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With this guide, we try to anticipate and answer some of the questions Canadian families will have regarding funeral celebrants - including:

  1. What is a Celebrant?
  2. What does a Funeral Celebrant do?
  3. Funeral Celebrant fees
  4. How to choose a funeral Celebrant

(Note:  A funeral celebrant may also be called an "officiant"; but to keep it simple, we have consistently used the term "celebrant" in this article).

1. What is a celebrant?

In a few sentences, a celebrant helps to plan and present personalized celebrations of life / funeral services. Celebrants are attentive and sensitive interviewers, creative writers, professional public speakers, and ceremonial facilitators.

A few other key points:

  • A celebrant has a different role than a funeral director at a funeral home. A funeral director takes care of the arrangements for the entire funeral – everything from the transportation of the body, and location of the service, to where the body will be buried. A funeral celebrant’s role is usually to take care of the funeral service itself; that is, they stand in front of the gathered mourners and will typically have the main speaking role at the service.

Sometimes, a funeral director may act as celebrant, but more often then will refer you to one or a number of different celebrants they have worked with in the past.

  • People often associate funeral celebrants with funerals which do not have a connection with a particular faith. While this is – in practice – often the case, a celebrant’s focus is to serve the needs and requirements of the family – whether the family wishes to incorporate a component of faith or not.  Note that any celebrants with a listing on InMemory which also serve as a minister in another faith group will be designated as such in the “what makes me unique” section of their listing.  (Our goal at InMemory is to provide Canadian families with as comprehensive a list of potential funeral celebrants as possible).

2. What does a Funeral Celebrant do?

A brief bullet point summary of a (full service) celebrant’s key responsibilities is provided below:

  • Meet with you in your own home or another mutually agreed place (including a funeral home) to explore ways to make the service meaningful and personal to your family. This meeting can take 1-2 hours.
  • Talk to or communicate with other members of the family in order to gain an additional understanding and appreciation of the deceased and the life he/she lived.
  • Liaise with the funeral director
  • Assist in the planning of the funeral service, including (if desired) suggested music, readings etc. The celebrant would then craft an order of service which would – once agreed – be incorporated into a printed order of service.
  • Write and give a eulogy for the deceased; as requested, the celebrant will also assist and help other speakers before the ceremony.
  • During the ceremony, the celebrant will facilitate and guide the proceedings, make any necessary announcements, as well as leading individuals through any rituals. 

3. Funeral Celebrant Fees

As we build our database of funeral celebrants across Canada and have more and more celebrants create / claim their listings, we will be able to provide specific analytics on celebrant fees.  In the interim, we rely on the feedback we have received to date from celebrants and from our online research.

With that said, the most frequent answer we get is that a funeral celebrant’s fees will start at $250 – 300 and go up from there depending on the amount of time and effort required to plan and perform a ceremony.

Note that if you organize a funeral celebrant through a funeral home, the cost of the celebrant will be included in the funeral home’s statement of fees.  If you select your own funeral celebrant, you will pay the fee directly to the funeral celebrant.

4. How to chose a Funeral Celebrant

Families have historically had to rely on recommendations from friends/ family or from funeral directors to find the right funeral celebrant.   However, with the introduction of the InMemory Funeral Celebrant directory, families now have the ability to cast a wider net in their search for a funeral celebrant which will best honour their loved one.

The process is simple:

  1. Go to
  2. Type in your city and then press compare
  3. Click on individual listings to learn to access information on what makes the funeral celebrant unique, areas serviced, languages spoken and pricing. As the directory becomes more established, you will also have the ability to check the reviews of individual celebrants.  (Until such time, we would suggest that you check for reviews through facebook and google).

We hope you’ve found this guide to finding a funeral celebrant helpful. If you have any questions about our funeral celebrant comparison service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at


Find & Compare Funeral Homes Online

Canada's #1 site for comparing funeral home pricing & reviews