What does a Funeral Celebrant Do?

Funeral celebrants are individuals who lead and officiate funeral ceremonies, memorial services, or other end-of-life rituals. Their role is to create a meaningful and personalised tribute that honours and celebrates the life of the deceased. Funeral celebrants are typically non-religious or interfaith officiants, and their services are often chosen by individuals or families who do not have a specific religious affiliation or prefer a more secular or personalised approach.

Key responsibilities of funeral celebrants include:

  1. Meeting with the Family: Celebrants often meet with the bereaved family to learn more about the deceased, their life, values, and preferences. This information helps them craft a ceremony that reflects the person’s individuality.

  1. Creating a Personalised Ceremony: Based on the gathered information, funeral celebrants design a customised ceremony that may include eulogies, readings, music, and rituals that are meaningful to the deceased and their loved ones.

  1. Leading the Ceremony: On the day of the funeral or memorial service, celebrants officiate the ceremony. They may guide the proceedings, offer words of comfort, and facilitate any rituals or tributes planned for the event. Every ceremony is an honour and privilege and whilst they offen include elements of fun and humour, they are treated with sensitivity and lead by the bereaved and their wishes.
  2. Collaborating with Funeral Directors: Funeral celebrants often work closely with funeral directors to coordinate the logistics of the service. This includes ensuring that any technical aspects, such as audiovisual presentations, music, or readings, run smoothly.

  1. Providing Emotional Support: Funeral celebrants offer emotional support to the grieving family and attendees. They may help create a safe and comforting environment for those mourning the loss of a loved one.
  2. Facilitating Tributes and Rituals: Depending on the wishes of the family, celebrants may facilitate various rituals or tributes, such as candle lighting, symbolic gestures, or moments of reflection.

  1.  Listen: Above all else we listen. We hear the troubled family dynamics, we hear the tales of love and loss, we hear the regrets and treasured memories alike, we ask the questions that matter when the time is right and we leave space for the silence. There is time, silence, tears and laughter as their special person is brought to life infront of me with tales of their words deeds and character and every time it is an honour to be included.


Overall, funeral celebrants play a crucial role in helping families navigate the grieving process by creating a meaningful and personalised ceremony that pays tribute to the life of the deceased in a way that is respectful and aligned with the family’s wishes.

It is the most precious and privileged part of my job to be invited into people’s homes and lives for a while to be have their most treasured memories shared over cups of tea, photos and pieces of music – all so I can stand in front of them and tell them everything they already know but with the same love and care so that they may grieve and pay their respects for a life well lived, in a ritual as old as time. Not everyone can say that about their job.