What happens in a Humanist Ceremony?
A ceremony that's authentic to you
Each Humanist ceremony is written especially for the family at the heart of it. As a result each Humanist ceremony is completely unique and personal.
So saying, there are some common aspects to a naming ceremony. Naming ceremonies typically take between 15 and 25 minutes. There will usually be an introduction from the celebrant followed by a combination of readings, vows, symbolic gestures and/or music, and ending with the naming itself. Most parents choose to assign an equivalent of godparents. We often call these 'guideparents' or mentors.
Although we ask that there be no explicitly religious content to a Humanist ceremony, people will often choose to include traditions relating to baby naming or welcoming ceremonies from around the world.
Baby namings can be formal or casual, solemn or playful. It really is up to you to set the tone and I will write and deliver the ceremony that will be meaningful to you.
what is it?
Books have been written about the meaning of Humanism and there's a lot on the subject on the Humanists UK website, but I will try to summarise my own feelings here. For me, Humanism is the answer to the question, 'So you're not religious, what now?'
In essence, it's a positive philosophy based on the idea that as there is no afterlife or reincarnation we must make the most of the time we have here. As there is no divine justice to right the wrongs of the world in heaven and hell, we must fight injustice and intolerance for ourselves and do all we can to make life better for our fellow humans.
On a personal note, I also believe that this world, with all its natural wonders, justifies its own existence without having to have a 'purpose' imposed on it by a deity of some kind. The universe and the organisms inhabiting it are majestic and fascinating and that's enough for me.
a high standard for celebrants
To be accredited as a celebrant by Humanist Ceremonies™ all applicants have to pass a rigorous selection, training and assessment process. As an accredited celebrant I receive ongoing mentoring and am obligated to submit annual records of my continuous professional development activities. I am also observed by my peers when delivering ceremonies and receive feedback on a regular basis to ensure that I am delivering to the highest standards.