Celebrant or Clergy Member: Which One Should You Choose?

By: Tom Gallagher
Monday, July 24, 2017

The master of ceremonies at a funeral is called an officiant. They conduct the ceremony, carry out the associated rituals, and offer comfort to the grieving family. Different people have different requirements when it comes to officiants and they have a choice between a clergy member or a celebrant. Here are some tips to help you make that choice:

Why Choose a Clergy Member?

This is the most common choice because the process and the officiant are familiar. Most people choose a clergy member even if they’re not religious or belong to a particular religious institution. These officiants are a good choice if the points mentioned below are applicable to you:

  • The decedent was a religious person and would have preferred a religious ceremony.
  • Family members and loved ones find comfort in religious rituals and ceremonies.
  • You want a quick, easy, and familiar service and don’t need much personalization.

Services performed by the clergy member will always be dictated by the rules and regulations of the religious establishment.

Why Choose a Celebrant?

A celebrant is a licensed officiant with authority to conduct services like weddings and funerals. They don’t belong to any religious establishment and can customize the service according to your requirements. They’re a good choice if:

  • You want a personalized funeral service that’s not restricted by the structure dictated by the religious institution.
  • All family and guests aren’t religious or want a neutral ceremony that doesn’t favor a single religious denomination.
  • The decedent didn’t want a religious ceremony.

Celebrants can create a ceremony according to your wishes and personalize it to suit the decedent’s traits and preferences.

If you want to know more about funerals or want to plan one, don’t hesitate to call us at Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home for more information. 

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