Your absence has gone through me
Like a thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
- W.S. Merwin
What is a Celebrant?
A Celebrant is a person who seeks to meet the needs of families during a time of loss. Celebrants serve by providing a personalized funeral or memorial service which deeply reflects the life and personality of the deceased. A Celebrant offers a non-clerical alternative to a service for families who are not affiliated with a church or who do not wish to have a traditional religious funeral service.
What does a Celebrant provide?
In some cases, families want to plan and hold a service for their loved one without guidance. While this is an option, in times of grief, having an experienced support person on hand can make a real – and healing - difference. A Celebrant has been specifically trained to design a memorial service that is completely personal, incorporating the unique stories, experiences and songs that defined the loved one. The Celebrant will meet with family and loved ones to share memories, anecdotes and the moments that define the deceased’s life. The essence of the service will be based upon these remembrances, and family and friends will be encouraged to participate. A certified Celebrant has a library of resources available for readings, music, ceremonies, and personal touches. He or she will work with the family to plan the most meaningful and genuine service. The Celebrant is bound by a Code of Ethics for complete confidentiality in all dealings with the family.
Why choose a celebrant?
Nowadays, many families are not practicing members of any church. They may be spiritual, but not religious. When a time of passage comes, it is often difficult to know where to turn. While spiritual in nature, a celebrant is not affiliated with any religious denomination, yet has been specifically trained to embrace both religious and non-religious families. A celebrant spends a great deal of time learning about the deceased, and making sure that person’s life is fully celebrated and understood. Finally, a Celebrant will be open to what the family wants to do, whether it's a formal graveside service, scattering your loved one's ashes into the sea or holding an informal gathering at a beloved place in nature.
What does it cost?
A Celebrant fee is usually higher than the fees charged by clergy. The money received by a clergy person for performing a service, known as an "honorarium", is in addition to the salary they are typically paid by their respective church or temple. A Celebrant will spend approximately 10 hours or more preparing for a memorial service or funeral to create a service that is unique and tailored to the needs of the family. Arissa charges between $400 and $700 depending on type of service, location, travel and other expenses.