Becoming An Officiant

Program Testimonials

"My Celebrant Fundamentals Class with teacher Diane Wilkerson just ended on Thursday and what a wondrous experience it was for me. Both Diane and the class content were an awesome combination. Diane explains the weekly assignments and lessons so clearly, and she is such a great listener to the students as well. Diane really motivated me to learn and participate in the class, and most importantly for me to stretch my consciousness as regards Celebrancy and what it means to be a Celebrant. Wonderful experience all around! I am planning to enroll in one (maybe two classes) in February 2021." Pam M. Student 12.20
"To my CF&I wedding certificate teacher April Beer - Thanks again for the humor and wisdom that you bring to this work! It has been a great experience during a very difficult time personally. Because of this class and CF&I, I feel prepared to do this work!" Lynn, 2019 Wedding Celebrant Graduate
"I absolutely love and appreciate my CF&I Celebrant Business Course class! The amazing assignments have created my vision beyond what I ever could have imagined. Ever so grateful!" Celebrant Student 2019
"From a very early age it was my life’s ambition to be a published writer. I thought I would have a career as an author, earning enough money to support myself with my chosen work. I spent many years writing stories, essays and books, publishing some and collecting rejection slips for others. I lived much of my life on a rollercoaster — up when a piece was accepted, and down when another was rejected. After one book was finally published, I discovered the other side of the writing life — marketing — for which I am not cut out. This discovery forced me to seek a new goal, but it wasn’t until six years later that I discovered my calling as a life-cycle celebrant, a vocation that hadn’t even existed in this country before the 21st century. In fact, the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, where I studied, was founded in 2001, the same year my book was published." Emily V., Celebrant
"Right now my head and heart are full to overflowing. This was such a rich class in many ways and I'll be processing thoughts, feelings, new connections for quite some time. I am very excited to start to decide what ceremony niche I will start with, and I'm thinking maybe divorce ceremonies and rite of passage ceremonies for women going through menopause, retirement, empty nests. Good luck to all of you, wherever you are along this journey of helping people make deeper sense of their lives. "See" you at graduation and beyond!" Mary M., Class of 2019
"I'm so grateful to you all, and especially to you, Elisa. This has been a rewarding experience, and has done what I hoped it would: it has made me a better Fundamentals teacher, it has expanded my Celebrant vocabulary, and it has affirmed my decision to become a Celebrant in the first place. I wish all my cohorts well, and look forward to seeing you as colleagues." Lenny S., Class of 2019
"Thank you so very much to my teacher Elisa Chase. I appreciate your kindness, your counsel, and all that you shared with us during this course. I am honored to be a life-cycle celebrant and excited to embark on my new career. The Celebrant Foundation & Institute is indeed a gift in my life and I intend to pay it forward by spreading the word and supporting everyone in celebrant work. "See" you at graduation. " Barbara L., Class of 2019
"Ben Martin's Funerals class was just incredible! What a wonderfully sensitive man he is, and a great cohort of students we had. Thank you for your advising me to consider taking Funerals certification It had a big influence in my direction as a Celebrant. I had felt called to funerals as my initial reason for seeking out CF&I. Now having completed Fundamentals and Ben's class I would like to continue working with people in who are in a healing process, either from disease or addiction, or with people making other transitions in life that may be difficult or not, but life changing, and therefore in need of marking that change in a significant way, both for them, their families, and their community, and for these reasons I would like to enroll in Healing and Transitions certification." Kevin B., Class of 2019
"I have loved my studies with CF&I. Once again I want to thank you for suggesting Shae Uisna’s as a teacher for CF&I Celebrant Funeral Certification. Shae calls everyone else rock stars, but she really is the consummate rock star. She created, facilitated, and taught an amazingly nurturing and safe class, and rife with sparkling conversation and shared learning. It was a fabulous experience." 2019 Celebrant Student
"I’m attracted to celebrancy because of my interest in rituals and stories; the skills I’d be using day-to-day which are so closely aligned with my natural abilities; and lastly, because I want a career that enriches my life and opens my mind and heart." 2018 Celebrant Student
"Things happen in life to change one’s perspective and I believe they don’t happen by accident. Recently I was put on a path that made me step back and do some introspective, thoughtful and mindful thinking about what I really want to do in what we now refer to as “the second half” of my life. It’s time for me to be a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, this I now know." 2017 Celebrant Student
