A celebrant is an individual trained to create and officiate at ceremonies marking major life transitions, such as funerals and memorial services. These ceremonies then reflect the values and beliefs of the individuals they’re honoring and the families they’re serving.

Why would I want to hire a celebrant?

A celebrant offers a family the opportunity to create a very meaningful and personalized service honoring their loved one. Celebrants sit with the family and listen to the stories of the family’s loved one’s life. Celebrants also listen to what readings, music, speakers, etc. the family wants in a service. The celebrant then writes a detailed service, word for word, and gives it to the family for their feedback and input. The celebrant’s only purpose is to create what the family wants.

What does a celebrant do at a funeral or memorial service? 

A celebrant officiates at the funeral or memorial service and creates a welcoming space for others to honor, mourn and heal.

Does a celebrant only officiate non-religious events? 

No, a celebrant can officiate at both religious and non-religious events. Being a celebrant does not make you a member of clergy, but celebrants can include religious components in their services.

What kind of training does a celebrant have? 

Certified celebrants study rites of passage, ritual elements, components of ceremonies, ceremonial public speaking, symbolism, storytelling, eulogy writing, ceremony creation, etc.    

How are celebrants generally paid? (hourly, daily rate, etc.) 

Celebrants are usually paid per ceremony. The fee includes meeting with the families; creating, writing, and editing; and officiating at the ceremony.

What is the best way to find a celebrant? 

Check with your local funeral homes or check the website of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute and InSight Institute.  

What are some questions to ask a celebrant when determining if they are a good fit? 

Some questions and topics to discuss with a celebrant are:

  • Tell me about some of the ways you’ve personalized services?
  • What are some of the things clients would tell me about working with you?
  • How would you honor these special aspects of my loved one’s life?
  • What is your fee?

If a celebrant officiates a funeral, how will we work together to honor the person who has died? How do they make it personal?

You will work with the celebrant to make the service reflect the personality and life of the person who died. Much of the service is storytelling - sharing stories of the person’s life. It includes readings, music, and possibly prayers that mean something to the family. It can include rituals, like candle lightings, to symbolize the love and light in the person’s life. It can also include memorabilia from their life and even small gifts, like favorite candies, etc. There are countless ways to personalize a service. Working with a celebrant can help make it a memorable and healing service.