What is a funeral celebrant?

Coffin with floral spray on top

A funeral celebrant is a qualified person who performs a funeral service. This is known as ‘officiating’.

Different to a religious officiant, like a member of the clergy, celebrants aren’t closely linked to any specific religious beliefs and the ceremonies tend to be a celebration of the life of the person who has died.

What does a funeral celebrant do?

A celebrant will spend time with the family and friends of the person who died to help make the funeral more personal. They can help you arrange the order of the service then lead it on the day, inviting people to speak and join in hymns or chosen songs. Celebrants usually officiate funerals being held in non-religious venues, such as crematoriums.

Due to coronavirus affecting the amount of people able to attend funerals, some celebrants are helping families organise online video memorial services through video.

There are 2 types of celebrants you can choose

You can choose a celebrant who:

  • is non-religious but can leave a pause in the service to give people opportunity to pray silently – known as ’humanist celebrants’
  • can add some religious or spiritual elements to the funeral service, but they are not affiliated to and religion or church – known as ‘civil celebrants’

Cost of a celebrant

This can depend on where in the country you are, but the average cost of a celebrant is between £150 - £250. The Church of England currently charges £182 for a minister to hold the service.

Find the right celebrant

Your Co-op Funeral Director will be able to put you in touch with celebrants in your area and can help you find one that’s right for you. If you want to find a celebrant yourself, make sure they are a member of an accredited body.