"I wanted a path that was positive, engaging and nourishing. Being a Celebrant makes this possible." 2017 Celebrant Student
First wedding of 2018 was a blast! And I got a note from Alex and Matt the very next day. And yes, MacGyver the dog walked in to the theme song from the TV show when asked to present the rings. Love these two...."Dear Alice, We wanted to drop you a quick line to say thank you so much for making our wedding day spectacular. But really, where do we begin?! The ceremony was absolutely perfect and it really set the tone for the event and our marriage. It was so comfortable, the ideal balance of funny and touching, not too long and not too was, one of the, if not the, highlight of the weekend.
It has been such a pleasure to work with you the last several months - everything from our first phone call to meeting for drinks to the day of the event - and if there is any way we can provide a testimonial or if there is a site on which reviews are most valuable/helpful to you, please let us know we are happy to do so. Thank you again and we look forward to staying in touch!". " 2018 Celebrant Student
"My journey into celebrancy has been amazingly fulfilling - more so than I ever imagined. I am blown-away by the depths to which we dug TOGETHER in this online course. Originally, I questioned how personalized an online course could be. Now, my original questioning has completely dissolved with the strength of this well developed, structured, and supported CF&I course. Never in my years of education in colleges, universities, and professional development courses, have I ever seen material so well selected and scaffolded for students' use. Unlike other courses I have attended in the past, outside of my CF&I experience, I will continue to use my course notes well into the future." 2016 Celebrant Student
"Elisa, I just wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for being a wonderful teacher of my weddings course. I also wanted to thank you and the other staff at CF&I for creating the great curriculum. I completed my first wedding this past Thursday and was so pleasantly shocked to hear all of the positive feedback about what makes Life-Cycle Celebrants unique and so valuable to a ceremony experience. There was a moment after the ceremony when the couple went to grab the marriage license and dry off a bit (we got a little close to the waterfall) and the photographers were chatting with me asking "how long have you known them?" "that ceremony was so personal and different from what we see a lot of other officiants do at other weddings" "you must have done a million weddings in odd settings like this, you were so composed and present". I definitely was NOT expecting that after my very first wedding! I thank my lucky stars that my business cards came through the day before, because they couldn't ask for one fast enough and they mentioned sending me referrals that day! The course made me feel comfortable in my writing ability and as importantly gave me the business resources and tips to hit the ground running. I am so so happy to have found work that makes me feel so good and so proud and that can support me thank to the encouragement from you and CF&I to value what we do. THANK YOU!" 2017 Celebrant Alumni
"Your certified Life-Cycle Celebrant training program offers the depth and rigor I am looking for. The topics in the Fundamentals of Celebrancy course are of great interest to me. I look forward to all this new learning and to a new way to use the gifts of my life in the service for others. Helping people to create meaningful ways to honor and celebrate transitions in their lives is a privilege that carries with it significant responsibility. I want to do this work." 2017 Celebrant Student
"My journey into celebrancy has been amazingly fulfilling - more so than I ever imagined. I am blown-away by the depths to which we dug TOGETHER in this online course. Originally, I questioned how personalized an online course could be. Now, my original questioning has completely dissolved with the strength of this well developed, structured, and supported CF&I course. Never in my years of education in colleges, universities, and professional development courses, have I ever seen material so well selected and scaffolded for students' use. Unlike other courses I have attended in the past, outside of my CF&I experience, I will continue to use my course notes well into the future." 2016 Celebrant Student
"Elisa's support as our course instructor cannot be underestimated. With warmth and enthusiasm, she brought a true humanity to our studies. She encouraged us to push ahead and was always willing and open to respond to our questions in meaningful ways. I feel truly blessed to have had this experience with her as my mentor." 2016 Celebrant Student
"I feel so fortunate and blessed with the wonderful teachers and resources I have. I am 150% confident in my schooling and the wonderful teachers. I cannot fail. I hope to make you proud of my work and become a resource for other Celebrants one day. I cannot thank you enough." 2016 Celebrant Student
