Atheist Weddings

Our own Matt Dillahunty married this past Sunday (congratulations Matt and Beth!) and now has shared with us a transcript of the proceedings. Here’s the officiant’s opening:

Officiant (Aron)

Honored guests, we gather to participate in a ritual tradition now practiced in nearly every culture or creed throughout humanity, -albeit with some variation, the formal declaration and celebration of marriage.  While some weddings may be polygamous, arranged, and/or entirely political, the most common observance here in the west is that of a partnership of a pair of people; a union not of statute, class, obligation, or obeisance, but a mutual bond of love, wherein both parties hope to honor, cherish, and embrace the other indefinitely as they sail into the unforeseeable future.

Beth and Matt thank you for your presence here today and now ask for your encouragement, and support, for their decision to be married. They are grateful that each of you could share this day with them, and they are especially honored that friends and family have travelled great distances to be here.

Beth and Matt, remember that no ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that, through your consent and cooperation. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as partners.

Keep reading.

What do you think should be specifically included or excluded in secular wedding ceremonies? Do you have any creative ideas, things you actually said or did, or warnings?

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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