The Funeral Celebrancy Council provides a much-needed central organisation, defining best practice, representing funeral celebrants across the UK and setting the standard that all funeral celebrants should meet ensuring everyone receives a meaningful funeral ceremony.

The Funeral Celebrancy Council seeks to raise awareness of the role of a celebrant as a funeral officiant, creating a meaningful, relevant and personalised ceremony which potentially can be supportive to bereaved people in their grief and healing.

Recognising that the quality of ceremonies can vary significantly, the Funeral Celebrancy Council has issued The Funeral Celebrant Accord and the accompanying Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence as resources for funeral directors, celebrants and the public to support raising standards through a mutual understanding of how we define an excellent celebrant.

What does the council intend to do?

So far we have:

• Created the Funeral Celebrant AccordRead More

• Implemented Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence – checklists for funeral directors, arrangers and members of the public meeting a celebrant for the first time – Read More

• Conducted ground breaking research (data soon to be released)

We now aim to:

• Publish Professional Standards for Funeral Celebrants

• Be a voice for UK based Funeral Celebrants

• Be available to respond to journalists’ requests to comment upon funerals or other subjects relevant to the practice of funeral celebrancy.

• Talk to funeral directors about fair fees for funeral celebrants who provide completely unique ceremonies or who bring extra professional skills to the role of celebrant.

Who We Are

The Funeral Celebrancy Council is composed of established professional associations and training providers within the funeral celebrancy sector working together for the first time. It grew out of a realisation that more and more people are becoming funeral celebrants either with or without training, and there were no common standards across the profession. All organisations on the council have an equal say.

Why it’s time for a united Funeral Celebrancy Council

The quality of the celebrant makes a great difference to any funeral ceremony. A funeral is a critical part of the grieving process and often the moment, and only opportunity, for people to freely express and share their feelings, and create meaningful memories of the person who has died. Good funerals, which are meaningful to bereaved people, aid the grieving process and, therefore, contribute to the health of the nation.

Celebrancy is a relatively new profession which good celebrants seek to promote as an alternative to traditional ceremonies. However, the public often view ceremonies as mere formality. No family deserves a funeral which is poor because not enough thought and skill went into it, and varying standards of practice reflect poorly on this currently unregulated profession.

We know that standards are inconsistent across the profession, however, as a council we are all agreed about the criteria that define a good celebrant. We feel that bereaved people should expect no less. We are working with funeral directors to encourage them to only recommend celebrants who aspire to meet the criteria set out in The Funeral Celebrant Accord, and we have offered them Working with Funeral Celebrants: Points for Excellence as a simple checklist resource.

Standards of funerals should always be high – we only get to do them once. Many people have very low expectations of a funeral and consider it an unpleasant formality, therefore, many people accept poor quality impersonal ceremonies, but this does not need to be the case. The Funeral Celebrancy Council is setting standards so that everyone can access the best funeral ceremony possible.

The Funeral Celebrant Accord

The Funeral Celebrant Accord defines the attributes and skills required of an excellent funeral celebrant and is intended to set the standards by which all celebrants offering funeral services should be measured.

An excellent funeral celebrant

1. Is professional

2. Cares for their clients

3. Is calm and shows natural leadership

4. Writes personalised ceremonies

5. Cares about their self-development

If you have read The Accord and agree with the criteria that define a good celebrant, please Adopt The Accord and share it with your friends, colleagues or fellow funeral professionals.