Video of an outdoor Humanist wedding on a sunny summer day in Ireland

September 28th, 2016

Video of outdoor Humanist wedding ceremony of Lisa and Glen conducted by Joe Armstrong at Nuremore Hotel, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan on a very sunny day 16 July 2016. Said bride Lisa:’We love it and would be proud to have it on your blog.’ Video reproduced by courtesy of MakeMyDayProductions.com



4th time one of my Humanist weddings on OneFabDay

September 8th, 2016

Yup, it’s the fourth time one of my Humanist wedding ceremonies has featured on One Fab Day. You can see selected pictures from it (and lots more by clicking on my Pinterest board) or by clicking on the OneFabDay link.

Joe Armstong on the Joe Finnegan Show on Shannonside Northernsound Radio 24 Aug 2016

August 30th, 2016

Click this link to a short interview I did about Humanist weddings, naming ceremonies and funerals on the Joe Finnegan Show on Shannonsid Northernsound Radio on 24 August 2016

Time flies

August 25th, 2016

Sometimes it feels like there’s just too much going on – like children growing up and leaving home. Was I blinking? How did that happen so fast? College calls. CAO. UCAS. Wherever.

Choosing what to do aged 18 or 19 is probably most people’s first adult decision. Mine was to enter a seminary (although I’d later see leaving it, nine years later, as my first adult choice). And today new generations set off on their chosen paths aged 18 or so to learn their trade or profession, to chart their course, to create their future. They decide. They act. And off they go embarking upon the great adventure of life!

Humanist musings

July 23rd, 2016

I’m loving being a Humanist celebrant. There’s something wonderful about it for me, doing something I love, something that has meaning, something I’m good at, something that each day, for each ceremony, for each couple or family or individual, is different.

It helps me to live in the here and now. Celebrating this particular couple’s marriage, or this unique family’s new baby, or this distinctive person’s life.

It’s working and living in the real. It’s inclusive of everyone. Being with people crying with joy – what a privilege that is! Crafting ceremonies appropriate to each couple or family or person. And then from planning to execution, celebrating the moment, conducting the words and the readings and the music and the rituals. Yes, living in the now.

Humanists ask questions. That is where we start. We never shy, or should never shy, from asking our questions. We endeavour to think for ourselves, trying never to let others think for us. We choose. We decide. We act. We create. We are responsible. That’s what we try to do anyway. Fail, of course; and probably often. But we keep trying, keep asking.

The couple whose wedding I conducted today chose wonderful readings. Stimulating. Different. Thoughtful. Reflective. Moving. Dramatic. There were lots of moist eyes in the room. The hairs were standing on the back of my neck during one of the readings, the poem ‘It Is Here’ by Harold Pinter, which ends:

What did we hear?

It was the breath we took when we first met.

Listen. It is here.

Third time one of my Humanist weddings featured on One Fab Day!

June 20th, 2016

Nice pictures can be found on my Pinterest photos and also by clicking here Peggy and Michael’s Humanist wedding conducted by Joe Armstrong at Mount Druid. It’s the third time one of my Humanist weddings has been featured on One Fab Day. They do a great job!

 

Dear Sarah, On the Eve of your Leaving Cert

June 7th, 2016

Dear Sarah, my daughter, on the eve of your Leaving Cert,

I know you think that the entire outcome of your life hinges on how well you do in your exams.

It doesn’t.

I know you think that the grades that you feel you have to get will determine your happiness or unhappiness in life.

They won’t.

I know you think that your performance during your exams will open or close doors for you.

It won’t. (Really, it won’t: there are thousands of doors you don’t even know exist – and you will choose one of them for you!)

You may think that a certain outcome will open the particular door that you feel you most want in life.

It might or it might not open that door. But your happiness does not depend on that door opening.

You may think that the grades you get will determine how clever or otherwise you are.

They won’t.

You may think that others will judge you by the points you get in your Leaving Cert.

They won’t. (And those who do are not wise, so you can discount their judgments anyway.)

You might feel like a sword is hanging over your head.

There isn’t.

If you get the grades you want, they might or might not lead to happiness.

You could learn much more in life and be far happier if you get fewer grades than you’d like.

You know lots. Of course there is lots more that you don’t know. So in the celebrations of knowledge which are about to begin try your best to celebrate on the page what you know.

And, by the way, you know far more than you realise.

And you also know far less! (Since the more any of us know, the more we realise how relatively little we know.)

Don’t expect to be able to share everything you know: nobody can do that.

Live the moment. Live this moment.

Enjoy this moment, and, yes, enjoy, really enjoy, these celebrations of what you know. See them as your opportunity to do yourself justice – because you do deserve to do well. Just don’t worry how anyone else estimates what well means for you.

Detach! Don’t worry about the outcome. Just live in the moment. Enjoy every moment!

Love, Your Dad. 7 June 2016

Mark ‘No Religion’ on Census 2016 to help end discrimination

April 22nd, 2016

See this video if you need persuading on the potential benefits of marking ‘No Religion’ in the Census 2016 this Sunday night.

CSO statistics on Humanist marriages 2015

April 19th, 2016

The Central Statistics Office has released fascinating statistics on marriages taking place during 2015.

It shows that marriages conducted by celebrants/solemnisers accredited by the Humanist Association of Ireland accounted for more than five per cent of all marriages. The report states that ‘In recent years the Humanist Association has also risen in popularity with 1,264 (5.7%) of marriages in 2015.’

August is  the most popular month for marriage.  ‘In 2015, 13.3% (or 2,927) of marriages occurred in August.  Over a quarter (26.5%) of all marriages took place in the months of July and August.’

Friday and Saturday are the most popular days of the week to get married with 69.2% of marriages being conducted on those days.

Friday 31st July and Saturday 1st  August were the most popular wedding dates in 2015 with 276 (over 1%) marriages taking place on each. Then came Friday 4th September, with 248 (over 1%) marriages.  Other highly desirable dates were New Years Eve, Saturday 30th May and Friday 7th of August, each of which saw 247 marriages taking place.

Humanist Naming Ceremonies

April 5th, 2016

Naming ceremonies are becoming more popular for people who choose not to have their children baptized. Such parents tend to be commendable adults of integrity, conscious as they are that it is more important to teach their children to be authentic and true to themselves than to jump a queue for a school place merely because their child is baptized. And until the Irish people  and an Irish Government changes the discrimination that exists against unbaptized children, these parents should be applauded for their courage, integrity and leadership.

Demand for naming ceremonies is increasing as parents realize that they can formally welcome their child into their families, circles of friends and the wider human community without having to initiate their baby into ill-founded beliefs about deities and gods.

You can read some feedback from a recent baby naming ceremony that I conducted here.

And I’ve started a new Pinterest board on Humanist Naming Ceremonies here.