Becoming a Funeral Celebrant

Funeral Celebrancy is a rewarding and challenging occupation, and as many celebrants will tell you, it can be hard to find ongoing work.  Like any business, it is vital to research your local market.

Here’s some pointers:

  • List the attributes of a good funeral celebrant.  Reflect on services you have attended and list the good and not so good points
  • Do local market research.  Who is currently conducting funerals? Where are services generally held? What is the need in your local area?
  • Meet with local Funeral Celebrants – what are their experiences?  (Note -  it is important to have a back up celebrant in case of emergency!)
  • Meet with local funeral directors and discuss the industry
  • Attend services
  • Research cultural services
  • Talk with friends who have organised funeral services for loved ones.  What were their experiences? What can you learn from this?
  • What community support is there for funeral celebrancy?  HINT! Our association is a good start!
  • Internet search Australian and international funeral trends
  • Locate resources – Australian author Barry Young’s The Funeral Celebrant Handbook is a good start.
  • What are your income expectations?  Is this viable given your local research?
  • Draft a budget and marketing plan.  Consider joining local celebrant/chamber of commerce networks.


There are numerous Funeral Celebrant training courses offered around Australia.

Contact the providers and ask for details of their course.  Ask for the names of participants and speak with them about the course and their experiences.  If possible, meet with them and have a coffee.  Our association offers training providers with a complimentary FCAA Forum attendance voucher to give to students (valued at $35).

We do not recommend or endorse any provider.


Funeral Celebrants are not registered or accedited with any government regulator in Australia.  However as a celebrant you are required to meet all applicable laws including Australian Consumer Law, Copyright, Privacy, Discrimination and Taxation to name a few.

Resources for Funeral Celebrants

The Funeral Celebrant’s Handbook     Barry H. Young
Saying Farewell to Those We Love  Barry H Young
The Practical Handbook for Celebrant to Welcome, Celebrate and Farewell Ruth Van Gramberg
Funerals Without God  Jane Wynne Willson (British Humanist Association)
Rituals for Life, Love & Loss Dorothy McRae-McMahon
In Memoriam   Edward Searl
Funeral Rites Robert Larkin
Sweet Sorrow Mark Wakeley (ABC books)
Creating Meaningful Funeral Experiences  Alan Wolfers 
Remembering Well    Sarah York
Dying to Know - Bringing Death to Life  Pilotlight
Grave Expectations  Sue Bailey & Carmen Flowers
Rest Assured - a NSW legal guide Rosemary Long & Trudy Coffey
Coping with Grief   Mal McKissock
For Children  
What Happens When You Die? Robyn O’Çonnell