Sunday, July 3, 2016

“Who Uses the Services of A Celebrant?”
                                                By Elaine Voci, Ph.D.

When you think of the word “celebrant” what comes to mind?  Perhaps you see someone dressed ceremonially performing an outdoor wedding as I did last autumn for a young Hispanic couple who said their vows in a lovely state park with the golden leaves of fall on the ground under crisp blue skies.  Or maybe you see a formal looking officiant presiding over the funeral of someone whose family is mourning their loss and participating in a personalized service that includes a memory table, several heartfelt eulogies and poetic tributes that provide a fitting “soul sketch” of the deceased in an authentic, touching memorial service.

But did your vision also include a simply dressed officiant helping a couple celebrate the adoption of their first child in front of a group of close friends?  And did you see a casually dressed celebrant performing a house blessing for a midlife couple who have downsized into a smaller living space?  Did you envision an officiant presiding over the five year anniversary celebration of a successful company whose services have earned local recognition for excellence?

Each of these circumstances, so different from each 
other, put to good use the celebrant’s skills of storytelling, their training in the art of ritual, rites of passage and ceremony.  Each event required attention to the goals and motivational desires of their clients to make the experience highly personalized, tailored, and meaningful.  Celebrants collaborate with their clients to create and perform personalized ceremonies that reflect the client’s beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality, not the celebrant’s. Taken as a whole, these unique events demonstrate the wonderful diversity of people who choose to employ the services of a celebrant to perform ceremonies that help individuals, couples, and families mark life-changing events, milestones, and/or significant life decisions. 

Given the vastly growing segment of our society who describe themselves as “not religious, but spiritual” it’s no wonder that the number of celebrant-led weddings, baby blessings, funerals and healing ceremonies are growing.  In 2014, for example, 74% of Australian marriages and more than 80% of funerals/end of life celebrations were also co-created and performed by civil celebrants.  In the US, Canada and many other English-speaking countries around the world celebrants are increasingly performing weddings, funerals, coming of age and other rituals.  Recently laws have been passed in the US where Civil Celebrants are included in the marriage laws to reflect the need of people who desire their lives be celebrated and their stories be told – their way.

Celebrants themselves are a diverse group and come from many different backgrounds; they are represented among various age groups, and have all kinds of different personalities.  Celebrants may perform alternative and nontraditional ceremonies in places, and under circumstances, where mainstream religious clergy will not.  Celebrants often perform ceremonies in parks, on beaches, on mountains, on boats, on hiking trails, in hotels, in banquet halls, in private homes, and many other places.  As one wise and witty celebrant I know puts it, “I will go anywhere that couples want me to with just two exceptions: I don’t go nude, and I don’t do ceremonies that involve hot air balloons or parachutes!”

The celebrant profession is an occupation that began in Australia and New Zealand over 50 years ago and has now established itself in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. The Celebrant Foundation & Institute is proud to be a member of the International Federation of Celebrants. If you are looking for a new career, come join us and be among the very first Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants in your community to offer personal, meaningful and memorable ceremonies for all life's womb-to-tomb occasions.

Celebrant Blog:  July, 2016

Elaine Voci is a life coach, specializing in end of life services, in private practice in Carmel, IN and a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute class of 2014.  The published author of five books, Elaine is the Editor of the Celebrant Blog for the Celebrant Foundation & Institute.

Photo courtesy of: Celebrant Foundation & Institute, Celebrants Marcia Almeida and Cindie Wilding

Cindie Wilding
As a Celebrant I have the best job! It is my great pleasure to get to know couples: who they are, what they love, how they met, what makes them ...-Cindie Wilding 

Please direct all request, comment or concerns about our CF&I Blog to our Social Media Manager ~ Marcia Almeida, Master Life-Cycle Celebrant. at    

Or to the Celebrant Foundation & Institute’s director, Charlotte Eulette call us at (973)746-1792.  

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