Funeral Celebrants' Code of Practice
1. Funerals will always be conducted to the highest possible standards of delivery and appropriateness and will attempt in every way to reflect the needs and wishes of the client.
2. The celebrant will base the tribute on factually correct information and will routinely draw on more than one source of information. Celebrants will regard the seeking of information from friends, colleagues etc as normal.
3. Celebrants will use their interviewing skills and literary ability to win the trust of clients and set down, in appropriate and correctly composed English, a text, which celebrates and/or reflects a life with integrity and accuracy.
4. The celebrant should conduct the funeral ceremony calmly, audibly, and with dignity.
5. Members of the family or personal circle of the deceased will always be encouraged to participate in the ceremony.
6. Funerals will always be delivered from a full written text, which will include any contributions from others. A copy of this, including contributions from others, will always be offered to the client.
7. Funerals will be based, wherever possible, on a face-to-face meeting with the client, which will normally be held at the client’s home. Celebrants should leave details of intended home visits with a relative or colleague in advance, for security purposes.
8. Celebrants will always arrange with the funeral director the order in which the celebrant, funeral director, coffin, family group and the mourners enter the chapel or process to the graveside.
9. Celebrants will not conceal the number of funerals they have conducted and will refrain from telling clients about other funerals they have conducted.
10. At cremations, the celebrant will provide the relevant chapel staff with a music cue sheet or use an agreed method, enabling the prompt and correct use of music during the ceremony.
11. Celebrants will make it clear to funeral directors and clients the type of ceremony that they offer.
12. Celebrants will not use their access to clients to promote products or paid services in any other occupation, or other interests, philosophies, religious or other beliefs or voluntary commitments they may have.
13. Funeral celebrants will seek to establish and maintain good working relationships with staffs of local crematoria, local cemeteries and local funeral directors. As celebrants will often work to tight time-scales they will liaise effectively and efficiently with funeral directors, cemetery and crematorium staff.
14. Celebrants will follow social custom in dress for formal occasions, but dressing wholly in black is not required as a matter of course. Clients will have the option of requiring the celebrant to dress in black.
15. Celebrants will be punctual when meeting with clients, funeral directors and crematorium and cemetery staff as well as conducting funerals. If unforeseen or emergency events dictate the celebrant’s late or non-attendance, a colleague will be informed or the ceremony script forwarded to the venue, ensuring that every effort is made to provide emergency cover.
16. Funeral celebrants will encourage funeral directors to pay them on invoice rather than by cash.
17. Celebrants should normally follow custom in being available to thank family and guests as they leave. It may be appropriate to spend a short period with the attendees on the crematorium terrace or near the graveside, but celebrants will not normally accept invitations to attend any gathering that follows the funeral.
18. Celebrants will not express any criticism of any other celebrant, client or any person working within the funeral industry.
19. Funeral celebrants will respect the confidentiality of all information received in the course of their work and will treat clients and those working within the funeral industry with courtesy and respect.