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Celebrancy Movement



Celebrant Movement History


(Article inspired by different sources, including Celebrant Foundation & Institute, Wikipédia

The Civil Celebrancy Movement or Celebrancy was born in Australia in the early 70s. He was inspired by the understanding that the system in place at the time did not offer all the dignity, choice or spiritual experience that many citizens were entitled to expect. So many people, secular or non-conventional religious were left behind, especially at funerals traditionally the church area.

The Australian celebrants program owes its creation and its development thanks to the unconditional support of the reformist Attorney General Lionel Murphy who drafted the bill legally authorizes civil celebrants to celebrate marriages. On 19 July 1973 Lionel Murphy appointed the first independent civil celebrant; then, in the years that followed, a hundred civil celebrants, whose renowned Dally Messenger III.

The evolution of the movement Celebrant was not made without obstacles or opposition, but has accompanied the evolution of Australian society, and elsewhere in the world - p. ex. for marriage: the increase in divorces, the desire to move away from traditional ceremonies and greetings offered by the church ... All this to contribute to the increase in demand for civil celebrants (accredited by the government). Later, the services of civil celebrants spread to other significant events as births (secular baptism), funerals and other rites of passage. Finally, when the gay rights movements have strengthened the Celebrant movement allowed a celebration option for same-sex unions.

Since its inception, the Celebrant movement has become an international organization that has spread first in New Zealand in the late 70s, and in many countries around the world. Among others, in North America where the celebrant movement came in 2001 and has rapidly grown in the USA.

In modern societies where there is a great diversity of cultural and religious heritage, a growing unease with the traditional religions or organized, and preferably more pronounced for individual expression, the Celebrant movement offers a new and unique approach to create personalized and meaningful ceremonies.

Today in Australia and New Zealand, the majority of weddings and funerals are conducted by certified celebrants.


The vision of Lionel Murphy and the basic principle of the movement Celebrant :

The movement Australian Celebrant was heavily inspired by certain convictions Lionel Murphy, including:

- that citizens should be able to choose their own celebration - a concept totally new and unheard of for church and state;

- his assertion that celebrate every milestone of life was as important for lay people and for religious people;

- its deep conviction that culture is essential.

The ideal of Mr. Murphy for Australian civil celebrants included skills combining symbolism, ritual, poetry, prose, music, choreography, movement, narrative, etc. And the ability to combine all these elements in the ceremonies with the "substance", both in substance and in form.

Thus, the first civil marriage celebrants-celebrants were appointed with the specific intention that they would create ceremonies could be as rich sense of a cultural perspective and, if necessary, as a solemn religious wedding , i.e. that these ceremonies were not to be inferior in quality to religious ceremonies.