Celebrations of Life

Tonya Reed, Certified Funeral Celebrant is here to assist you and your family in creating a personal and deeply meaningful funeral or memorial service for your loved one.

Funerals and Memorials

As a Funeral/Memorial Celebrant/Officiant I can support a family with:

  • Designing and producing the Funeral Service
  • Officiating the Celebration of Life ceremony
  • Creating rituals for processing grief
  • Writing the eulogy
  • Tributes
  • Referrals for Music/Programs/Catering/Flowers

Other Celebrant Services

Other Celebrant services may include:

  • Memorial services (after burial or cremation)
  • Ash-scattering rituals
  • ICU rituals and ceremonies post death (when funeral or memorial service is not required)

Funeral Celebrant

According to Murphy’s Law and the Pursuit of Happiness: a History of the Civil Celebrant Movement, the funeral celebrant works in cooperation with a Funeral Director. A civil funeral celebrant is an individual person who is an authorized civil marriage celebrant, and who also offers to perform civil funerals in a dignified and culturally acceptable manner, for those who, for whatever reason, do not choose a religious ceremony.

Civil funeral celebrants also serve people who have religious beliefs but do not wish to be buried or cremated from a church, temple or mosque. More frequently, people choose civil funeral celebrants because they wish a professional person to co-create a service centered on the person, their history and their achievements.

This is often in contrast to the established set-ritual ceremonies of most religions. In celebrant ceremonies decisions about the content of the ceremony are made by the family of the deceased in consultation with the celebrant. Therefore, the civil celebrant can be defined as a professionally trained ceremony-provider who works in accordance with the wishes of the client.

Depending on circumstances, best practice is usually for funeral celebrants to interview the family, carefully prepare and check the eulogy, brief those persons chosen to give reminiscences, and finally to provide resources and suggestions that will assist the client family to choose the most appropriate music, video/photo presentations, quotations (poetry and prose), symbols and movement or choreography. Sometimes a rehearsal is indicated for a funeral. More often a planning session is sufficient to ensure that the ceremony that is delivered is the one that is planned.

Messenger, Dally (2012), Murphy’s Law and the Pursuit of Happiness: a History of the Civil Celebrant Movement, Spectrum Publications, Melbourne

During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic I offer consultations for after-death rituals, online ZOOM memorial services and grief support. In-person services are only available if proper COVID precautions are adhered to.


Funeral services may be held in the home, religious venue or at graveside. An in-home consultation pre or post death allows families to share detailed information about the loved-one in a familiar setting.

Mock Celebration of Life

A “Mock” Celebration of Life/Memorial Service is a sample. The deceased (Phillip James Reid, in this sample) is a fictional character.

All of the participants are acting out the roles of family members and friends, while Tonya, the End-of-Life Midwife portrays the role she would normally portray in an actual Celebration of Life Service.

Sacred Crossings

I have completed the Sacred Crossings Institute Funeral Celebrant training.

Funeral Celebrant Certificate