I have been active in the humanist movement for most of my adult life. Hon Secretary of a local SE London Humanist Group for over 30 years and a Celebrant for more than 20 years. Although I find my role as a Celebrant important I think perspective is needed. ‘Rites of passage’ at a time of birth, marriage-partnership and death occupy just a few hours of most lives lived – hopefully – many years.
A Naming ceremony is a time for parents to make promises to children; these are to offer love, care, freedom of thought within principles of self-regulation by their child. The practice is what matters, not simply the words uttered at a joyful welcoming for a new baby.
Marriage or partnership should be a commitment to a serious loving relationship. The wedding ceremony can be quite simple and fun; spending a lot of money and making a big show of dressing up is not consistent with a humanist approach.
At the end of life it is good to celebrate with a ceremony which is honest and without hypocrisy. Even if not by name, the occasion should be for somone who can be identified with humanism.
I think ‘belonging’ to a community, in my case a local group of like minded people, is good for friendship and discussing ideas. Some may wish to campaign, and I will support this, but companionship is at the core of life for me.
Still curious ?