What is a funeral celebrant? - Open Prepaid Funeral

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What is a funeral celebrant? blog

Many families wish to host a personal and intimate service to celebrate the end of their loved one's life, and one way to do this is to hire a funeral celebrant. A funeral celebrant is also referred to as a funeral officiant, which is a qualified person who helps officiate funeral services, support the bereaved family, as well as organise and conduct the funeral. The celebrant will usually be independent, and will be engaged by the funeral director on behalf of the family. They will be able to offer a non-religious funeral, as well as a funeral with prayers and spiritual themes.

Funeral celebrants specialise in making funerals more personal and create a service that is more of a celebration of life, as opposed to a traditional funeral service which can sometimes be not in touch with the deceased. For this reason, they will work closely in coordination with the family to ensure their wishes are fulfilled.

What do funeral celebrants specifically do?

  • Ensure the wishes of the family are carried out
  • Support you from the beginning of the funeral planning to the end of the funeral
  • Guide you through the day of the service, providing emotional support
  • Prepare the eulogy in partnership with the family
  • Ensure that the service is sensitive and not rushed
  • Provide ideas for making the funeral personal
  • Offer support and guidance where needed

There are two types of funeral celebrant

  • Civil celebrants: a civil celebrant is versatile in their approach, as they can conduct both religious and non-religious ceremonies. Although they can conduct these funerals, celebrants can only practice these funerals in non-denominational locations.
  • Humanist celebrants: whilst humanist celebrants essentially carry out the same service as civil celebrants, the difference is that they conduct funerals that are non-religious and are reflective of the humanist philosophy. Learn more about humanist funeral celebrations in our helpful blog.

Celebrants will work independently and charge a fee for their services, and the cost will depend on the type of service they are providing. Your funeral director will instruct the celebrant on your behalf if you wish, or you may want to work with them yourself.

Organising the funeral

When organising the funeral, the celebrant may ask you questions about the life of your loved one, their values, their characters and the small details which made them the person they were. Funeral officiants will also encourage you to share stories and memories of your loved ones, which will demonstrate the different aspects of their personalities.

The celebration of life could include music, readings, and funeral poems to help create a personalised service. They will then take all the information you have given and create an individualised service that represents the life of your loved one. You may wish to make amendments to their drafts, and they can edit the order of service however you wish.

What does a celebrant do at a funeral?

On the day of the funeral, the celebrant will meet you at the service and proceed to officiate the order of service. They will be there to ensure the funeral goes as smoothly as possible, alleviating stress from the bereaved family and friends, and offering general support throughout the day.

With Open Prepaid Funerals, we can help arrange bespoke prepaid funerals requirements to fit your specific requirements. Choose from a range of prepaid funeral plans, or simply contact our helpful team for more information.

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