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In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later

What Does A Funeral Conductor Or Funeral Officiant Do?

This article on funeral planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

The role of the funeral conductor is to preside over the funeral or memorial service.

If you will be having the funeral or memorial service at a religious place of worship, the religious leaders there will likely lead the service. Otherwise, anyone can lead a funeral or memorial service.

The Role Of The Funeral Conductor Or Officiant

The officiant can be as involved as you'd like. You can choose someone with experience in leading funeral and memorial services who may have a good idea of how the service should go, or you can choose someone who can work with you to create a unique and personalized service.

How To Choose A Funeral Conductor Or Officiant

A funeral can be conducted by whomever you choose. If the funeral will be held in a religious place of worship, the clergy there can lead the service. If the funeral will be held in a funeral home, the director of the funeral home can lead the service, you can bring in a clergy member to lead the service, or someone else—such as a friend or family member—can officiate.


An honorarium is a payment given for a service provided for free. Most clergy will conduct a funeral for no charge, but it is customary to offer an honorarium to the clergy member. The amount you offer is entirely up to you, based on what you can afford. The funeral home you are working with can pay this honorarium for you as a cash advance.

State-By-State Health, Legal, And End-Of-Life Resources

Funeral Planning

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