What is a Funeral Celebrant?
Celebrants create and officiate life passage
ceremonies and transitions. They are trained and certified in the
art of ritual, ceremony, world traditions, faith traditions,
mythology, ceremonial writing and ceremonial speaking. No belief
system is ever imposed or presumed.
A Funeral Celebrant creates the ceremony for a
funeral, memorial, celebration of life, graveside, scattering of
ashes or interment. Meaningful end-of-life ceremonies are created
by capturing the unique life lived using stories, anecdotes, and
other carefully selected elements in a ceremony reflective of the
person who died.
Funeral celebrants can work on their own or in conjunction with
other funeral professionals such as a funeral director, cemetery,
crematorium, members of the clergy and/or event planner. They
perform services wherever the family wishes - at funeral homes,
parks, cemeteries, beach, the family's home and burial at sea.
Funeral celebrants do not handle the disposition of the body;
they are ceremony specialists.
How to find a qualified Funeral Celebrant
Some funeral directors are also trained celebrants, but you do
not need to be a funeral director to be a celebrant.
There is no governing body defining the standards for
celebrants. The only international organization committed to
setting a standard for celebrants is a 501c (3) non-profit
educational organization, the Celebrant Foundation and
The Celebrant Foundation and
Institute is dedicated to certifying celebrants to create
and officiate individual, meaningful and relevant ceremonies. Their
funeral curriculum includes such topics as world traditions, faith
traditions, mythology, symbolism, ceremonial writing, ceremonial
speaking and family interviews. They are also trained in special
areas such as traumatic deaths, suicides, miscarriage, stillborn,
infants, the death of a child and even animal companion
The term Life-Cycle Celebrant® refers to
Celebrants trained at the Celebrant Foundation and
Institute. They receive in-depth training over seven months to
receive their certification. Nearly 600 Life-Cycle
Celebrants are located in towns big and small throughout North
America, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Spain and France. Click here to find one near you.
Other organizations offer workshops and weekend courses teaching
basic celebrant training. When choosing a celebrant you should ask
where they were certified and what was required to receive it. We
encourage you to confirm pricing, ask for references and interview
any funeral professional you are considering hiring.
What should I expect from a Funeral
Whether your family is secular, religious, spiritual,
interfaith, atheist, agnostic or you simply wish to express
yourself in a manner of your own choosing, a celebrant can create a
meaningful end-of-life tribute. They reflect their clients'
histories, personalities, values and beliefs without judgment.
Below is a list of what you should expect from a Life-Cycle Celebrant:
- A gentle interview with family and friends (approximately 1-2
- Researches, writes, plans and officiates at the ceremony
- Expert knowledge in death and dying rituals, world traditions,
prayers, readings, scripture, symbolism and mythology. Has
completed a 7-month rigorous training and course of study
- Arrives at least 30 minutes before the ceremony
- Officiates at the ceremony
- Offers a printed keepsake copy of the ceremony at no extra
- Works as part of a seamless team with other funeral
- Creates a custom ceremony just for you (no templates used)
- Serves with compassion, respect, dignity, focus, and
- Every word of the ceremony is shown to you beforehand, assuring
accuracy and tone
What should you expect to pay a Life-Cycle
Each celebrant is responsible for setting their fee. The range
for a funeral, memorial or a celebration-of-life ceremony is
between $400 and $650. Variables affecting the price could be
geographic area, ceremonial considerations and travel time. Life-Cycle Celebrants will meet with
you at no obligation so they can learn about your needs and explain