What is a celebrant?

A celebrant is a person who is trained and certified to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. A celebrant serves families of birth and families of choice by providing a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased.

Choosing a celebrant who is certified by the InSight Institute helps you and your family know that you are being served by someone who understands the process and is prepared to offer the very best service possible.

What does a celebrant do?


A celebrant meets with the family (including both families of birth and families of choice) to gather stories and listen to memories. The funeral experience is built around these stories.

Celebrants who are certified by the InSight Institute spend 8 to 10 hours preparing a service and acting as a partner with you and/or your funeral director to create an experience that fits your family and encourages healthy grieving. 

In most cases, the service will include a life tribute that incorporates the stories, songs, and experiences that best reflect and memorialize the life of your loved one.

Services take place in parks, gardens, mountains, homes, and funeral home chapels—whatever best meets the needs of your family and the wishes of your loved one.

Depending solely on what’s right for you and your family, the celebrant can serve at a funeral, memorial service, wake, graveside service, anniversary tribute, tree planting, bench dedication, or any other gathering designed to honor the deceased.


Who needs a celebrant?

Celebrants can serve any family or group of friends who want to memorialize a loved one. They are particularly helpful in these kinds of circumstances:

  • For a deceased person who was not actively involved in a faith community, did not have a minister or church affiliation, or identified as atheist or agnostic
  • For people or families who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious
  • For families and friendship communities that have mixed faith traditions and life outlooks
  • For people and families who want a unique, personalized service
  • For people and families who want a life tribute experience before or after a liturgical service