Celebrations and Ceremonies (age 7-11)

What do humanists celebrate? Do humanists mark important times in their lives such as births, deaths, and marriages? Do humanists have non-religious ceremonies? Find out what humanists celebrate and how such occasions are an important opportunity for them to show love, commitment, and support to fellow human beings.

Here you can find resources on humanist naming ceremonies and humanist weddings. For resources on humanist funerals see Life and Death.

Why do humanists celebrate new life?
Suitable for: 5-7, 7-11

Lesson Plans

Why do humanists celebrate new life?

In this lesson students will watch a short film about a humanist naming ceremony and investigate why humanists celebrate new life and value the community of family and friends. At a humanist naming ceremony the parents are free to decide where to hold it and what they want to say. Using what they have learned, students will plan a naming ceremony of their own and write their own promises to a newborn baby. Download

Presentations

Why do humanists celebrate new life?

Download

Activities

Namings statements

Which of these statements might you hear at a humanist naming ceremony? Download

Namings planning template

A planning sheet for students to plan their own naming ceremony. Download

Namings leaf template

A leaf template for students to write their own promises or advice to a new baby. Download

Namings poems

Two poems to stimulate students to write their own poem about what is important in life, or advice to new parents or a new baby. Download

Films

Naming ceremony

(Age 5+) Watch a humanist naming ceremony, hear how the parents made it meaningful to them, and use the questions to help students plan their own ceremony. Watch

Humanist Perspectives

Celebrations and ceremonies

What do humanists celebrate and how do they mark important events in their lives? Download

What happens at a humanist wedding?
Suitable for: 7-11

Lesson Plans

What happens at a humanist wedding?

In this lesson students explore what happens at a humanist wedding and why many non-religious people feel the need for a personal and meaningful occasion to mark their marriage. Watching a montage of images from humanist weddings, students will explore different ways non-religious couples might choose to symbolise their love. Using what they have learned, they will think about what questions a humanist celebrant might want to ask a humanist couple before their wedding, and the answers the couple might give. Download

Presentations

What happens at a humanist wedding?

Download

Activities

Weddings spot the difference

Compare and contrast pictures of a humanist wedding and a church wedding. Download

Weddings film questions

Questions about the Humanist Weddings film Download

Wedding vows

Compare and contrast humanist and Church of England wedding vows. Download

Wedding planning

What questions might a humanist celebrant want to ask a couple to help them ensure their wedding is meaningful to them? What answers might the couple give? Download

Weddings alphabet activity

Can you think of something you might find at a wedding beginning with every letter of the alphabet? Which are the most important? Download

Weddings dictionary activity

Match the word to its definition (vow, promise, intention, aspiration). Download

Weddings statements

Which of these statements might you hear at a humanist wedding? Download

Films

Humanist weddings

(Age 5+) A montage of images of humanist weddings Watch

Humanist Perspectives

Celebrations and ceremonies

What do humanists celebrate and how do they mark important events in their lives? Download

Humanist Perspectives

Celebrations and ceremonies

What do humanists celebrate and how do they mark important events in their lives?

Download

External Resources

Rosie Stories

Three short stories about a girl's perspective on a humanist naming ceremony, wedding, and funeral. Photocopiable worksheets and lesson ideas are also available.

Secular Naming Ceremony

Secular Naming Ceremony: This film presents a humanist celebrant explaining their role and gives an example of a reading at a humanist naming ceremony.

The Lion King

The Lion King: The opening scene from the Disney's The Lion King featuring the song, The Circle of Life.

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