The role of a Civil Celebrant at a funeral is to be the main host at the funeral or celebration of life, and abides by etiquette. They can also be non-religious, directing the funeral and introducing others who attend and pay tribute.
How does a celebrant help at a funeral?
A trained and experienced funeral celebrant will help you to devise a distinctive ceremony that honours the life, values and spiritual beliefs of the person who has died. The ceremony, will reflect the deceased thoughts and ideas on their funeral, when this is possible. On some occasions someone can be part of a tragic series of events, like an accident with no wishes ever discussed or prepared, by choosing a celebrant who is flexible, this means that you can have pretty much anything that highlights that person’s personality, beliefs, music tastes and so on.
I undertake to ensure that each family has full choice on how they say their final farewell. Whether cremation or burial, a natural burial in a beautiful Memorial or Burial Park or a green funeral, I offer you a full celebrant service, supporting you through the whole time until after the funeral.
Some civil celebrants can also cater for end of life ceremonies, or living funerals, where the soon to be deceased person can help plan their own funeral service.
What does a civil celebrant do at a funeral?
A Civil Celebrant will help you plan an order of service and ensure that it reflects how you want the person to be remembered. They will also lead and host the funeral service using a mixture of things that were important to the person who died. What’s said and shared during a civil funeral or memorial service is decided by family, relatives and friends, with the support of the funeral celebrant. Talking points usually involve things such as poems, readings, jokes, songs and certain hymns. These can be read by the celebrant or members of the funeral party who would like to take part.
A civil celebrant isn’t religious, with a focus on remembering the life of the person who has died. Once you get in contact with a Civil Celebrant, they will usually meet with you and any family or friends either in person or via video call to discuss your wishes, needs and any ideas you have for the funeral or memorial service. They will try to get to know you and they’ll ask about the person who has died, to get a sense of who they were and what they meant to you. They will use this information to write a eulogy about the person and their life, which the celebrant will deliver during the service.
Interment of Ashes
In these times, when it has been difficult to have more than 30 people attend a service, many are choosing to have an interment of the deceased’s remains and to celebrate afterwards with a wake or celebration of their choice, where they choose, while also celebrating the deceased’s birthday, or some other significant occasion.
Burials at Home
Yes you can bury your loved one in your garden, you will need to seek advice from the local council, water company and other suppliers – to ensure that it is safe to do so. You will also need the advice of a solicitor in order to register the grave on the Deeds of your House, and other requirements.
About Sue Pilgrim, Civil Celebrant
Trained at the UK College of Celebrancy in Sussex, and a Member of The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, Sue is a civil celebrant based in Norwich, Norfolk but is also happy to travel to any location either within the UK or Abroad.
If you have any questions or queries about using me as a Civil Celebrant in your ceremony or service, then please get in contact. My funeral celebrant service covers Norfolk, Norwich and the Great Yarmouth areas.