"I also want you to know that Lenny Scovel is an incredible instructor; he is insightful, warm, and a true prince of a person. I thoroughly enjoyed the Fundamentals course, and I am fired up for this new career. It's so exciting! :-)" 2016 Celebrant Student
"I am so sure of this path, and I am so thankful for the education. As Peggy said in class, we are pioneers. I truly feel part of something so meaningful, and I am looking forward to connecting with other celebrants as we continue our life journey together." 2016 Celebrant Student
"Thank you CF&I and the Alumni Group for the training, ideas and constant support you provide. I love this job!!!" 2016 Celebrant Graduate
"Top notch training...A+ student interaction...Extremely responsive and supportive faculty and staff. I'm humbled by the opportunity to do the life-cycle advocacy for every aspect of life. CF&I helped me apprciate the many ways to add honor and meaning to the precious milestones in our lives." 2016 Celebrant Graduate
"I am greatly enjoying the Celebrant program of studies. As the weeks have gone on my initial yes has turned into YES!!!" 2016 Celebrant Graduate
"I do not want to become a Celebrant because in my heart - I already am one! What I want at this time in my life is to cultivate and share on a professional level, my inclination of gathering in ceremony to cherish a life event. I also strongly believe that together we are better, and wish to enroll in an education that will open up a world of resources and community to me." Newly admitted student Celebrant
"At age 52, I want to create and perform life-event ceremonies for others. I am ready to share my penchant for creating ceremonies that help us identify and honor moments in our individual lives. We occupy a singular consciousness, and more and more, we are tuning ourselves to the concept of mindful living." Newly admitted student Celebrant
"The wedding I officiated at as a Celebrant was greatI The family put everyone up at the Hyatt Regency here (from all over the world), wined and dined them for 2 days prior) and yeah, it was such an interesting wedding. So glad I got to do it. What started as, "we just want something simple" turned into a very cool wedding with blooming tea balls tea ceremony, a red cord hand-fasting and pinky-swear ritual and presentation of gifts to the parents. If this isn't the best dang career on the planet, I don't know what is." Celebrant from Seattle, WA
Life-Cycle Celebrant Danna Schmidt from Seattle, Washington is an accomplished artist, creator of rituals, mother, and celebrant who describes her work this way: “Joseph Campbell once observed that it is the great pleasure of a lifetime being who you are. And indeed, it is so. For me, this means being a commemorator, connector, creator, cartographer, and compassionista." Danna Schmidt
"I so enjoyed the Celebrant Wedding Certification course. The class with Elisa Chase was informative, practical, inspiring, and lots of fun. I can't speak highly enough of Elisa's gifts as a teacher. I also look forward to eventually taking another class, hopefully with Elisa. Again, thank you. I am very proud to be an alumnus of the Celebrant's Institute." Howard Major III - 2015 Graduate
"I recently graduated from CF&I with my Fundamentals of Celebrancy and Funeral Celebrant certificate. You offer a most excellent program. I have taken many online courses in the past and this one is by far above and beyond all other is quality, relevancy and professionalism. I want to thank you, sincerely for providing an amazing course." 2015 Graduate
"This course is a gift! I wish I became a Celebrant years ago. Thank you for giving me a new fullfilling career I’m passionate about! Your faculty and curriculum are the best I have ever experienced. Please pass this on." 2014 Graduate
"I have found these months of studying amazing. My teachers were delightful woman to work with. CF&I is one of the most well organized schools I've ever attended and I would venture to say it's the most well-run business I''ve ever dealt with as well. There is nothing left unaddressed. In my opinion, if our government were as well organized and well run we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. Your school is wonderful! Thank you for this most fantastic experience." 2012 Graduate
"My Celebrancy practice has taken me to heights I'd never dreamed! I have truly found something I love! Each new ceremony challenges me to bring the best skills, grace, and love to the people and the event they've placed in my hands. I've grown as a human being because of this work! I'm so very grateful for the skills I learned through the Celebrant Institute." 2011 Graduate
"I am here in the program because Funeral Celebrancy is knocking on my door. It is no longer just a program that I am in; it is a program that is in me." 2011 Graduate
"I'm loving my Celebrant (professional ritual maker) life!" 2006 Graduate
"There are so many things to celebrate on earth and so many ways to do it. I love life and can't imagine anything more rewarding than creating a career assisting others in honoring its most important milestones. I believe that being a celebrant is something I was born to do." 2010 Graduate
Certified Life Cycle Celebrant

