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Ceremonies

Isle of Man Freethinkers have trained celebrants who can help you devise non-religious ceremonies such as for Baby Naming, Weddings and Funerals on the Isle of Man.

We will meet you to share some ideas about the words and music that you would like to have.  We can lend you books of poems and suggest suitable music if necessary. We will then write a script based on your ideas and agree with you the final version. There is a modest charge for our services. We work with all the funeral directors on the island.

Ceremonies are important throughout our lives to mark significant occasions. Our ceremonies are individual and personal and you can include children, relatives, friends, and colleagues.

We have officiated at such events all over the Island including outdoor venues. Our Funerals may be part of a cremation or burial service.

All our ceremonies are dignified and appropriate for the occasion. For more information please contact use at celebrants@iomfreethinkers.org.

The following are examples of the ceremonies we often officiate at but this is by no means an exhaustive list.


babynameBaby Naming

Although a baby’s birth must be registered within 42 days a baby naming ceremony can take place at any time. It can be in your home before a party or at a suitable larger venue if you want to include more people. With our ceremonies you can include older brothers and sisters too.

Instead of ‘godparents’ you can have mentors or supporting adults who will help the child as they grow up.

We will meet you to discuss what form you want the baby naming ceremony to take. It can include readings, poetry and music just as you wish. We can lend you books to help you with your planning. Then we will write a script and agree with you on the final version. Every detail of the ceremony will be planned beforehand. There is a modest fee for our time and expertise.

Ceremonies for older children can be very meaningful and enjoyable because their personality has begun to develop. You can welcome them into your family as unique individuals and devise a baby naming ceremony that reveals how much you love and care for them.

weddingWeddings

Legally you must be married in a church or at one of the four register offices on the island. These are at Douglas, Ramsey, Castletown and Peel.

If you don’t have religious beliefs or find the standard register office ceremony too impersonal and formal you may like to consider a humanist wedding. This will be your special day and it is important that you can relax and enjoy it.

Many people regard the humanist ceremony as the most important one because they have helped to create it themselves.

Our celebrant will meet you and discuss what you want to do and what you want to say e.g. you can light a candle, exchange rings, and make promises to each other. We can lend you books to help with the planning. The celebrant will help you to devise the ceremony just as you want it. There is a modest fee for our time and expertise.

Your venue can be virtually anywhere on the island. Many people choose an attractive local glen or a coastal site such as Maughold Head. The wedding can also take place in a suitable building.

Some couples choose to go to the register office for the legal ceremony on the same day as their humanist one. Others go a few days before. It’s your choice.

funeralFunerals

Many of us have been to religious funerals, which can be disappointing because they are very formal and say very little about the person we knew.

 
With a non-religious funeral there is more freedom to celebrate a life and to pay tribute in a personal way. You can include readings, poems, music and tributes from different people.

If you have to organise a funeral just tell the funeral director that you want a non-religious funeral and they will get in touch with one of the Isle of Man Freethinkers’ celebrants. Our fee will be paid through the funeral director as a ‘disbursement’.

A celebrant will meet you to share some ideas and to talk about the person who has died. They may look at photographs. They will certainly put together a life history, which celebrates a life rather than dwelling on the circumstances of their death. They will spend some time with you sharing memories and gathering information, which can be used in the ceremony. You will have an opportunity to share your feelings. They can lend you books to help choose poems or readings.

When the celebrant has written the script they will send it to you and make any changes that you wish. They will also listen to the music and take it to the crematorium or burial site.

Whether they have religious beliefs or not people will find our ceremonies dignified and sincere. Many people comment on how personal and moving they are. They can even be joyful.

Funerals often have to be organised at short notice - probably a few days at the most. But you can plan your own funeral in advance. It is a good idea to write down the details of what you would prefer e.g. you can choose the music you would like.

When the time comes it will help those who are responsible for organising  things to carry out your wishes.

People who are terminally ill find that it helps the family come to terms with what is happening and planning the ceremony can be a positive focus for everybody.

Our celebrants can conduct non-religious cremations, burials and the scattering of ashes. They can also perform memorial services.


Eco-Friendly Coffins

Do you fancy a cardboard coffin? Information is available at www.eco-coffin.co.uk

You might also like to look at www.welfare-state.org

Woodland Burial

There are dozens of natural or woodland burial sites in the British Isles and they are listed in the 5th edition of the Natural Death Centre handbook 24 from www.naturaldeath.org.uk

Isle of Man Freethinkers would like to see a natural burial site on the Island.

” No matter what your age there is always more to discover about our miraculous universe and the people in it”, Growing Old Disgracefully