Stephen Fry explains Humanist Wedding Ceremonies

Stephen Fry has narrated a new video for the British Humanist Association explaining different humanist ceremonies.

The video comes as calls grow for the British Government to give humanist weddings legal recognition in the UK, even though they are ALREADY fully Legal within Southern Ireland. You can find out more about the Irish Humanist celebrants on their website:

In the animated clip, he explains the basics of a humanist alternative to a religious or civil wedding ceremony, as well as explaining humanist funerals and naming ceremonies.

He says: "In an age where more and more people live their lives without religion, humanist ceremonies offer a contemporary way of satisfying the timeless need to bring significance to life's big changes.

"Human beings have always marked the important events of life - like births and marriages - and commemorated people who have died. We do it still today, and for those of us with no religious beliefs, it's important that we can mark these occasions with honesty, warmth and affection using words and music that are appropriate.

"A humanist wedding is a celebration of shared commitment based entirely on the unique aspects of the relationship of the couple. Couples have the freedom to write their own promises to each other."

"A humanist ceremony is a meaningful, non-religious occasion created specifically for the people involved, to be personally meaningful. It is conducted by a trained celebrant with the skills and experience required to bring significance to every ceremony, and who works closely with families to create it."

"Humanist funerals bring people together to express and share sadness but also to celebrate the life lived, in a way that is simple and sincere. They are carefully written to ensure they are inclusive of all present. People often say afterwards how moving sincere and fitting they found the ceremony, and how much they appreciated its authenticity.

Humanist naming ceremonies are reflections and acknowledgements of the joy, wonder and responsibility of bringing a child into the world, which involve not just parents but family and friends. They are chosen by parents who want the opportunity to celebrate, but also want their child to be able to decide for themselves as they get older, what they do or don't believe about religion."

Due to their fluid structure, humanist ceremonies can be adapted to better cater for LGBT participants and non-traditional family units.

In Ireland, where humanist marriages are legally recognised, humanist ceremonies are now one of the most popular type of belief-based ceremony, and many more people are aware of humanist ceremonies and want one for themselves.

There is a national network of trained and accredited celebrants, gathered under a website called

People choose Humanist Ceremonies, because they want a meaningful non-religious ceremony that genuinely reflects the values they hold. Working with a trained celebrant, clients mark the most significant moments in their lives, be it the naming of a child, a marriage, or the death of someone close.

"Humanists recognise that each of these events, while universal experiences, are unique for those closely involved. There is only one chance to get it right and we work hard to fulfil the needs of those we work with to make each ceremony the best it can be, free from the constraints of a religious context."

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