Lots of people ask this question, so let’s throw some light on the matter.
A Celebrant is a person who can perform any ceremony marking some of life’s biggest milestones like births, weddings, vow renewals, gender affirmation and funerals. They can conduct ceremonies independently from any beliefs, but will happily incorporate religious or spiritual elements into the ceremony. Some couples planning their wedding vows may not practice their family’s faith, however, they may like to incorporate a religious ritual by blending their family traditions. For example, a couple wanting a Hindu tradition during their vows to each other can exchange a floral garland known as the Jai Mala. This symbolizes the partners welcoming each other into their families. The ritual ends with each half of the couple wearing the garland. Perhaps the ceremony can begin with a prayer to Ganesha, the god of beginnings and good fortune and the remover of obstacles. Salutations are offered so that Ganesha may pave the way for the couple’s married life.
By choosing a Celebrant they can perform the ceremony without any religious restrictions giving you the option to have your ceremony exactly how you want it to be and exactly where you want it to be.
A Celebrant can perform traditional or contemporary ceremonies that are heartfelt, bespoke, and meaningful, crafting your story of love and life’s events. Another question people ask me is when arranging their funeral or a funeral of a loved one they do not want the ceremony conducted in a place of worship traditionally led by a Vicar, Priest, Imam or Rabbi. However, they would like a prayer or a hymn included in the service. A Celebrant can incorporate any religious song, psalm, hymn you want without restrictions.
So, what is a Humanist led ceremony? Humanists have a non-religious philosophy. They believe there is no afterlife or religion of any sort. They believe the material universe is the only thing that exists, and that science provides the only source of knowledge about this universe. So, when choosing a humanist ceremony, you cannot incorporate any religious or spiritual beliefs of any sort. For example, if you chose a humanist to lead a funeral ceremony you would not be able to have a prayer or a hymn or anything that would suggest any sort of life after death. Ultimately, the choice is yours.