A couple laughing with their celebrant during a wedding ceremony

The difference between a humanist and a celebrant

What’s the difference between a humanist and a celebrant? People often think humanists and celebrants are the same thing.

A humanist is a person with humanist beliefs, and a humanist celebrant is a person that conducts humanist weddings, funerals, and naming ceremonies.

Unlike registrar or church ceremonies, celebrant-led ceremonies (whether humanist or not) are best known for giving you more choice over your ceremony. You can make it unique, add personal touches, and have it at a time and place of your choosing.

A humanist celebrant conducts non-religious ceremonies, whereas other celebrants may be willing to incorporate acts of religious worship such as hymns and prayers. 

Humanist Society Scotland ceremonies are authentically humanist and true to the humanist belief system on which our legal authorisation is based. That means that no acts of religious worship can be included. 

However, it may be possible to include some readings and music that have religious origins but used in a non-religious sense – the “Love is patient, love is kind” bible reading is a classic example.

Our ceremonies are inclusive and respectful of all faiths and none.

So, if it’s a personalised, non-religious ceremony you want, it then comes down to choosing a celebrant that is the right ‘fit’ for you. And that can be daunting, with so many to choose from, all with different styles and personalities. So why not meet with a few you like the sound of for an informal no obligation chat, to see if you click. And don’t be afraid to ask them some probing questions while you’re at it. 

Two male adults and three children waving and celebrating

Find your celebrant!

Start looking for a celebrant to conduct your humanist ceremony in Scotland.

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