A Secular or Religious Service?

Secular or Religious?

A common question people have is, what is the difference between a Celebrant led ceremony and a religious ceremony? The easy answer is that a Celebrant led ceremony will be based on the person who has passed away and their relationships with those who love and care for them, not on their relationship with a higher power of faith figure. The best definition I have found is provided by the Institute of Civil Funerals:

A funeral driven by the wishes, beliefs and values of the deceased and their family, not by the beliefs or ideology of the person conducting the funeral.”


What About the Venue?

A funeral ceremony can be held just about anywhere, providing you have the consent of the right parties. For most people however, the choice will either be a crematorium, a cemetery, a natural burial site or in a consecrated building. I can help with all of these, with the exception of a consecrated building.

If you are looking to plan a funeral service and would like the service or the committal to be in a consecrated site then you will need to contact your local clergy. I can however provide you with a ceremony that has some or no religious content. It should be noted that, as a Celebrant, I do not seek to conduct ceremonies in consecrated buildings or on consecrated ground as a mark of respect to the particular religion.

Making the Right Choice.

A Celebrant can offer a ceremony that contains religious content such as a hymn, prayer or Bible reading. If the ceremony you are looking for is a ‘fully’ religious one, then I would suggest that you contact the local leaders of your particular faith, as a ceremony conducted by a Celebrant is probably not what you are looking for. On the other hand, did the deceased, or do their immediate family, hold particularly strong religious beliefs?

Are you are seeking a ceremony that is ‘light’ on religious content, and much more focused on celebrating the life that has been lived?  If this is the case, then a Celebrant may be just what you need. I would be more than happy to talk with you about this to help you work out which option would be most appropriate.