This photo above is of our Celebrant, AC Warden, and the lovely couple she married. Over the last 8 years AC has been officiating at personalized and meaningful ceremonies for folks from all walks of life. These ceremonies are: Weddings, Funerals, Baby Welcomings and Same Gender Ceremonies, as well as a wonderful array of other life milestone ceremonies. AC loves her thriving Celebrant practice and you can enjoy being a Certified LifeCycle Celebrant too!

"I'm not only extremely excited to now be a practicing Celebrant, but incredibly CONFIDENT in my vocation - and it's because of the support of my classmates, instructor and the Celebrant Foundation. I honestly cannot thank you enough. I'm incredibly pleased with my investment. " Jessica NJ 2008
"It exceeded my expectations and I am grateful for the experience. Even if I wasn't going to become a celebrant, I believe this past year has enriched my life and had a significant impact. It has expanded my understanding of ritual and ceremony and the role they can play in our individual, family and community lives to enhance our relationships and connections to one another, as well as increase our self-awareness. Thank you so much for all of your efforts to create and sustain this opportunity. " Rani FL 2008
"I am amazed at how in such a short time our study group has developed the sense of safety and trust with each other to share the stories and moments of pain/change/growth of our lives. It sets this class apart as being more than just a handing out of information as in traditional classes. This class has become in itself a transformational process and a feeding of one's soul. " Dawn AZ 2007
"On his recent wedding he performed...

I found that what I learned from my teacher Peggy Lewis and the Institute made this a completely different ceremony compared to my first wedding, back in September. It was so much fun working with the couple, finding out all about them, and then seeing how much everyone enjoyed the ceremony. I am so excited about being able to bring this kind of meaning and joy into the lives of others in the future. The bride and groom were just ecstatic about the ceremony, and were thrilled to get a special transcript of the ceremony as a keepsake. Thank you for all you have taught me, and for how you have helped me to be more the person that I was meant to be! " RJ WI 2008

Celebrant Students, Graduates & Alumni.

"Thank you so much for your support and guidance throughout this journey. It has certainly given me a holistic picture of a way that I can pull on all my strengths from the past to create something new for the future. I'm looking forward to figuring out where to go from here. " Marian NH 2008
"My Celebrant graduation was THE MOST INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE that I have ever witnessed or participated in!!!!!

I kept saying to my husband, "I can't believe that they're doing all of this for us!"

It was a wonderful time throughout the entire 3 days. How amazing to be in such an atmosphere! Talking with classmates and colleagues the entire time!!!! To me, one of the most moving rituals was the living archway of teachers and alumni that we passed through at the end of the ceremony. The entire experience I cherish to this day! I passionately and proudly say, "I am a Celebrant!" I am grateful to have made and strengthened friendships that I feel will last throughout my life. Although we are states away, we communicate on a regular basis by email, cards and sometimes lengthy phone calls. We ask for and share with each other elements and rituals that we need or have performed. The education provided by the foundation is impeccable and should be followed explicitly!!! " Beverly IL 2008
"If I was attending the graduation with you all I would be hugging my teacher Lamira right now! This past year was a blessing in many ways and my celebrant classes were part of that blessing. Like others, celebrancy was new to me and just what I was looking for! Or maybe just what was looking for ME!

