As funeral services break away from tradition, it’s becoming more common to include personal touches, such as special favours, music or foods that honour the unique life of a loved one. However, it’s not always easy to know just how to make the service reflect the life it’s honouring. This is where a qualified funeral celebrant or officiant can help.
What is a celebrant?
In a broad sense, the term “celebrant” simply refers to one who celebrates anything. In the case of funeral planning, a funeral celebrant is a trained individual who works with a family to create a personalized memorial tailored to the beliefs, lifestyle and preferences of a loved one.
Oftentimes, people think of a celebrant as a secular role—someone who will plan and conduct a funeral that isn’t religious in nature. However, this isn’t always the case. Funeral planning has become more personalized to the unique wishes of loved ones and their families. It’s possible for a pastor, priest or funeral officiant to conduct a funeral service, while a celebrant helps the family incorporate personal details into other aspects of the memorial service.
In some situations, a pastor or priest may not be involved, and a celebrant will oversee scripture readings or lead the attendees in singing a favorite song or hymn. A funeral celebrant will work with the family to plan a funeral that adequately reflects the passions and beliefs of the individual it honours.
Why should I hire a funeral celebrant?
In general, services planned by a celebrant differ from traditional funeral services. While many traditional funeral services focus on religious customs and traditions, funeral celebrants often turn the focus to the person whose life is being honoured.
Consider hiring a celebrant in the following situations:
- You need help personalizing a funeral service and you’re not sure how to do it.
- You want someone who is more flexible and experienced than a traditional minister to guide the service.
- You are looking for someone to act as an officiant and as the main speaker at a memorial.
A funeral celebrant will meet with you and your family to help to plan a gathering that feels more like a celebration of a life rather than a traditional funeral. This approach emphasizes how someone lived their life—including their favourite hobbies and passions. For example, a celebrant may ask about stories from your father’s life and share those at the service, or tell your mother’s favourite quote or speak about your spouse’s memorable vacations around the world.
Celebrating each life
It is our promise to celebrate each life like no other. Our network of Dignity Memorial® directors, planners and celebrants understand that no two lives are the same—and a funeral service should reflect that.
Our celebrants and officiants are trained to help you create meaningful and memorable services that reflect the beliefs and passions of your loved one and your family members. Contact your local Dignity Memorial funeral chapel or cemetery to find a celebrant near you.