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  • Writer's pictureDaragh Doyle

What does a funeral celebrant do?

''Although your funeral director manages the overall plans for a funeral, it is the funeral celebrant who officiates the funeral service on the day''.

When you choose a funeral celebrant, you’re picking the person who needs to write and run a funeral service that not only represents your loved one, their personality and their life, but also meaningfully connects with you, your family and other mourners in attendance.

Your chosen celebrant should be someone you feel you can trust and someone you feel is suitably qualified and experienced to meet your family’s particular needs.

In order to conduct a funeral service and pay tribute to your loved one, in my role as an experienced and professional funeral celebrant, I will:

  • meet with you at your home or a mutually agreed place to discuss the funeral and the type of atmosphere you would like to create;

  • spend a number of hours talking to you about your loved one to get a good understanding of who they were and the life they lived

  • liaise with your funeral director

  • assist you to plan the funeral service, including – if desired – suggesting readings, poems and/or music - helping to fully personalise the ceremony

  • assist you in putting together an order of service for the funeral

  • if you prefer for me to give the eulogy, I always ensure I have sufficient detail about your loved one’s life

  • on the day of the funeral, I would deliver a funeral service of approximately 20-30 minutes which reflects on the life of the deceased and gives family & friends the opportunity to say goodbye.

What should you always expect from a funeral celebrant?

While no two funeral celebrants are the same, there are some basic standards that you should expect your chosen funeral celebrant to meet. Your funeral celebrant should:

  • treat your family with respect, and do their best to honour your wishes;

  • use their experience to guide you in putting together the funeral service, and to offer suggestions where requested

  • dress in a professional manner when attending the funeral

  • deliver a personalised and fitting memorial of your loved one

  • at all times act with compassion and sensitivity.

When you’re looking for someone to officiate a funeral, two questions often spring to mind. First, “What kind of celebrant should I use?” and second, “How much does that funeral celebrant cost?”

What does a funeral celebrant’s fee cover?

A funeral celebrant’s fee will typically cover:

  • liaison with your funeral director

  • meeting at your home with you and your family members to discuss your wishes for the funeral service, and – if desired – assisting with ideas for readings, music and other ways to memorialise the deceased

  • speaking with you and the deceased’s close relatives to gather details about the deceased

  • preparing and writing the service

  • if requested, writing the eulogy (and submitting it for your approval)

  • liaising with other family members who will play a role in the funeral service

  • travel (within a certain distance from where the celebrant is based)

  • officiation and presentation of the funeral service at the funeral venue

  • a presentation copy of the service.

I hope that helps.


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