What is a funeral celebrant?

You may be unsure of the role which a civil celebrant plays in a funeral so let me take a few moments to describe that role and answer some of the questions you may have.

Traditionally a funeral service would have been conducted by a member of the clergy. In recent times, however, attitudes towards religion and religious ceremonies at the end of life have changed.

Many people now wish to have the life of a loved one celebrated in a manner which allows them to share, with friends and family, the memories which they all have of that person.
The part a civil celebrant plays in the proceedings is to compose and deliver a fitting and dignified tribute, which will allow all of those present to reflect on the life and achievements of the deceased. There will be an opportunity, during the service, to include any favourite readings or pieces of music which were important to the person who has died or perhaps which are significant to the family. If, when people leave the place of service, there is a feeling of gratitude that the person to whom they have just said goodbye has lived, rather than sadness that they have died, then the celebrant will have done his or her job.

Most celebrants will be happy to include any religious content you may feel is appropriate or deliver a service with no religious references at all. The choice is entirely up to the family. Should a family member or friend wish to participate in the service in any way, then the celebrant will advise on when that should take place.

Should you wish to have a funeral service which is exclusively spiritual or religious then your chosen funeral director will be happy to contact a member of the clergy on your behalf. 

I hope I have been able to answer some of your questions.