You can rely on your funeral director to choose a celebrant for you but it’s a much better idea to find your own.

Start looking as soon as you can. Ring round, talk to them and go with the one you rate highest. Find out how to track down a celebrant below.


Letting the funeral director choose for you

Very few funeral directors will offer you a choice of celebrant. They are happy for you to take your time choosing your flowers, your music, your coffin, all sorts of things, but very few offer a choice of celebrant.

Why not? Two reasons. First, because they pride themselves on being able to match you with the right celebrant. They know their local celebrants, they know what people think of them; some of them have even seen them work.

A few funeral directors are very careful to make sure you get the celebrant who’s right for you. Not all funeral directors, mind. Some think they’re experts but they’re not.

Some don’t try, they just settle for anybody. In any case, even the experts don’t know you 1/10th as well as you know yourself, do they?  

The second reason why undertakers are reluctant to offer you a choice of celebrant is this: urgent administrative necessity.

Your funeral director can only make a firm booking with the crematorium or other venue at your preferred time if, all at the same time, a) he or she is free, b) the venue is free and c) a celebrant is free.

So they make two phone calls, one to the crematorium/venue, the second to the celebrant. If it turns out that exactly the right celebrant is already booked for another funeral, you may be assigned a next-best celebrant (you won’t know that).

Most funeral directors would very much rather not wait while you go home, interview celebrants, check when they’re available and plump for the one you fancy. Someone else may get in and book the venue. They need to know now.


So it all depends very much on you and the sort of funeral you want to create.

Perhaps any competent celebrant will do. Or it may be that only exactly the right one will do.

So you need to prioritise. Which is more important to you:

The day and time of the funeral?

Exactly the right celebrant?

If you want to hold out for exactly the right celebrant you’ll need to work around their availability and be flexible about the time of the service.

That’s why it’s important to start looking for a celebrant as soon as you can.