What Is a Humanist Wedding?
Humanist weddings began to appear more frequently in the United States and around the world in the mid-1990s. The main catalyst for this was the introduction of legalized same sex marriage in each state, which made having a civil ceremony between two persons a legal act in these states. When the term “humanist” was first used, it referred only to those who were not members of organized religions; however as time progressed it has generally included any individual who does not follow a religious path. Today, this description can cover any individual who chooses not to follow a particular religion and who wishes to have their wedding ceremony performed according to their own personal beliefs. Because of the increasing popularity of these ceremonies, many wedding planners are beginning to offer what is called a “humanist” style of ceremony.
A humanist wedding is often held within a historic or cultural setting rather than following a specific set of rules. As a result, the actual structure of the ceremony is less formal than a more traditional ceremony. Because it is less formal, there are still many options that can be incorporated into any humanist ceremony. A few of these options include using a plethora of different types of music, not taking an oath of duty, and not taking an item from the marriage contract as a symbolic reference. In this article, I will discuss what is a humanist wedding and what options are available for a couple who decides to have such a ceremony.
There are many different readings that can be used at a humanist wedding. Some of the more popular readings include: a biblical passage, a poem, or a quote by either a member of the clergy or a layperson. Depending on the beliefs of the couple, these readings can be used to bring the marriage together and to also make it more meaningful. There are also many different types of readings that can be incorporated into the ceremony itself. These can include things like a dedication, which will be read during the ceremony; a biblical or inspirational reading; or simply a favorite line of a poem or story by one of the individuals that is making the toast.
Another option that can be used in what is a humanist wedding is the use of a set script for the ceremony. This is usually something that is a part of the civil ceremony that has been created by the clergy that oversees the ceremony. This is a smaller portion of the entire ceremony that is dedicated to whatever reason that the couple chooses to honor their own personal beliefs about religion and other things. It is not necessary for the use of a set script for what is a humanist wedding, but it is something that can be easily integrated into the ceremony. This should be something that is considered if you and your partner are very religious or if you have a difficult time putting your beliefs and ideals into words.
Finally, there are some things that are outside of the actual ceremony that can be included in what is a humanist wedding. For example, there are many places that offer recitation of poems and songs during the ceremony and these are always considered to be part of the overall celebration. Many times there are also readings from the bible that are part of the event as well, which will add to the emotional element of the evening. There are a number of different options that are available to the celebrants when it comes to adding in what is a spiritual element to the entire reception.
What is a Humanist wedding does not necessarily mean that the wedding is going to be non-religious. In many cases, the ceremony is designed around various aspects of spirituality and that is reflected in the ceremony and reception that are given by the accredited celebrants. The important thing to remember is that there are plenty of options when it comes to what is the humanist ceremonies, so do not be afraid to consult with your celebrant to see what they suggest for you.