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What is a celebrant?

curlew at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Curlew © Barry Yates

What is a celebrant?

An independent celebrant is someone who works with you and your chosen funeral director to help you and family through the process of creating a funeral or memorial service for a loved one. My role includes creating an order of service with you, writing and delivering a eulogy (or helping you to do that if you prefer) and generally offering support.

Trying to make decisions and sort out all the tasks that need doing around someone’s death can be really challenging, when you feel least able to cope. It’s especially painful if you’ve lost the person who would normally be there with you. It can help to feel you’ve got someone ‘on your side’ to support you.


Death leaves Us homesick, who behind,
Except that it is gone
Are ignorant of its Concern
As if it were not born.

Emily Dickinson

Loss and grief

An individual human existence should be like a river – small at first, narrowly confined within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, and the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man or woman who can see his or her life in this way will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things they care for will continue.

Bertrand Russell