I am grateful for the program; grateful for the whole staff, who kept saying yes to all my questions; grateful for my classmates because I learned so much from you all; grateful for Lamira as "instructor extraordinaire," who shared her knowledge and expertise and wisdom with generosity, humor and support. Congratulations to all of us! " Katie VA 2008
"Thank you for all your thoughtful guidance and feedback. Now as I come to a finish I find myself hungry for more. The course has brought me to a place where I have a new level of questions. I suppose this is where our own searching and fellowship with fellow celebrants comes in You have crafted a program that evolved me to this point, again thank you. Best, absolutely the best. " Trina OR 2007
"This was my third course and I've learned, grown, made wonderful friends and have an exciting new aspect to my life. THANK YOU CINDY & CELEBRANT USA! " Roberta NY 2006 & 2007 Graduate
"I'm loving my Celebrant (professional ritual maker) life!" Roberta NY 2006 & 2007 Graduate

Celebrant Students, Graduates & Alumni.

"Thank you! I can't tell you how excited I am. There have been few times in my life when I've have known without doubt that the decision I had made was absolutely right. This is another one of them.

It's amazing, think about it, if our foundation & institute would have started just a decade ago we would not have been able to create this learning, sharing and empowering Celebrant community that we have now. Power to technology and to folks like you that know how to use it for the greater good. " Mickey MN 2006
"To: Wedding Celebrant teacher, Woody Winfree "You have been a great teacher; definitely tougher than I expected, but very fair. There is a long, long path before I am ever as good as you!" " Kendyl WA 2007
"Your coaching is great and the course is great. I can see how I WOULD NOT have felt comfortable creating and performing a ceremony without going thru the entire course. Thank you. Thank you. " Adam NYC 2007
"Believe it or not, most funeral directors know very little about ceremonies unless they take the time and have the interest. In fact, the two years of college and one year apprenticeship does not teach them about ceremonies. I recall just touching on it a little in the funeral history course. In school, we were not taught that a funeral service is a ceremony and we had no real concept of what rituals were and how to apply them to ceremony. I was one of the more creative one's, yet, I've learned more just in the fundamentals class that the Celebrant Foundation and Institute offers and I'm looking forward to now studying for my Certification in the Funeral and Healing course. " Jeff VT 2007
"I really loved the first part of this class. I was overwhelmed by the reading at first and was sure it wasn't sinking in but with Cindy's help, I settled into the class and loved it. Understanding the structure of ceremony also helps me see more structure in the callings in my own life. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I was almost sad when we moved away from Joseph Campbell and Van Gennep and moved on to the more pragmatic part of the course. I love understanding Joseph Campbell more clearly. I've been reading his work or listening to him for years and always loved him but now I seem to get a little more of the picture instead of just pieces of it. I was surprised and please to see how quickly our personalities showed in a chat-room type class. Cindy said this was her favorite way to do a class and I was doubtful but now I see why. We quickly had to get to the point, and show ourselves for who we were and how we learned. " Jan OR 2006

Celebrant Students, Graduates & Alumni.

