What is a Celebrant?

A look at the role celebrants are playing in our important ceremonies - weddings, christenings and funerals.

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In todays modern world we often see a celebrant conducting a funeral, christening or wedding. So what is a celebrant?

Funeral celebrants specialise in creating personalised ceremonies, collaborating closely with the family and loved ones. They want to ensure that the ceremony reflects the essence of the individual being remembered.

They tend to be very sensitive to the needs of the family. and are able to deliver a bespoke and personal ceremony. Respect for religious, social and cultural beliefs are always considered.

They are often used when a family prefers a non-religious way of saying goodbye.

When should I use a celebrant?

If you feel you are just too upset to speak at the funeral, a celebrant is a great idea.  Many people are shy about making speeches at the best of times. At a funeral, when faced with so many sad faces, it is easier to use a celebrant. Celebrants usually have great command the written word and are very articulate.

How is the celebrant led funeral different?

Most importantly, it is how the ceremony ‘feels’ that is different. Together with the family, they will choose appropriate hymns, music, readings and poetry.

Each funeral reflects the individuality of the loved one and embraces the richness of memories in their lifetime. It avoids the emptiness of platitudes and instead paints a picture of the life lived.

A session with the family to learn about the loved one is an opportunity to share stories and consider options for the funeral, it takes around 3 hours. Sessions usually takes place at the bereaved’s home but can be anywhere.

What can I expect from a celebrant?

Using notes made during the first session, they will create a ‘service’ for the funeral service. Families are usually happy to share stories and anecdotes. Once the finished content has been ‘polished’, it will paint an accurate reflection of the loved one’s life. The family will have control over the content and will know in advance, what will be included – they have the final say about what content is used during the funeral.

There are a number of organisations who can help you choose a celebrant, all of them are very professional. Your funeral director will be able to recommend someone to hold the service for you.  They usually have a regular celebrant that they know and trust.

www.ocif.org.uk

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