The Celebrant’s Ego v. Sacred Self

As a celebrant trainer, I often talk about the two distinct roles we have as a celebrant: to take direction and to give direction. Taking direction from clients can be an area where celebrants come unstuck. It can be easy, for some, to forget that we are being of service and that means the ceremony we’re creating is not ours: it is for someone else, and therefore it has to be right for them. It matters not how many hours you’ve spent crafting a script. If the client wants it changed, then ego has to take that kick in the guts. For some, it can feel like a mini death.


Another area which can be bruising for a celebrant is if they emerge from a ceremony and don’t receive any ‘applause’ from clients, mourners or guests. There can be many reasons for this that actually have nothing to do with your skills and qualities, but you can bet your ego is going to rise like a poisonous snake and fill you with venom (self doubt).

One area I’ve seen celebrants struggle with the demands of the ego is when they enter celebrant awards (which in most cases are nothing more than popularity contests or money spinners) and don’t win. If you’re good at your job, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been nominated or won an award or not. 

There are two celebrant selves that have to live alongside each other: ego and sacred self.

There’s a place for ego:

  • we need confidence and a strong sense of character to commit to a life of self employment
  • the courage to send our creativity to strangers and hope they ‘like it’
  • to put our head above the parapet and have all eyes on us when we’re public speaking.

While the ego has a place, for the most part it really needs to be ‘parked’ to one side so our sacred self (the part of us that vibrates at the frequency of peace and love and humility) can do its work. When we lean into this part of ourselves, we are more open to our intuitive voice. As a spiritual creative, this is like your BFF. Some call this spirit. When ego takes centre stage, it likes to be in control. It uses past data as evidence for confirmation of its ‘imaginings’.

How can you tell which voice within is active at any time?

Ego is only concerned with (survival of) self.

Your sacred self recognises that we’re all connected. It is the part of us that lives from, in, and of the heart. You’ll recognise the inner landscape for it is one of peace.

Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson (voice and presentation coach for celebrants) are tutors at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training. Veronika Robinson is a specialist in ritual and has been officiating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies since 1995. She’s a certified Infant Loss Professional; founder of Penrith’s first Death Café; is certified in Self-harm and Suicide Awareness and Prevention; is a celebrant for the charity Gift of a Wedding; and mentors celebrants around the world in all aspects of celebrancy including mastering writing life stories and love stories. Veronika also runs workshops and retreats for celebrants.

Alongside celebrant training, Veronika Robinson officiates beautiful and bespoke ceremonies across Cumbria, from Cornwall to Callanish, and internationally. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cumbria.

Veronika is the author of many books both fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Celebrant Collection published by Starflower Press:
Write That Eulogy;
The Successful Celebrant;
Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
The Blessingway.

Three more titles will be added in late February 2024:
The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children;
The Discrimination-free Celebrant;
The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.

Also in 2024:
Every Couple Has a Love Story: A Wedding Celebrant’s Guide to Creating Compelling Narrative from Once Upon A Time to “I do!”

You can also find the wonderful library of magazines Veronika edited, here: