9th September, 2014 - Posted by officiant - No Comments

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you choose to become an Officiant?
I feel that there are many non-religious people out there who want to have secular ceremonies but do not realize there is an option that does not involve an impersonal trip to City Hall or a compromise with a lenient minister. Life milestones deserve to be marked and they deserve ceremonies that reflect the values of those involved. I am proud that as a Humanist Officiant I can provide this service to my secular community.

What is Humanism?
Humanism is a religion-free philosophy of life. It affirms that by our nature, humans have the ability and responsibility to lead ethical and meaningful lives based on reason and compassion.

Humanists support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, affording all persons equality and just treatment. The humanists I have known over the years are thoughtful, charitable people. They simply appeal to reason, science and critical thought rather than religious dogma to guide their decisions.

What is a Humanist wedding?
A humanist wedding is a non-religious ceremony that is in line with the principles of humanism. It recognizes equality of all persons and is respectful and inclusive.

My couples typically include traditional elements in their ceremonies such as exchanges of vows and rings, readings of favourite poems or song lyrics, and a kiss at the end but these are optional elements that can vary or be replaced with your own unique ideas. There are only a few steps that are required to legally join two people in marriage and beyond that, the wedding can include almost any text of your choosing, so long as it does not run contrary to the principles of my licencing bodies: the Province of Ontario and Humanist Canada.

Do I have to be a humanist myself to have a humanist wedding?
No. I introduce myself as a humanist officiant at all of my ceremonies but you do not need to be a humanist yourself. In order to make use of my services, you simply need to agree to be married within the parameters of my licence, most notably agreeing to a non-religious ceremony and one in line with the values of humanism. You do not need to join a humanist organization and you do not have to pay any additional fees or give your name to a mailing list of any kind.

I am interested in a same-sex marriage. Is this allowed under the principles of humanism?
Most definitely! In line with humanist values, I am honoured to provide GLBT-friendly ceremonies, free from discrimination and gender-bias. In fact, being able to serve this part of my community was one of the driving factors in my wanting to become an officiant. I have performed a number of same-gender weddings.