A funeral celebrant is someone who creates and conducts funeral ceremonies or services. In very simple terms they are usually the person at the front of the funeral ceremony doing most of the talking, and they will have been responsible for writing the content of the service.
There are several sorts of people who do this kind of work:
These people are usually associated with a specific place of worship. They were historically the only people conducting funerals for many years, but they are now responsible for less than half of the funerals held in the UK.
People who conduct civil funerals are not affiliated to any organisation or part of any religion. They can therefore perform services with no religious content at all, or with some religious elements, such as a hymn or a prayer, if required.
Usually members of Humanists UK, they do not believe in an afterlife or a god, so Humanist ceremonies do not have any religious content whatsoever. They strongly advocate their Humanist principles and this often forms part of the ceremony.
If you have the relevant knowledge, feel able to put a service together yourself and can lead it in front of a group of family and friends, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do it yourself. Given the circumstances and the added emotional strain during these times, however, it’s rare that people do.
I am a civil celebrant. I create and conduct very personal meaningful funeral ceremonies and focus on meeting the needs of the family and the wishes of the person who has died. I meet with the family to discuss arrangements and talk about the kind of ceremony that is most suitable.
Some people find that, although they do not consider themselves religious, a familiar prayer, hymn or reading may be comforting during a funeral ceremony, either for themselves or for other members of the family, and that can certainly be accommodated. If, however, you feel that a completely non-religious ceremony is more appropriate, I can help you to create that.
My emphasis is on what you and your family want from the funeral. Although many ceremonies follow a similar pattern, there are no rules to say what must or must not be included and you have the choice to create as much or as little of the content as you wish.
It is usual to focus on the individual’s life, expressing sadness at their death but also celebrating the life that has been lived. I can help you to select suitable music, poetry, readings or anything else that you wish to include. I can also write a eulogy or tribute about the person who has died and, of course, I am able to stand at the front and be responsible for conducting the funeral service in a clear and professional manner.