Many of us need to celebrate the milestones in our lives, whether or not we believe in a god. In Humanist ceremonies, the participants decide what is said and done, and are not obliged to use stereotyped words
Weddings Choosing a wedding which concentrates on the people involved, rather than on the words in a book, gives an honest and joyful start to a marriage. Humanist weddings are legally binding in Scotland, but not yet in the rest of the UK. The only alternatives are a register office or a licensed venue, but it is possible to have an additional Humanist wedding after an official register office ceremony. A Humanist wedding is truly personal, and can provide the sense of occasion that a couple naturally wishes to have on their wedding day. The ceremony may be held anywhere, in a garden, a hotel, a beach or even a mountain top.
Namings The arrival of a baby is an important event and most people want to mark the time when the infant starts to take an interest in the world around it. This may be called a naming or a welcoming ceremony. Family and friends welcome the child and express their love, support and hopes for the child's life that lies ahead.
Funerals A religious funeral may be felt inappropriate where the person or the immediate family and friends have no religion, but it is no less important to gather to express grief and sadness at the death and to celebrate the life with love and appreciation.
A funeral does not have to be a drab and impersonal business. It can affectionately honour the life that has ended by capturing the essence of the personality in words and music chosen by the family. Friends can contribute, and time is given for quiet reflection.
Chiltern Humanists and the BHA have officiants experienced in conducting ceremonies. They will discuss the benefits and practicalities of non-religious ceremonies. Please contact:
Simon Allen http://www.simonallenceremonies.co.uk/
0777 151 4024
(Simon is based in Watford)
or the Humanist website: Celebrants
For other areas please call the BHA on 020 7079 3580, or click here for a list of BHA celebrants.