As an atheist, I’m trying to keep all gothic hocus pocus out of my wedding day. I have requested (and been sent) the text of the entire wedding ceremony from the Officiate and will going over it with a big red pen, cutting out any hint of the religious or spiritual that may have sneaked its way in.
“Blessing” – CUT!
“Human spirit” – CUT!
“Rite of passage” – hmmmmmm… your humble blogger will have to think about that one.
Our Officiate has assured me that she won’t say anything that I haven’t approved in the wedding text.
“I’m not going to surprise you up there,” she said.
But to tell the truth, there hasn’t been all that much to cut from her ceremony thus far, likely because our Officiate is a secular humanist from the Humanist Society of Toronto.
“I wont be referring to a deity during the ceremony,” she said.
Thank heavens, I thought.
Instead of the usual many mind-numbing references to an invisible magical being living in the sky, our ceremony will emphasize the relationship between the Partner and me. Our wedding will reflect our own personal philosophy of life and marriage.
For the Gay Groom and the Partner, marriage is a partnership of two equals who respect each other and their individuality. It is a relationship of love and trust and communicating openly and honestly in that relationship. It is about two people building a home and life together – being Partners in Life.
When we first contacted our Secular Humanist Officiate, to ask her about her humanist nonreligious weddings, she wrote back:
“A marriage ceremony is an art form and should be choreographed like a dance. Everything is important – the setting, the music, the clothes, as well as the exits and entrances of the participants. While a ballet’s artistic expression lies in the dancers’ movements, the words spoken during a wedding cerebration should convey the joy, warmth and the sincerity of the occasion.”
Joy, warmth and sincerity – but no god. Sounds right to me, my Secular Humanist Officiate!
She has also encouraged us to put a bit of ourselves into the wedding ceremony. For example, I would like to incorporate some part of my Native Canadian background (perhaps a few lines in Ojibwa) and I also need to choose some readings (as that hysteric Paul’s letters to the Corinthians are obviously out) which are meaningful to your humble blogger and his Partner for the ceremony at some point. Maybe some lines from our favourite books or poems?
Though this may be a problem as my favourite book is Ulysses.
66 days to go.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom