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When you’re looking for someone to officiate a funeral, two questions often spring to mind. First, “What kind of celebrant should I use?” and second, “How much does that funeral celebrant cost?”

This article will help to answer those questions by focusing on the two main types of funeral celebrants used to officiate funerals in Australia:

  1. civil celebrants;
  2. members of the clergy, such as ministers, priests and pastors.

For more general information about funeral celebrants, see How to Find a Funeral Celebrant.

For more information about funeral celebrants in your city, see our city guides:

What’s the difference between a funeral celebrant and a minister or priest?

Civil celebrants usually conduct fairly or completely non-religious funeral services, which include few or no prayers or bible readings. Civil celebrants have greater flexibility in customising a funeral service to the particular deceased.

On the other hand, ministers, priests and other members of the clergy deliver religious funerals which usually follow the rules and traditions of their particular church. These services include prayers, hymns and other religious customs.

How much does a funeral celebrant cost?

We’ve set out funeral celebrant costs below:

Item Description Price Range
Funeral Service Customised funeral service $250 – $660
Viewing Short service to accompany the viewing of the deceased’s body $200 – $300
Prayer Service Short service with family’s selection of prayers, etc. $200 – $300

While each funeral celebrant sets their own fees, those in Victoria tend to be more expensive, while those in Queensland and South Australia are at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

What does a funeral celebrant’s fee cover?

A funeral celebrant’s fee will typically cover:

  • liaison with your funeral director;
  • meeting at your home with you and your family members to discuss your wishes for the funeral service, and – if desired – assisting with ideas for readings, music and other ways to memorialise the deceased;
  • speaking with you and the deceased’s close relatives to gather details about the deceased;
  • preparing and writing the service;
  • if requested, writing the eulogy (and submitting it for your approval);
  • liaising with other family members who will play a role in the funeral service;
  • travel (within a certain distance from where the celebrant is based);
  • officiation and presentation of the funeral service at the funeral venue;
  • a presentation copy of the service.

Funeral celebrants may charge extra for:

  • extensive travel (or travel beyond the area in which they are based);
  • unforeseen or unusual expenses.

You can use Gathered Here to easily compare funeral celebrants. Click here to find a funeral celebrant.

How much does a minister or priest cost?

There are various members of the clergy who officiate funerals:

Christian Denomination Funeral Officiant
Catholic Priest
Protestant / Anglican / Baptist Minister
Eastern Orthodox Priest
Latter-Day Saints Bishop
Lutheran Pastor
Presbyterian / Uniting Pastor

The fees charged by a minister, priest or pastor to officiate a funeral usually range from $200 – $350, though some can charge up to $600.

For more information about choosing a minister or priest for a funeral, see our Guide to Christian Funerals in Australia and our Guide to Catholic Funerals in Australia.

We hope you’ve found this guide to funeral celebrant fees helpful. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at or start a live chat by clicking the floating message box in the bottom right corner of your screen.

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