The British Humanist Association trains and accredits celebrants to write and conduct personal and non-religious ceremonies to mark major rites of passage with humanist naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.
You don’t have to ‘be’ a humanist to have one of these ceremonies; they are available to anyone who wants a personal, non-religious way of marking a major rite of passage.
All ceremonies are written especially for the circumstances. They can include music, readings and words chosen by the family and can be as traditional or thoroughly modern as you wish.
Naming ceremonies are happy and relaxed occasions held by those who want to welcome a new arrival into the world but without reference to inducting the child into a religion. They are often held at the start of a family party. Many families combine a naming ceremony with a first birthday party.
Humanist wedding ceremonies allow a couple of mark their marriage in a way that’s entirely fitting to their personalities, values and approach to life. There are no limits to what can or can’t be said or where the ceremony can be held – including outside. Most couples take care of the legalities at the register office in the days before their humanist wedding which is the occasion they consider their ‘real’ wedding.
Humanist funerals can be held in crematoria and cemeteries or burial grounds. They have the same status in law as other kind of funerals. They are bespoke ceremonies written to celebrate the life lived as well as mourn the loss. Humanists do not believe in life after death and so humanist funerals focus on the life lived and the memories left behind.