A good celebrant will work closely with you, to your instructions, either to create, or help you create, a ceremony that is right for you.

Celebrants have expertise and experience that will almost certainly be very useful to you, and they’ll do as much or as little as you want.

They know what works.

Their advice is worth taking. Even if you don’t think you’ll be up to speaking, you can make sure that every word spoken at the funeral is yours or approved by you.


What are they like?

Celebrants tend to be middle-aged and well-educated. The best aren’t in it for the money if they’ve got any sense because there’s little money to be made.

A few excellent celebrants work flat out, make a modest living from their work and somehow manage to stay focussed and sane.

Many take no more than three or four services a week or fewer.

It’s the sort of job that best suits someone who is self-employed with a portfolio career, or someone who has retired.

Hardly any have a funeral industry background.


Why do they do it?

Many were inspired by especially bad or good funerals they have been to. They think funerals are important and they think they have the skills required to deliver good ones.

They are driven by a strong sense of vocation.

Not all celebrants are excellent. Some are appalling moneygrubbers.

Celebrants have evolved to meet the needs of people for whom a mainstream religious funeral would miss the point.

These people want a funeral which expresses their own beliefs and focuses on the life of the person who has died.



Celebrants who specialise in funerals with no act of worship are called humanists.

Other celebrants will be happy to conduct a non-religious funeral or include prayers and hymns or other spiritual elements.