Becoming a HAI Accredited Celebrant
Being a Celebrant - Rewarding but demanding
Conducting Humanist ceremonies is both rewarding and demanding. Humanist celebrants are very much the public face of, and ambassadors for, the Humanist Association of Ireland and the philosophy of humanism.
It is a privilege to be invited into people’s lives, to be trusted with their stories, with their emotions and asked to lead a ceremony – a ceremony that enables friends and family to celebrate or mourn, in ways they find the most appropriate. While it is indeed a great privilege and honour, it also carries an even greater responsibility.
It is precisely because the ceremony you are being asked to conduct is so important, so individual and so highly personal that you have a clear duty and responsibility to get it right.
You also need to be aware that you will be dealing with emotional people and emotional situations so you will need to possess strong self-awareness and know your limitations. The work can be quite demanding.
Personal Qualities Required
It takes a special kind of person to be a celebrant. The work you will be expected to do will be of an exceptional nature and of exceptionally high quality. You will have to be determined always to give your best, mindful that each ceremony is unique. You need strong personal qualities and a variety of equally important high-level skills and competencies.
As a Wedding Celebrant you will be helping a couple to make their personal commitment to each other in public, to express their feelings before families, friends and the people who matter most to them. You will be responsible for creating the atmosphere the couple wants, coordinating contributions from family and friends, and you’ll need to be prepared to conduct ceremonies in a variety of locations. You are also acting as a legal representative and must ensure that your ceremony is completed according to the legal requirements of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
As a Naming Celebrant you will be helping parents (single, cohabiting, married, straight or gay) celebrate the arrival of a child, or children, into their lives. The children may be new babies, newly adopted, or stepchildren joining a new family. You will be responsible for coordinating the involvement of friends and family members and may be expected to help create an occasion that will make each naming ceremony particularly unique and special.
As a Funeral Celebrant you will find that all funerals can be challenging. It is important to be aware that you will, from time to time, find yourself creating a ceremony and leading the funerals of young children or the funerals of people who have died in very tragic and traumatic circumstances. This specific type of work requires great empathy, understanding and very delicate interpersonal skills as you will be dealing with families who are stunned or ravaged by grief - families who are struggling to make sense of a difficult reality.