What’s the difference between an Interfaith Minister and a celebrant?

#MonthOfMinistry Day 5

Great, an easier question today!

Interfaith ministers do lots of other things besides conducting ceremonies for big life events like baby namings, weddings, funerals and so on. I’ve colleagues who work in hospices, lead shamanic retreats, offer spiritual counselling and support, run mediation groups and women’s circles, offer spiritual and emotional support to climate activists – all those, and many other things might be work for an interfaith minister. So being a celebrant is just a wee part of the work.

On the other hand, there are lots of celebrants who wouldn’t call themselves “interfaith ministers”. Particularly here in Scotland there are very many humanist celebrants, and I think a lot of people think “humanist” is just another word for “celebrant”! I sometimes have to say “no, I’m not actually a humanist, but I can still officiate at your wedding”. I’d explain that humanists do a great job, but they might not be happy to include explicitly “religious” or “spiritual” songs, rituals or readings in your ceremony. As an interfaith minister I’m very happy to include whatever moves you and speaks to your sense of deep connection.

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