If you’re thinking about becoming a funeral celebrant, you’ve come to the right place.

Being a civil celebrant is an important, respected and increasingly in-demand occupation. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that civil celebrants are now officiating around 60% of funeral services in Australia.

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about becoming a funeral celebrant, including:

  • the skills you need to be a funeral celebrant;
  • the funeral celebrant’s role;
  • funeral celebrant training;
  • funeral celebrant accreditations and regulations; and
  • funeral celebrant associations.

But regardless of whether you’re just starting out as a funeral celebrant, or you’ve been in the industry for decades, the most important thing is having families who are looking for and finding your services. So, how do you achieve this?


How to become a celebrant: listing on Gathered Here

The traditional way for a funeral celebrant to get work is to try to build a relationship with a funeral director and then hope that the funeral director thinks to recommend you to a family planning a funeral. This is a difficult and time-consuming strategy which doesn’t necessarily pay off. And, when many funeral directors already work with a number of established celebrants, it can seem almost impossible to get work as a newcomer.

Gathered Here gives you another option.

Gathered Here is an independent funeral comparison website which helps families find funeral services. Each month we have over 12,000 visitors searching for funeral services and funeral celebrants on our website.

With Gathered Here, you don’t have to rely on funeral director recommendations. When you list your services on Gathered Here, you ensure that you are seen by families looking for a funeral celebrant in your area. What’s more, listing on Gathered Here means you compete equally with other funeral celebrants, no matter how long they’ve been in business, or how many funeral directors they work with.

For more information about our listing options, or to list your services on Gathered Here, click here.


What skills do I need to be a funeral celebrant?

A good funeral celebrant will possess the following skills:

  • ability to communicate well and with sensitivity;
  • ability to listen to and comply with instructions;
  • ability to build strong and long-lasting working relationships;
  • ability to act appropriately, with respect and – if required – solemnity, at all times;
  • ability to work with families from a range of backgrounds;
  • well-honed writing skills, including good grammar;
  • confident public speaking skills;
  • excellent time management skills;
  • ability to manage emotions; and
  • ability to be flexible and respond well to last-minute or unexpected changes.

What will I do as a funeral celebrant?

In general, a funeral director will take care of the overall management and administration of a funeral, while a funeral celebrant will take care of the running and officiating of the funeral service.

The funeral celebrant’s role involves:

  • meeting with the family of the deceased to discuss the funeral and the type of atmosphere they would like to create;
  • spending a number of hours talking to the family about the deceased to get a good understanding of who they were and the life they lived;
  • liaising with the family’s chosen funeral director;
  • assisting the family to plan the funeral service, including – if desired – suggesting readings, poems and/or music;
  • assisting the family to put together an order of service for the funeral;
  • if requested, preparing the eulogy;
  • on the day of the funeral, delivering a funeral service of approximately 20-30 minutes which reflects on the life of the deceased and gives the attendees the opportunity to say goodbye.

Funeral celebrant training

In contrast to marriage celebrants, the practice of being a funeral celebrant is fairly unregulated. If you are looking to become a funeral celebrant, you are not strictly required to undertake formal training. However, if you are new to the officiating of funerals, or want to be confident that you are carrying out highly sensitive work in the best possible way, it is probably a good idea to enrol in one of the many funeral celebrant training courses on offer.

A training course is likely to equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to create and officiate a funeral service. Further, you may find that funeral directors are more likely to work with funeral celebrants who have formal training.


Funeral celebrant accreditations and regulations

While funeral celebrants are not required to be registered or accredited with any Australian government regulator, they must comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to privacy and discrimination laws, intellectual property laws and the Australian Consumer Law.


Funeral celebrant associations

If you are becoming a funeral celebrant, you might consider becoming a member of one of Australia’s celebrant associations. For a fee, celebrant associations can offer professional development and networking opportunities.

The Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants (AFCC) promotes a range of membership benefits, including professional indemnity and public liability insurance, and copyright protection and APRA commercial music performance licence exemption. At the time of writing, membership costs $205 (incl. GST) and requires an agreement to abide by the AFCC’s Code of Ethics.

The Funeral Celebrants Association Australia (FCAA) charges $125 for membership (at the time of writing). It has a range of offerings, including useful information for celebrants, and requires compliance with the FCAA’s Code of Practice, Professional Development Program and Constitution.

We hope you’ve found this guide on How to Become a Celebrant useful. To list your services on Gathered Here, click here. For more information or for any inquiries, please get in touch at support@gatheredhere.com.au.

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