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 humanist ceremonies are written especially for the particular circumstances. They can include music, readings and words chosen by the family and can be as traditional or thoroughly modern as you wish.
You can read more about each kind of ceremony in the pages below, but briefly they are as follows:
Naming ceremonies are happy, 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.
Humanist wedding ceremonies allow a couple to mark their marriage in a way that’s entirely fitting with 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 are bespoke ceremonies written to celebrate a 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.