Non-Religious Weddings Are on the Rise in Ireland

Just weeks after I posted about the rise of godless funerals in Ireland, there’s another trend worth noting in the country:

Demand for the Humanist Association of Ireland’s secular weddings has surged as the moral authority of the once almighty Catholic Church collapsed in recent decades amid sex abuse scandals and Irish society’s rapid secularisation.

But statistics show rising demand for non-Church weddings. In 1996, 90 percent of Irish weddings were performed by the Catholic Church or the Church of Ireland. But by 2010 that percentage had fallen to 69 percent.

The pent-up demand from those who want more than a civil ceremony in a registry office but reject a religious wedding has created a major backlog for the humanist group’s ceremonies director.

More godless weddings and more godless funerals. Let’s hope there’s no connection.

This comes less than a year after Humanist Celebrants won the right to perform such weddings.

I guess it’s not all that surprising given that Irish citizens, when ranking their priorities earlier this year, placed religion dead last out of 119 possible choices.

It would probably make more sense to just have the media discuss the rise of the Nones in general… but if they want to milk the topic for all the articles and pageviews they can, let’s not stop them.

Watch for future articles on the rise of Irish atheist clubs, communities, divorces, musicians, writers, teachers, and actors.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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