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    Ireland Loosens Restrictions on Humanist Weddings

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Not long ago, Ireland loosened some of its restrictions on marriage, allowing for humanist services to be legally binding rather than simply ceremonial.

    Not long ago, Ireland loosened some of its restrictions on marriage, allowing for humanist services to be legally binding rather than simply ceremonial.

    Prior to that, the only recognized marriage services were performed by the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, or civil authorities in the registrar’s office.

    Following much campaigning by the Humanist Association of Ireland, the country gave a nod of approval to non-religious ceremonies performed by official celebrants, known locally as solemnizers.

    Unlike a priest, being a solemnizer isn’t a full-time job. Though the new law allows for secular marriages, it restricts those presiding over them from making a profit from their services.

    One of the few official secular celebrants said in the months following the legalization announcement he received almost 600 inquiries. He also noted being a solemnizer is his second career, and his wedding availability is limited.

    People opting for the non-religious weddings have significantly more freedom when it comes to personalizing the event, as vows and readings and such don’t need to be approved by a church.