Celebrant Services

Celebrant Services

When you don’t have someone to lead your funeral ceremony.

What Is a Funeral Celebrant?


A funeral celebrant is someone especially qualified to officiate a ceremony, by helping to plan, structure, and oversee its proceedings. Depending on the celebrant’s qualifications, they may help with anything from a traditional religious ceremony to a fully secular celebration of life. Most celebrants aim for the service to be personal, and a true reflection of your loved one’s memory.

Who Needs a Celebrant?


  • Families who want a celebration of life rather than a traditional religious ceremony
  • Families who want a unique, personalized service
  • Families who identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious”
  • Families who do not have a minister or church affiliation
  • Families who want a Life Tribute experience the evening before a liturgical service

What Does a Celebrant Offer a Family?


A celebrant will spend time with a family to get to know them and their loved one’s story. The funeral experience is then built around these reflections.


A celebrant typically spends 8 to 10 hours preparing a ceremony: meeting with loved ones, crafting the service’s structure, developing a tribute, and making sure any speakers, music, readings, or other elements of the ceremony have been organized. The celebrant acts as a partner with the funeral director to create a service appropriate to the family that encourages healthy grieving.


A celebrant may officiate a ceremony at the funeral home, in a park or garden, at a restaurant, or in a backyard. The ceremony may be traditional, creative, solemn, or playful - whatever best meets the needs of the family and honors the life of the deceased.

Who is Bliley's Funeral Celebrant?


Olivia Bauer
Funeral Celebrant


Olivia Bauer is Bliley’s full-time funeral celebrant. She is a board-certified chaplain, with over fifteen years’ experience in end-of-life care and grief support. She works with families of all backgrounds and affiliations, including those who are spiritual but not religious, and those wanting an entirely secular service.


Olivia brings her expertise, care and compassion to helping families plan a funeral ceremony for their loved one that is uniquely personal, incorporating the individual stories and experiences that define that person’s life and legacy.


She brings a treasure of resources and experience to her work, with the hope that your loved one will be truly honored, and you may begin your grief journey with a sense of peace and meaning.

How Do You Arrange To Use Our Funeral Celebrant?


Once you have made the decision to have our celebrant help with your service, notify your Director, and they will contact Olivia directly to determine her availability.


Olivia will call you to arrange an initial meeting, where she will spend time with you asking questions, encouraging stories, evoking laughter and tears, and drawing out the essence of your loved one’s unique legacy. She will continue to be available to you in the days leading up to the ceremony, and will ensure seamless communication with your director throughout the planning process.




"Thank you for all of your work on the service for David. I've received so many messages saying how wonderful the service was and how perfect a reflection of him. We truly appreciate what you do and how easy you made getting this all together for us." – Tina


"I really don’t have the words to describe our meeting today; you did an awesome job facilitating the discussion about my dear Deb. It has been a really tough three weeks and you allowed us to come together and talk about her as a family - we hadn’t been able to do that yet since she died. It means so much to me." – Randy


"I just wanted you to know how much we all appreciate the effort & time you put into TJ’s service. It was very beautiful & helped us make it through such a difficult day. Many of those who attended mentioned later how much your words meant to them. You have such a special gift & I thank you for sharing it with us." – Denise


"The service you put together was beautiful. You perfectly captured Kevin and the way he lived his life." – Cleita


"Thank you for conducting such a nice service for Peg. I received many compliments about the service from family and friends. Peg would have liked it." – Bill


"I wasn’t sure about having someone who didn’t know him do John’s service. But you have a knack for listening, and you managed to capture exactly what was so special about him. You spoke with such kindness and caring, and you made us feel like John was special to you, too. I really believe you care about people and the work you do – and it makes such a difference." – Cynthia




3801 Augusta Avenue

Richmond, VA 23230


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6900 Hull Street Road

Richmond, VA 23224


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8510 Staples Mill Road

Richmond, VA 23228


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6900 Hull Street Road

Richmond, VA 23224


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