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Weddings, Funerals, Invocations


Weddings, funerals, invocations, and other life cycle events and ceremonies

Are you looking to have a personalized wedding or baby-naming/welcoming ceremony outside of a church, synagogue, or other religious space? Do you want to organize an inclusive memorial service from a Humanist perspective? Are you looking to include a Humanist perspective at an interfaith event or for an invocation?

Recognizing the importance of significant life occasions, Yale Humanist Community is pleased to offer our services for ceremonial observances. Our Executive Director Chris Stedman is a certified Humanist celebrant and has offered numerous invocations and officiated a number of ceremonies; we are also happy to refer to our network of local celebrants—please see below for more information about other celebrants we work with.

Email us at yalehumanists@gmail.com to learn more about how we can help you create a meaningful, nonreligious ceremony!


Photos by Jeremy Lawson (jeremylawsonphotography.com)

Chris crafted a thoughtful ceremony that was unique to us and infused with our values—and which our guests uniformly praised as beautiful, meaningful, and way more engaging than any other wedding they had ever attended.

He was flexible and open to whatever we wanted to JLPA65891include, but had great suggestions to start with that kept us from being overwhelmed. His joint existential counseling leading up to the wedding made the whole process more meaningful for us, too; his guidance helped us reflect on what we were doing and why (at a time when it’s easy to get distracted by the details of planning), which also made it easier to write our vows.

The entire experience was fantastic, and we can’t imagine anyone we would rather have had at our side on such an important day!

Sean & Chelsea Blink

Photo by Ryan Eyestone

Photo by Ryan Eyestone

“We knew we wanted Chris as our officiant even before we got engaged, and are so thankful we followed through with that inclination. Chris took the time to work with us in building a ceremony that genuinely represented our love and dynamic in a way that felt so personal and authentic. So many of our friends and family came up to us that day specifically to express how great a speaker Chris was and how poignant they found the ceremony. We could not have asked for a better officiant!”

—Jessica & David Stearns-Guerette

kaitlinandjohnwedding2“Chris is not only a personable writer and gifted speaker, but also a talented coordinator. He didn’t simply read from a script; Chris played an essential role in making sure everyone knew the plans, from the groom’s dinner all the way to the first glass of champagne.

But the greatest thing about Chris’s approach is that he applied a personal touch to the ceremony by taking the time to talk to the two of us and the wedding party to figure just what we wanted to hear and feel. The end result was a ceremony that incorporated everything we cared about: our beginnings, our future, our journey—even a story about the cat—all adding up to something you just don’t encounter at every wedding… the actual story of us.” —John & Kaitlin Sobiek

Other local celebrants we work with

Anita Peters

IMG_1056Anita Peters creates meaningful personalized secular ceremonies to commemorate life’s milestones  – marriage, birth, memorials and special occasions. She will mark this day with love, adding significance to lasting memories by honoring cultural traditions and Humanist values. Humanism is a joyous progressive philosophy of life without supernaturalism, based on a respect for human rights, empathy, compassion, the golden rule.   Humanists are guided by a belief in their responsibility and ability to apply scientific knowledge and mindfulness to create an intentional ethical life and contribute to a better future for humanity.  Anita is accredited as a Humanist Celebrant by the American Humanist Association and a Connecticut Justice of the Peace.

Anita is on the Steering Committee of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, Co-Chair of its monthly non-fiction book group and a member of the Connecticut Coalition of Secular Reason.  She is a high school teacher of History, Civics, Cultural Geography and a tutor of homebound high school students for five school districts in Fairfield County.

Blinn PhotoDan Blinn

Although Dan Blinn realized early in life that he was an atheist, he still felt a strong desire to a spiritual level to something greater than myself. Dan found that connection in Humanism, a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism or any belief in God, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Dan has been an active participant and leader in Connecticut’s Humanist and Secular Communities for many years. He is the founding President and current Program Chair of Hartford Area Humanists and one of the original co-chairs of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason. He is a graduate of the Humanist Institute, a graduate-level program that trains leaders in the Humanist movement. Dan frequently speaks to groups regarding Humanism and the Secular Movement. He regularly blogs about Humanism and related issues on his own blog, Ethikoros.

Dan is accredited as a Humanist Celebrant by the Humanist Society. This accreditation permits him to serve as a Wedding Officiant in the same legal capacity as any clergyperson.

Kathleen Green

kathleen greenKathleen has been working with couples, families, and individuals for over 10 years to create personalized and significant rites of passage ceremonies that include weddings, memorials, baby namings, coming of age ceremonies, and more! As a Unitarian Universalist minister, Kathleen not only worked with members of her congregations but received many requests from the wider community when people were looking for someone to officiate with a non-religious approach. As a Humanist who lives by the mantra that people can be good without a god it made sense to expand her credentials and be certified as a Humanist Celebrant. Kathleen is a member of the board of directors at the Yale Humanist Community and is currently working on her doctorate in multifaith studies. You can learn more about Kathleen at http://www.kathleenagreen.com

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