Celebrant for Funeral and Memorial Services

When a loved one dies, it can be difficult to know how to cope with the sadness and grief. One way to honour your loved one’s memory is to select a celebrant to help create a meaningful service that celebrates your loved one’s life.

What is a funeral celebrant?

A funeral celebrant is a professional who helps to plan and carry out the funeral for your loved one. They work with families to create a personalised ceremony that reflects the life of the deceased. In addition to their role in funerals, celebrants can also help with other aspects of end-of-life planning, such as planning memorials. For many people, working with a funeral celebrant can be an invaluable source of support during a difficult time.


Choosing your own funeral celebrant

A funeral celebrant plays an important role in helping to create a meaningful and personalised ceremony. For many people, choosing their own funeral celebrant is a popular option instead of using one provided by the funeral home. Here are a few benefits.

Someone you can trust

This can be particularly important if you feel unable to talk about your feelings with a stranger.

Reflect your loved one

It gives you the opportunity to ensure that the ceremony reflects your loved one’s life and personality.


It can provide a sense of control at a time when everything else feels out of kilter.

Variety of ceremonies

Religious Ceremonies

The service usually includes prayers, readings from religious texts, and a eulogy. It may also include rituals such as the lighting of candles or the release of balloons. The ceremony is often held in a place of worship, but it can also be held in a church, funeral home or other location.

Civil Ceremonies

A civil funeral ceremony is a non-religious ceremony that is designed to reflect the life of the person who has died. These are usually held in a chapel or at a graveside with the coffin in place during the service.

Memorial Ceremonies

Memorial Ceremonies are held after the loved one has been laid to rest to celebrate their life. It can be held in any location, including a home, garden, park or function room where family and friends gather to celebrate their loved ones life, but in a more befitting environment reflective of that person.

What to expect with a celebrant-led funeral?

During such a time of great sorrow many families find it hard to think of what needs to be done, and what is to be included in the funeral service that reflects their loved one.  A funeral celebrant can help you navigate this path helping you to choose music, poems or readings and bring back the memories of good times to be celebrated.

1. Prior to the ceremony

A celebrant will meet with the family to discuss the type of service they would like for their loved one and after speaking with the family will write an order of service that can be printed for the day and will write the service and help the family write their eulogy and tribute. 

2. On the day

The celebrant is there to ensure the service runs smoothly and to the allotted time.  They are there to support those who are going to deliver eulogy or tribute. 

3. The ceremony

A funeral ceremony typically runs for 30 minutes depending on the type of ceremony service being conducted.

Types of Ceremony Services


These services usually run for 30 minutes or 1 hour depending on how many people would like to participate in the service and type of service the loved ones would like to have.


There are two types of services a family could have for a burial.  

  • A chapel service, followed by a service at the burial site.
  • A service just at the burial site

4. After the ceremony

Family and friends usually gather after the funeral service for refreshments to reflect on memories of their family or friend who has passed.  It is also an opportunity for people to reconnect.

I would like to thank you for the beautiful service you organised for my late husband Alick. As I requested, it was a true celebration of his life and such a fitting tribute to the most amazing man I ever knew.Your understanding of the style of service I wanted, plus your compassion and kindness meant everything to me and made a very difficult day so much easier. Working with you to organise what I wanted turned into an easy task due to your love of what you do and your fabulous personality.The kindness in your voice as you delivered the service for a man you never met is something I will always remember. Your lovely way with words, helped me stay calm and mostly in control. Everything was perfect on the day and many comments were passed as to how beautiful the service was.Through the most difficult day of my life, you made the day one to remember. I can’t thank you enough for all the time you spent to make it a true Celebration Of Life event.We highly recommend this wonderful woman and what she does. Someone so bubbly, warm and approachable yet very professional all in one. Thanks so much again Kerrie.
Kate Millea


Do you have to have a celebrant at a funeral?

No you don’t have to have a celebrant.  However having a celebrant who has experience in the formalities of how a funeral service is put together and delivered makes it much easier for the deceased loved ones.

What are the alternatives to a celebrant led funeral?

You can have a family member or friend deliver the service.

What questions should you ask when choosing a funeral celebrant?

If your funeral director is choosing a celebrant for you, they have a portfolio of celebrants and they will choose the one that best suits the family.  Some families have specific requests for the celebrant they would like to conduct their loved ones service and the funeral director will choose this person for them. For example the family would like a young celebrant, or an older male/female celebrant.

If you are choosing your celebrant, you can search for one on the internet and read their reviews to see if they are the right fit for you and your loved one.

How long does a funeral ceremony last?

A funeral ceremony usually lasts for 30 minutes.  However, if the funeral ceremony is a religious ceremony it could last longer, or if there are many family members or friends who would like to speak.  Typically a service would not go for more than 1 hour.  Also depends if you need to travel to a burial site after a chapel service

What makes a good funeral celebrant?

There are many different styles of celebrant.  A good celebrant is the one that fits the family of the deceased.  They have empathy, but also the ability to help the loved one remember the joyful times shared so as to make the service a celebration of their loved ones life.

Get started with Kerrie