Humanist Wedding
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  • ~12 minute ceremony

A humanist wedding ceremony can have readings and rituals that the couple wishes to have included, but there are few set traditions that differ from what one may find in a typical wedding ceremony. Humanists believe in the evolutionary nature of human beings and that the natural world must be protected and kept in balance for human beings to thrive. Please note that for that reason, most humanist weddings take place outdoors.

Introduction/Welcome/Wedding Sermon

Officiant (to couple):

Hi everyone, and welcome to the wedding of this beautiful couple. We are lucky to gather here today in the great outdoors to celebrate and commemorate the union of two people very close to all our hearts.

_______________ and _______________ have chosen to marry in a way that puts them in connection with nature and the natural world, and to show their tolerance and respect for people of all beliefs. The outdoor setting of this ceremony is meant to be friendly towards the environment and you will find other sustainable choices all through the ceremony and the reception as well.

If you all are seated comfortably, we may begin. Everyone please take a minute to remember those dearly loved ones that have passed on and let us come together to wish this couple a lot of joy and happiness on this journey they are undertaking.

(Pause for a moment)

Reading/ Ritual of Choice

(The couple can choose a song, a dance, a ritual, even a dialogue from a play or literary work to perform, in this part of the ceremony. There are no fixed traditional readings or rituals to follow, it is all based on the couple’s personal wishes).

Example Reading For Humanist Ceremony:

“When the one whose hand you’re holding

is the one who holds your heart,

When the one whose eyes you gaze into

gives your hopes and dreams their start,

When the one you think of first and last

is the one who holds you tight,

And the things you plan together

make the world seem just right,

When the one whom you believe in

puts their faith and trust in you,

You’ve found the one and only love

you’ll share your whole life through.”

Unknown Author

Declaration of Intent

Officiant (to couple):

Treasure this moment when you have come together to be married. Do you both promise to love and cherish each other and be true? Do you promise to give the best of your love, friendship, loyalty, and generosity to your significant other? Do you pledge to stay committed to your lawfully wedded partner?

Couple: We do!

Handfasting Ceremony

Officiant

As Humanists, _______________ and _______________ have chosen a life-stance aiming at the maximum happiness through the cultivation of ethical and creative living that offers a rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism is a celebration of love: the love of _______________ and _______________ for each other; their friends and family, and the love of life itself. That love of life is the foundation of their beliefs as humanists – knowing we have only one life to live, so we should make the most of it.

A lovely way to do that is to have a life partner – someone to join hands to walk together in this journey. To celebrate and solidify their union, _______________ and _______________ have chosen to share in a Handfasting as well.

In the presence of all whom they love, _______________ and _______________ will now bind their hands in a ritual handfasting ceremony to honor their unbreakable bond.

(Couple will hold hands as the officiant slowly wraps the handfasting cord/rope around their hands).

From each season to the next, this ribbon symbolizes _______________ and _______________'s pledge to respect and adoration one another, and this earth while establishing a life of joy and thankfulness.

Your lives and souls are now joined, just as this knot is now knotted.

Exchanging of Vows

Officiant (to couple):

Now the couple may share their vows and promises to each other in the presence of this wonderful gathering.

Partner 1:

_______________, I love you so deeply, I promise to be a true companion on this amazing life’s adventure that we two have embarked upon.

I will always love you, hear you, work hard to understand you, and cherish you, every day we are together. I love you as you are and not as someone I can change; your individuality makes you even more wonderful to me.

I am thankful you have chosen me as your partner for all of life’s mysteries, adventures, and special moments.

Officiant (to Partner 2):

_______________, you may say your vows.

Partner 2:

I promise to be with you on all your adventures, the good times and the bad. I want to be your lover and protector for all the years of our life, cherishing you every moment of the way.

You are the most magnificently kind, generous, and caring person I have ever known and the most beautiful also. I am beyond overjoyed to be able to call you, my partner. I am thankful you chose me to accompany you on the journey through life.

Exchanging of Rings

Officiant

Rings are the perfect external symbol of commitment and I ask this beautiful couple to now exchange rings to signify their marriage and eternal bond towards each other.

Please join hands and recite after me.

_______________, you may go first.

Officiant (to partner 1):

Repeat after me. “With this ring, I claim you as mine and give you my heart forever.”

Partner 1:

With this ring, I claim you as mine and give you my heart forever.

Officiant (to partner 2):

Repeat after me. “With this ring, I claim you as mine and give you my heart forever.”

Partner 2:

With this ring, I claim you as mine and give you my heart forever.

Pronouncement

Officiant

(In some humanist wedding ceremonies, a formal certificate may traditionally be signed with a couple of witnesses before the ending pronouncement).

It is with resounding joy and with the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church Ministries, I pronounce this couple married! You may now kiss!