Celebrants are trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The Celebrant’s mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his or her beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality.
Celebrants first appeared in Australia and New Zealand in the late 1960’s. The founders of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute (CF&I) studied this new profession that had become so popular in these countries as well as its network and training practices and resolved to spark and nurture this movement in North America and to “pioneer the widespread use of relevant, customized ceremony to honor the fullness of the human experience across the lifecycle.” CF&I continues to grow and strives to stay at the very cutting edge of this movement. There are currently over 1,000 CF&I Life-Cycle Celebrant alumni practicing in 10 countries world-wide.
Certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® have completed a rigorous training at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute, and they adhere to the Life-Cycle Celebrant’s philosophy: to create personalized ceremonies with and for people of any religion, spirituality or any system of values. No Celebrant ceremony is identical to another, they are all made to measure. The Celebrant comes to the table with no agenda; no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the Celebrant collaborates with the client and gives them final approval on every element of the ceremony to create a ceremony what is meaningful for each client.
In the CF&I training we are immersed in the study of ritual theory, the structure of the ceremony, symbolism, storytelling for ceremonies, and the history of rituals and traditions throughout the world, choreography and ceremonial facilitation as well as ceremonial public speaking. We read authors who wrote about the importance of ritual, mythology, marriages, funerals and life cycle rituals, including texts such as Arnold Van Gennep’s Rites of Passage, Deeply to the Bones by Ronald Grimes and The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.
Our training helps us to create ceremonies with and for people for all types of life events: baby arrival, adoption, entry into adolescence, weddings, pledge ceremonies, funerals, commemorations and celebrations of life ceremonies. Celebrants can also collaborate with people to create ceremonies to enrich everyday life, community life, business, organization, or to honor the seasons. Opportunities to use ceremonies to connect neighbors and families, to mark healing and celebrate and seek meaning in life milestones; in fact, there are as many varieties of ceremonies as there are Celebrants and people who wish to mark a stage of their life with a ceremony.