Choosing a Celebrant or Clergy

We often talk to families about how their loved ones lived their lives.  Were they a regular church goer? Did they have a strong belief system based on a particular faith? Would they want a service officiated by a Celebrant or a member of the Clergy?

There are some key differences to a funeral that is officiated by both, and we thought we would take a moment to highlight what they might be.


A funeral that is officiated by a member of the Clergy will have a more religious focussed feel and flow.  This means that the service would primarily be based on the process of grieving by way of giving thanks to God and acknowledging the role that God plays within a persons life.

Generally, a religious funeral consists of a range of standard prayers, can be in a church, chapel or graveside, has the family deliver a Eulogy about their loved ones life, and focuses mostly on the role of God and beliefs in the process of death and grieving.  For a person who was devout in their religious beliefs and was a regular church goer, an active member of a religious congregation, or who expressed that this is the type of funeral service they would want, this is a great choice.


Celebrants take a different approach to a funeral service.  Most celebrants will focus on the life of your loved one, will create a service that is meaningful to their life and will create a format that best reflects and celebrates your loved ones life.

Whilst most celebrants are not religious, they are able to incorporate some simple religious elements into the funeral service, things like The Lord’s Prayer, or certain Psalms that might fit.  Mostly, a Celebrant will really focus on how a person lived their life and what their death means to the people who love them most.   They will generally incorporate both family and friends to pay tribute to your loved ones.  This could be through the sharing of stories, memories or special songs that had meaning for you and your loved one.

A Celebrant will focus on celebrating the life of your loved one rather than mourning their death.  Whilst there will be an element of mourning in the service, they are really there to create an uplifting and meaningful celebration of life.  So for someone who wasn’t overly religious, or who was a sporadic church goer, for someone who really didn’t have a religious belief system, or for more of a life celebration, a Celebrant is a great choice.

How do I choose?

Regardless of if you decide to have a religious service or a celebration of life, the choice really comes down to how your loved one would want their life remembered.  This is something that you should discuss with your family, with your funeral director and of course is a decision that you need to make based on how you feel.  Regardless of your choice, you are in control of how your loved ones life is celebrated, so don’t be afraid to give specific instructions to your Celebrant or Clergy on how you would like the service to be structured.

Life really should be celebrated, so when it comes time to remember your loved one at their funeral service, go with what feels best, with what you feel your loved one would most appreciate and want most.

We have a number of Celebrants and Clergy that we regularly work with and are more than happy to help you through the process of finding the perfect person to help you celebrate your loved ones life.

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