…a ceremony that marks a major life event in a way that is personal, sincere, and authentic … perhaps celebrating a couple’s mutual love and respect in a unique and personal marriage ceremony…or welcoming a baby or an adopted child into a family with a bespoke Naming ceremony…. or a funeral which focuses on the person who has died and celebrates their life in a ceremony which allows family and friends to say goodbye in a dignified and sincere way.
Imagine having your children educated by trained humanist teachers or being able to be counselled by a professional humanist chaplain if you or a loved one are facing personal challenges.
Well – you need imagine no more! For all of this is possible through the network of trained professionals who comprise the European Humanist Professionals (EHP).
Throughout Europe, particularly northern Europe, the popularity of Humanist ceremonies is growing at great pace. In Scotland, for example, Humanists now carry out more legal weddings than the Church of Scotland, in Iceland Humanist legal weddings are now firmly established in the culture of the country, in Norway Humanist Confirmations are now mainstream.
Humanist ceremonies can take place indoors or outdoors, they can be simple or elaborate, traditional or contemporary. They usually include readings, music and, in weddings, an exchange of rings or symbolic gestures, like hand fasting … and in all cases an ethical and congruent non-religious approach – and usually a lot of laughter!
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.
What we do isn’t new: As long as there have been groups of human beings living together, there have been humanists….and ceremonies to celebrate our humanity. Humanist ceremonies are not unusual either – throughout Europe tens of thousands are conducted each year …and it is easy to see why more and more people today are choosing Humanist ceremonies; put simply, they offer a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the milestones of life in a very personal and meaningful way.
European Humanist Professionals (EHP) based in Antwerp serves the Humanist Celebrant body throughout Europe in their work conducting funerals, weddings, namings and confirmations.
Registered Humanist Celebrants – and who are part of the EHP network – provide high-quality, personal, non-religious ceremonies to the highest and most exacting standards. In each of their respective countries Humanist Celebrants are thoroughly trained and quality assured… and they are passionate people who really care about their work as they seek to guide and provide people with an appropriate way to mark the most important moments in their lives.
European Humanist Professionals (EHP) also strive to assist the growing body of Humanist Educators and Humanist Counsellors/ chaplains who are performing their role in Schools, Colleges, Universities, Community Centres, Prisons, Military Establishments, etc.
In a nutshell, the overarching aims and objectives of EHP are:
- To cultivate dialogue, exchange, and cooperation between humanist professionals in Europe.
- To support the development of skills, knowledge and expertise.
- To enhance the status and awareness of humanist professionals and services.
- To gather and communicate relevant news and developments
- To create a strong network and community
- To help the general advancement of humanist principles and practices.