Excerpted with permission from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute website.
What is a Life-Cycle Celebrant?
Life-Cycle Celebrants are professional ceremony officiants who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. They collaborate with their clients to create and perform personalized ceremonies that reflect the clients’ beliefs, philosophy of life and personalities; not the Celebrant’s.
Celebrants officiate at all types of ceremonies and rituals including baby namings and adoption ceremonies, coming of age ceremonies, weddings, civil unions and commitment ceremonies, funerals and memorials. Celebrants also develop ceremonies to enrich daily life and for community, corporate and civic events. The opportunities to use ceremony to create connections among neighbors and families, and for healing and celebration, are as varied as are Celebrants.
How is a Celebrant Ceremony Unique?
Each ceremony is personal, reflecting who the honorees are either as individuals or as a couple or family. A Celebrant certified by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute will take the time to understand the honorees’ beliefs and values and what makes their ceremony unique.
In a Celebrant ceremony, the honorees are empowered. Nothing is imposed on them. Instead, in a collaborative process, the Celebrant will guide them in choosing rituals, readings, symbols and music to fulfill their ideals and vision for their Ceremony. No two Celebrant ceremonies are the same.
Celebrants are ceremony specialists who have a solid background in the history of ritual and ceremony, and the traditions of many cultures, beliefs and religions. They are experts in composing ceremonies, managing rehearsals and performing life-cycle ceremonies. Celebrants are also experienced in the art of ceremonial public speaking.
Celebrant services for their honoree client(s) typically include:
— Meeting at a no-obligation interview to discuss the honoree client’s vision of the ceremony
— Listening and taking notes as they learn the client’s personal story
— Consulting with the honoree client until the ceremony is just right
— Providing a beautiful keepsake copy of the ceremony
What do Celebrants believe?
The beliefs of the Celebrant are immaterial in this process. Celebrants believe that personalized ceremonies are a vital way to bring happiness and balance to individuals, and connection and beauty within society. They believe in people. They believe in adding to the sum total of human happiness wherever they can assist in doing so. Celebrants are trained to focus on the values and priorities of the client, so that the ceremony is a total reflection and extension of the honoree.
Who should choose a Celebrant?
Anyone and everyone! Whether you are secular, religious, spiritual, nondenominational, part of an interfaith or multicultural couple, or if you simply wish to express yourself in a manner of your own choosing, a Celebrant can help you create a ceremony that respects all that is meaningful to you.