What is a humanist wedding ceremony?

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Humanist marriages are already legally recognized in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey

A report commissioned by the government Legal CommissionShe has said the current rules are “stuck in time” and some couples have to pay for two ceremonies.

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In England and Wales, a couple can only choose between a civil ceremony and a church ceremony.

The newly proposed laws will allow couples to marry in “any safe and dignified place” and give legal recognition to humanistic ceremonies.

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But what is a humanistic marriage? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is a humanistic marriage?

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A humanistic wedding is a non-religious wedding that is individually tailored to the bride and groom.

Under the proposed changes, couples will be able to marry “in any safe and dignified place.” (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Unlike a religious or civil ceremony, it may include personalized vows, readings, music, poetry, or any other tradition the couple wishes to incorporate, such as B. hand fasting or lighting a unity candle.

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The couples meet with their humanist celebrant before the ceremony so that it can reflect them and their love story.

However, humanistic celebrants require more than a civil or religious ceremony.

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In Scotland the fixed price for a humanist wedding is £450.

What are humanistic beliefs?

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Humanists are non-religious, meaning they do not believe in life after death or any spiritual religion.

The focus of humanism is to focus in an ethical way on the life we ​​are living now.

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Corresponding Humanists Britain This defines someone as a humanist:

  • trusts the scientific method when it comes to understanding the workings of the universe and rejects the idea of ​​the supernatural
  • makes its ethical decisions based on reason, empathy and concern for humans and other sentient animals
  • believes that in the absence of an afterlife and no apparent purpose of the universe, people can act to give meaning to their own lives by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.

What does UK law say about humanistic marriages?

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Humanist marriages are already legally recognized in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey.

However, they are not legally recognized in England, Wales or the Isle of Man.

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You can still perform a humanistic marriage ceremony, but to make the marriage official you must also register the marriage ceremony separately at a registry office before or after your humanistic marriage ceremony.

The new proposed legislation hopes to change that and give legal status to humanist weddings across the UK.

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What would the changes mean?

The changes proposed by the Law Commission would mean marriages could take place in “any safe and dignified place”. This can be the beach, your backyard, or the local park.

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A set of universal rules would apply to religious and civil marriages, including the legalization of non-religious ceremonies of faith such as humanistic marriages.

Professor Nick Hopkins, Family Law Commissioner at the Law Commission, said: “Current marriage law doesn’t work for many couples. Unnecessary restrictions and outdated regulations mean thousands are denied a marriage that matters to them each year.

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“Our government reforms are designed to protect established practices and the dignity of marriage, while giving couples more choice about where and how to marry. There are widespread precedents for our reforms around the world.

“By giving couples more control over their marriage and ensuring greater parity of beliefs, the law can support those who wish to marry rather than create unnecessary obstacles in the way.”

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