I am a celebrant ceremony designer and trainer, and I am looking for a word to use for our research and performance of pet funerals. Currently internationally people use the word Animal Chaplain, but for the non-religious the Chaplaincy word isn't quite right. Any suggestions would be great.
If it is limited to conducting the funerals, you could use Pet Eulogist. To eulogy/eulogize has no religious denotation, since the roots simply mean "good words" or "speak well of."
A more general administrator/conductor of a ceremony would be an officiant.
How about celebrant? It seems you already use this term...Humanist 'ministers' (i.e. the people that carry out Humanist weddings, funerals etc) also call themselves celebrants.
I'd be tempted to use a word like facilitator.
Chaplain does sound like the right word (after all, it refers to a position of ministry, not of religious function). "Animal Chaplain" sounds like you minister to animals, which isn't quite right. "Animal Bereavement Chaplain" would seem accurate, if not pithy.
If you want something to do with a funeral without being religious:
I don't think there is a single word answer unless you make a new word, then you risk not being understood. I'd suggest either pet funeral director if you only oversee the funeral or pet mortician if you also offer embalming.
If the context is clear, you could use master of ceremonies:
- a person who presides over a public ceremony, formal dinner, or entertainment, introducing the events, performers, etc.
On a less serious note, you could also try speaker for the dead.
Personally, were I to be a member of Christendom I would find it quite offensive and pretentious to use such words. From the definition of chaplain I fail to see how it could possibly apply to your scenario.
I thank you for looking a proper way to avoid this offensive word and suggest the approach suggested by Citizen.
Maybe anitaker? (animal + undertaker). It could be quite catchy, even. Barring that, I like pet eulogist.