One experienced ceremony officiant looks at the rise of the Celebrant and how they offer an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional ceremonies of our past.
Over five years ago very few people had really heard of Celebrants and those that had were not really sure of what they did. Yet in the last 3-5 years, it seems that more and more people are choosing to use a Celebrant for one of life’s milestone ceremonies, such as Weddings, Baby Naming’s and Vow Renewals or Funerals and Memorial Ceremonies
A Celebrant creates and officiates a unique and bespoke ceremony to mark life’s milestones. These Ceremonies can also be themed to reflect the wishes of the individuals. e.g. A Star Wars styled funeral or a Druid style wedding.
These days you will find two main types of ceremony officiant, “Humanist”, who perform ceremonies that have no religious content and who were the original option in response to the demise of religion in many people’s lives or “Independent” Celebrants, who can include as much or little religious content as you wish and who can also include a mix of content from a number of different religions, faiths or beliefs.
When Celebrants first came on the scene, a few years back, they were mostly Humanist and they originally became popular as the alternative choice if you did not wish for a religious ceremony. At that time, it was however, very much an “either/or” choice.
More recently with the rise of the Independent Celebrant and their flexability to include a variety of options in the ceremonies that they create, Independent Celebrants have become increasingly popular, especially amongst those who like the idea of a non-traditional ceremony and something that is written especially for them as unique individuals.
A large number of Independent Celebrants perform a range of ceremonies such as Weddings, Baby Naming’s, Vow Renewals and Funerals. There are other Celebrants who prefer to focus on one type in particular and become known for being a specialist in that particular type of ceremony.
Over the last decade or so there has been a real move away from more formal religion. There has also been an upsurge in interest in alternatives to traditional ways of celebrating a milestone occasion.
People now realise that they have choices and can really have something personal that has been created for them as individuals. They are loving the idea that rather than opting for the traditional formats and locations for ceremonies, nowadays people have choices and they are embracing this.
Instead of a church or register office wedding or vow renewal, you can have a beach or garden location. Instead of a Chapel funeral service you can choose to have a Living Funeral. Instead of being buried in a churchyard, you can choose to have a woodland burial. A baby naming can be done at home, in a park or in your garden. The choices are endless.
Many people also love the idea that with an Independent celebrant you can have as much or as little religion as you like within you personalised ceremony and that the celebrant can even create your ceremony with a mix of religion and cultures.
The upsurge in people wanting to use an Independent Celebrant to create a ceremony specifically for them looks like being an ongoing and popular trend for the future. As more people become increasingly interested in having bespoke, unique and even themed ceremonies to mark their important life events, the future of celebrancy looks very bright.
As a member of The Fellowship of Independent Celebrants, Jo Ohlson Clark specialises in funerals. She creates and officiates cremation and burial ceremonies, which include cemetery, eco, green and woodland burials as well as memorial services and scattering of ashes. Jo also has a large amount of experience in "Living Funerals"Read Jo's profile here
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