What is a funeral celebrant?

Are you looking for someone to lead a funeral service? An Officiant? A none-religious minister? Someone to lead a Celebration of Life?

Have you thought about appointing a Celebrant?

What is a Celebrant?

A celebrant is a person who performs ceremonies marking some of life’s most significant milestones – someone trained to officiate ceremonies, such as weddings, vow renewals, baby naming, funerals, interments, and memorials.

They are a popular alternative to using a vicar, a humanist, or a civil registrar to officiate a funeral service.

A Funeral Celebrant

The Funeral Guide describes a celebrant ‘as the main host of a funeral or celebration of life.’ A funeral Celebrant, simply put, is a qualified person who officiates funeral services.

I create and lead personalised funeral ceremonies based on the life of the person who has died. Information is gathered from the family of the person who has died to construct a funeral that can either be non-religious or life centred. But should a family choose to include any religion, a prayer, or a hymn, then as a Celebrant, I can help you do that. It is a common misconception that non-religious ceremonies are humanist. Humanism follows a specific worldview.

Although I was trained initially by the Church of England, I have since become a member of the Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC). I will write and deliver a funeral, burial, natural burial, internment, scattering of ashes and memorial ceremony based on what the family want and need. In my opinion, it’s all about the family and the person who has died. 

As a Celebrant, I will represent the beliefs of the person who has died and the family I serve, religious or not. A funeral should never be about what I believe. 

Mourners at a funeral ceremony

Celebration of Life


  1. acknowledge (a significant event) with a social gathering or activity.
  2. perform (a ceremony) to officiate.

I will work with the family to celebrate the life of the person who has died. This can include:

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. 

A real celebration will reflect the personality and character of the person who has died; their strengths, their weaknesses and all that was good in their lives. It will be an occasion to say thank you and to say farewell to them. It will also, console and uplift, bring comfort and galvanise memories. It will be an occasion for “well-chosen words, thoughtfully spoken”.[i]

[i] The Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC)


The Association of Independent Celebrants (AOIC)

I work closely with the association’s code of practice. The AOIC is home to some of the most competent and highly skilled celebrants in the business. You can be assured of a uniquely beautiful ceremony delivered with professional service from its members.

More Than Just a Celebrant

In 2017, I set up a group called, Holding Dear Support Service. The group consists of highly qualified counsellors and grief specialists who provide ongoing support to families who feel they need it. The service is FREE at the point of use. My work funds it as a Funeral Celebrant. 

Grief is a natural process, but it can be devastating for some. Having a Celebrant who appreciates this from a professional point of view and on a personal level has proven to be an invaluable resource and support for hundreds of families and individuals. It also provides a unique component to the quality of the funeral ceremony.  

Offering an empathic, professional service is part and parcel of my Celebrancy, and it is what defines who I am both personally and professionally. 

If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to ask! Your GP will be very familiar with how you are feeling and put you in touch with someone trained to offer you support. Alternatively, contact me, and I will refer you to the Holding Dear Support Service.

There are other very good organisations which provide specialist support to the bereaved, namely:

Man with male counsellor

For More information contact Steve

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