Almost one in four people in Northern Ireland are non-religious and the percentage is rising. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t want to mark important events in their lives in deeply meaningful ways. A Humanist or non-religious religious ceremony is an increasingly popular option for individuals, couples and families who are non-religious. All Humanist ceremonies are created specifically for that particular occasion and are composed in close consultation between the celebrant and the people involved. There is an honesty and warmth about a Humanist ceremony as it marks the occasion in a well-structured and balanced way.

A Humanist ceremony has no set script because the celebrants will work with you and attend to your wishes. The focus is on the person or couple concerned and the content and tone will be determined primarily by you. This means that there is nothing that has to be included and you will have the opportunity to read some or all of the draft beforehand if you wish.

Ceremonies can include: welcoming a much-loved baby to the world with a bespoke naming ceremony; or celebrating a couple’s marriage in a way that is warm and genuine, that’s about the two of them and their relationship, and is full laughter and perhaps a few tears too; or a funeral that focuses on the person who had died and the life they led – rather than on the idea of an afterlife – and provides a dignified and sincere way of saying goodbye.

Humanist celebrants can provide high-quality, personal, non-religious ceremonies. They are passionate about their work and providing people with an appropriate way to mark the most important moments in their lives.

The wedding of Carl Frampton, local boxing hero, and Christine Dorrian (top, right) was held in the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, on Sunday 27th October 2013.  Some 150 guests attended and the Humanist ceremony was conducted by Myrtle Ewing.


The following celebrants are available:

Jennifer Sturgeon  

02870354287; mobile  07818036404
Email: jennifer.sturgeon@btinternet.com
Jennifer is available for funerals, memorials, namings, weddings and civil partnerships 


Myrtle Ewing

02890760002; mobile 07787723489
Email: rstandmj.ewing@btinternet.com
Myrtle is available only for wedding and baby-naming ceremonies


Julie Hassell
00353(0)749137916; mobile 07510851612
Email: jhassellpollan@gmail.com

Julie is available for funerals, memorials, namings, weddings and civil partnerships 


Please note that the above celebrants do not act in an official capacity as members of the Humanist Association of Northern Ireland, which cannot be held legally responsible for the conduct of their ceremonies.


For more details of specific ceremonies, click the heading below:

* Baby naming Ceremonies

* Wedding and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

* Funeral Ceremonies

Sample Ceremonies (rest mouse on picture for caption)

The BHA has produced three booklets which contain guidance and advice on ceremonies: Funerals without God; New Arrivals (naming ceremonies) and Sharing the Future (weddings and civil ceremonies).

For further details, check the British Humanist Association website at: www.humanism.org.uk

Celebrant Training
Being a Humanist celebrant is a very fulfilling, rewarding and involving job, and in Northern Ireland we need more celebrants. BHA training courses exist for Funerals, Weddings or Namings, and are normally conducted in London, but if there is sufficient demand, a course can be held in Belfast. If you are interested in becoming a Humanist celebrant, then we welcome any queries you might have. Ring Brian McClinton at 02892677264  Mobile 07962122038

Look to this Day 

Look to this day... for it is the very life of life;
In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence.
The joy of growth, the splendour of action, the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a vision...
But today  – well lived –  makes every yesterday
A memory of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.

Sanskrit text


I am the family face; 
Flesh perishes, I live on, 
Projecting trait and trace 
Through time to times anon, 
And leaping from place to place 
Over oblivion. 
The years-heired feature that can 
In curve and voice and eye 
Despise the human span 
Of durance – that is I; 
The eternal thing in man, 
That heeds no call to die. 

      Thomas Hardy






















































































































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