Most people recognize the value of marking important life passages with a special ceremony.
If you would like to celebrate the joining of two lives, the birth of a new baby, or pay tribute to a life that has ended, your solution may be a Humanist ceremony.
We mark the passages of life events in a joyous, respectful, community-oriented celebration, reflecting our Humanist understanding of the shared responsibilities of life, the commonality of all persons, and the individual wishes and reflections of the persons we are celebrating.
A Humanist Officiant takes the role of a facilitator of such rites of passage, providing resources, guidance, ideas and original writing for those who wish to design their own ceremonies. The persons celebrating may take an active role, or can help craft the ceremony and ask the officiant to preside over the event in full. The individuals decide what elements to include and what the meaning of the rite has for them.
Humanist ceremonies can be traditional, or pure fun; quietly dignified, or a blending of both. Each one can be tailored to your personal taste and family requirements. In keeping with Humanist values, they are non-religious ceremonies.
Humanism is an ethical philosophy or way of life based on human experience, that calls for a commitment to the betterment of humanity through compassion, reason, the methods of science, respect for the environment, and a democratic, inclusive politics.
Humanist ceremonies are informed by humanist core values and principles. Whether marriage or memorial, ceremonies are secular in form and content. No two humanist ceremonies are the same because each one is composed to reflect the unique character and personalities of the participants.
Since a Humanist ceremony can take place at any location – such as your home, a restaurant, a park, or an art gallery, for instance), the imagination is set free to make the ceremony very special and unique in every respect. Again, there is no prescribed form or text other than the legal elements as proscribed by the Marriage Act of Ontario. Ceremonies are written especially for the couple or sometimes by the couple themselves. Family members or friends often take part and children, if they are playing a role, add a special sparkle to the day.
A humanist marriage ceremony requires thought and reflection, because it identifies the couple as individuals who have come together in love and respect and with confidence in each other, each one bringing to the marriage their own qualities and talents.
Getting Married in Ontario
Humanist Child Naming Ceremonies
A Baby Naming ceremony is an opportunity for the parents to introduce their baby to the circle of family, friends and community that will help to guide the child as they grow to maturity. In naming the baby in a formal ceremony, the parents are acknowledging that the community has a duty and responsibility to care for all of its members. And the circle of family and friends that represent the community acknowledge their wish to be involved. Bestof all, a Baby Naming ceremony is a joyous gathering that celebrates the life of the child and the life of the community.