, funerals but also weddings and Christenings, each will offer their own style of delivery.

The basic definition of the word celebrant, is someone who celebrates life, a person who will oversee and engage an audience within a ceremony.


To speak about a person’s life, to colour it in, to welcome, to send off and to celebrate the moment.

Are There Different Types Of Funeral Celebrant?

It comes as a surprise to most people that are indifferent to religion, that at the time of someone’s passing, we seek out religious centres to ease their passing.


Whether a Jew, Christian, Sikh or Muslim, the person who has died will often refer family to the service they wish to have a funeral with. There may however be a certain set of wishes that need to be abided by, or a family may select a different type of funeral service celebrant.

Growing in popularity is the Humanist Celebrant, offered by various groups and especially the British Humanist Association.


Like funeral directors, they steer away from religion and talk of after life to focus on the very natural basis for a person’s life.


Celebrating the extraordinary avenues of their life, the people within, giving meaning on a much more personal level to the people who are in attendance.

There is of course the more traditional role of a Religious Celebrant which is offered by many religious groups, for instance by a Reverend at a local Church.


They have become used to offering generalised religious services but are very capable of selecting exacting psalms, passages and hymns. Choosing a separate celebrant for religion is not uncommon and could offer a different way of celebrating the person’s life.


There exists now the Civil celebrant, they have roots in being an official way to see a funeral service is run professionally.


Able to offer non secular services as well as entwining any hymns or quotes from religious book that you may deem fitting. If you do not want an overtly religious send off, a civil option is the middle choice.

When someone dies, all our strengths tend to waver a little. As a celebrant is not an official conductor of a funeral service and only places of religion need to be authorised and the final resting place has permission to offer that service.


A Celebrant could be anyone, a family member or a friend. If someone does step forward, are a public speaker, witty, sensitive, then they could be best placed to be a celebrant having known the person personally for a good part of their lives.

Are They Trained & What Do Celebrants Offer?

Because a funeral service is something that has to be done properly the first time around.


You will no doubt wish to have some assurance that the celebrant can be professional in their undertaking. 


You may wish to attain references from a friend or family member or the local place of worship you are having the funeral arranged with.


Most will be trained and you can ask where and who by.

Some might have certification, others may belong to bodies such as the United Kingdom Society of Celebrants or a similar Celebrant training professional body.


Celebrants, in practice, do not differ much in the way of preparation when compared to other purveyors of religion.

When you meet to discuss the funeral order with them, they will discuss in much the same away about the person who has passed.


What life meant to them, what the person meant to you and others. Their achievements, their goals in life, how they might wish the audience to live their life after.


Understanding all about the person who has died really allows them to form a service and build a relationship of emotions and feeling.


Ensuring they celebrate the person’s life and gives it true meaning.This doesn’t need to be a wholly serious affair.


No mater which celebrant you choose, they can build humorous moments as per your wishes. Truly delivering their character and the one many will be familiar with.

They will take into account and deliver a Eulogy, ask if anyone else wishes to speak or read out their own thoughts and memories. 


As well as planning for hymns, pop songs, literature or poems and religious psalms to be used during the service.


Depending on how big or small the funeral is to be, you could use both a celebrant and a traditional funeral director to plan the entire event.


What Is The Cost Of Choosing A Celebrant?


Fees can vary and will take into account planning, service duration and location. 


Traditional places of worship may have set fees and Churches and Cemeteries may have a ready list of celebrants they have worked with in the past.