Funeral celebrant is an official term denoting legal members of an institution of non-clergy practitioners who usually arrange funeral ceremonies, usually not related to religion or to belief in some after-life. The practice of funeral celebrant is analogous to that of civil Celebrants in Western countries. The term of funeral celebrant is applied to the family of a person who has passed away, and it signifies someone who, with the authorization of the deceased’s next of kin, carries out the religious services for the deceased. Sometimes, the funeral celebrant may also perform the final celebration at the cemetery following the death.
There are various functions performed by funeral celebrant such as distributing the funeral programs and conducting the eulogy. Funeral celebrant performs these functions on behalf of the deceased family and friends and is paid by them. Generally the fees are submitted in advance, and payment can be made either personally or by a check, made payable to the funeral home. In some cases, the funeral celebrant may also perform some other clerical duties, which are usually entrusted to the family.
Although there are different types of funeral services prevailing in the US, the basic function of funeral celebrant remains the same. A funeral celebrant usually offers a prayer or obituary for the deceased person, gives directions regarding the flowers, hosts the memorial service, reads the funeral program, and expresses their grief and sorrow over the loss of the individual. This person is also responsible for executing the death certificate and the final life document, among other things. It is, therefore, advisable that the funeral celebrant should have the necessary credentials and be a member of a recognized agency.