"I am very grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for our teacher's commitment and dedication and to the thought, the care and the planning that has gone into the syllabus for this program and to the continuing process of looking at the syllabus and of the unique reaction of each new group as it faces it's course of study --- as evidenced by Cindy's comments after the class. . I find the Institute's willingness and desire to meet each of us individually - wherever we're at - and to encourage us (and especially to support us by teaching us that there is no competition!!!) very generous in spirit - and something I have not found in most work environments I have been in. " Dorry NJ 2006
"Now - I would REALLY like to thank you for your patience in going through all the class materials, planning the classes, organizing the materials and being there for all of us. Your enthusiasm and professional experiences, along with your creative expertise was invaluable during the semester ...I am in awe of your ability to make the creative and business aspects of Celebrancy work together. I am honored to even try to become a 'celebrant' and join such a talented and caring family. Thank you for all you bring to the Celebrancy organization and all you have shared with us this past class. I look forward to meeting you some day soon(?) and working with you and the organization in the future. I can only strive to achieve the level of knowledge, creativity, confidence and professionalism that you exhibit. Thank you for being my instructor and starting me on this journey. So - THANK YOU .... it does not do justice to your role, but it is my heartfelt and sincere sentiment... Thank you so very much. " Louise NY 2005
"I loved the celebrant classes! I was amazed at the depth of the material. When I first started I didn't really feel that there would be so much to learn, but I have really appreciated the science and the art behind celebrancy, that you brought out so eloquently. The science is there, we are the ones who will create the art in a new, personal and joyous way for others. I also feel that some of us are what? Will we be able to do this effectively and memorably? I, for one, have two weddings scheduled for the summer and will plunge into the assignment, hoping for it to come together beautifully, although I may be a little scared. As I said before : once you make up your mind to do something positive, the universe conspires to assist you! " Enid NJ 2006
"I thank each of you for sharing your intellect, creativity and wisdom. I learned much from you. I am also amazed at how I feel have come to know you through technology, without ever having met you face-to-face. I'm so much more aware of what goes into this with each class I take. I feel so much more comfortable with going on this path for myself as I really see how it fits with my previous career and how it allows me to still be in a helpful relationship with people but in more creative ways. Thanks for all your insight and guidance and I feel honored to have taken all my classes with you (Cindy). You are so experienced with tools and wisdom. " Cheri FL 2006
"I like your teaching and I very much enjoyed Fundamentals. I especially like the incremental approach. I headed into this like I was going to learn it in one day. The pace of our learning has been comfortable and conducive to really absorbing the material. " Elizabeth NJ 2006
"I just wanted to personally thank you for everything. I could not have made it through the first part of the course without your patience and support. I have to confess, mythology was my worst subject in school. Somehow, you made it more pleasurable and do-able (it finally made sense after all these years). " Alma Rose CA 2005

Celebrant Students, Graduates & Alumni.

"This class has exceeded any expectations that I might have had, incredibly thorough in all aspects, Cindy, you are one of the most competent instructors it's ever been my honor to work with (and I'm pretty darn picky!). The class truly prepares me to move forward into new career but also has been instrumental in some personal, internal shifts in the way I am choosing to live my life. I am so grateful for everything and for each one of my classmates, and their wisdom and willingness to share resources and ideas. " Terry CA 2007
"I am really looking forward to getting started. I am very, very impressed with this course and the quality of you all there at celebrant USA. I am extremely thankful for your expertise and knowledge and resourcefulness and look forward to meeting you all next month. " Mike WA 2007
"I also would like to express my gratitude to you, Cindy, the rest of the staff and of course my classmates for a wonderful journey. I'm excited and feel prepared to take on this new role and I look forward to growing into it. Thank you again for all your help to prepare me to take this on! " Charyl MN 2007
"As one of the old mystics wrote of such a journey, "the final fruit is joy." Perhaps you can imagine the deep quiet joy I feel having found a cleared path to the rich spiritual work of Celebrancy. Thank you so much for having the insight and courage to co-create this opportunity for us that will enrich countless lives. " Nancy Irish, MI 2008
"This was a very tough year for us - with hidden blessings. But the shining light through it all was the Celebrancy program and now my work as a Celebrant. It has brought me such joy and fulfillment to finally be able to do the work that I have really wanted to do my entire adult life. Thank you for providing me with a foundation, structure, and such excellent preparation to be able to bring forth my own passion and creativity in this way. I absolutely love this work and I am happier than I have ever been as an adult. It shows and others - well everyone - has noticed it. Really, you saved my soul. I look forward to many more years growing and sharing with you and bringing this beautiful work out into the world. " Deb MA 2007