In this article:

What is the meaning of "celebrant"? 

A celebrant is someone who performs or officiates ceremonies. For funerals, celebrants work with bereaved families to create a unique and personal ceremony that commemorates the person who’s died. Celebrants can be from religious or non-religious backgrounds, although they usually lead non-religious or semi-religious funeral services.

What is a celebrant's role? 

A celebrant's main role is officiating a funeral. This means they usually act as the host, taking care of the main speaking roles. Typically, a celebrant will support in other ways too, helping to craft the funeral ceremony, putting together an order of service, and providing support and guidance throughout the funeral process.

Watch the video below to find out more about what funeral celebrants do, in their own words:

Humanist celebrants vs. civil celebrants 

You often see celebrants referred to as a ‘humanist celebrant’ or ‘civil celebrant’. So what’s the difference? We’ve broken it down below: 

  • Humanist celebrants follow humanist beliefs. They lead completely non-religious humanist funeral services, which don’t include any religious or spiritual elements at all.  
  • Civil celebrants aren’t part of any religion or belief system. They can lead services without religious content or with some religious content, such as prayers and readings, depending on what you need. 

You can read more about the differences between civil and humanist celebrants here.


How to find a celebrant who's right for you 

Every celebrant is different, so it’s important to compare options and find someone that understands your needs and the wishes of the departed.  

You might already know a celebrant you’d like to work with or have one recommended by a friend or family member. Your funeral director may also be able to offer recommendations.  

Alternatively, various organisations can put you in touch with funeral celebrants, including:  

Failing that, a simple Google search might help you find suitable funeral celebrants near you.


What happens next? 

Once you've found a celebrant, they'll usually arrange an introductory meeting. This is your chance to let them know your thoughts and wishes for the funeral ceremony. 

Just like a priest or vicar, they may ask you to share some thoughts and memories about the person who's died. This is so they can include these details in the service.


How much does a funeral celebrant cost? 

Celebrant prices for funerals in the UK are typically around £150 to £250. How much celebrants charge depends on: 

  • The services you need 
  • How far they have to travel 
  • How much experience they have 

When you’re choosing a celebrant, it's a good idea to ask what services are included in their fee. This way, you'll know exactly what the ceremony will look like and won't face any surprise costs.