What is


Celebrancy is a profession founded in Australia on the 16th July 1973 by the Australian statesman and then commonwealth Attorney-General Lionel Murphy.

The aim of the celebrancy program was to authorise persons to officiate at secular ceremonies of substance, meaning and dignity mainly for non-church people.

Up until this point legal marriages were reserved only to clergy or officers of the Births, Deaths & Marriages registry office.

These appointed persons, referred to in the Marriage Act of Australia as “authorised celebrants”, create & conduct weddings, funerals, namings, house dedications, coming of age, and other life ceremonies for those who do not wish to be married or have other ceremonies in a church or registry office.


What do Celebrants do?

Celebrants conduct personalised wedding, naming and funeral ceremonies.

They also help mark other important occasions and relationships.

At the time when I first qualified as a Celebrant, then I had the response ..

“Oh, that’s that Humanist thing, isn’t it?”

And my reply was that there are Humanist Celebrants, and there are Civil Celebrants.

The Humanist Celebrants are those most likely not to include any religious content in their Ceremonies at all;  whilst Civil Celebrants can incorporate Hymns, Bible Readings and Prayers, providing that is what the family they are working with wishes to have included.

The type of training that I have completed enables me to do a more flexible Ceremony, where the clients can still choose what sort of Ceremony they want; they can retain the touch of tradition and ritual, but other more contemporary touches can be added as well.  The emphasis is on working to put together a Ceremony that best reflects the people themselves.

The good thing about being a Civil Celebrant is the opportunity we have to work with families to create their Ceremonies, their Celebrations, in a way of their choosing, at a venue of their choice. (providing it’s legal, of course!)


United Kingdom Society of Celebrants

The United Kingdom Society of Celebrants, is a professional body training civil celebrants, family & funeral celebrants and doulas. They offer online tuition, one-on-one personal training, or group training. They are the UK’s premier civil celebrant training provider, and are pioneers of online celebrant training throughout the country.


60 North Celebrant