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The Complete Celebrant Handbook Paperback – May 30, 2016
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About the Author
HAN HILLS, public speaker, award-winning celebrant, and host of the podcast, The Celebration Show, shares expert industry knowledge and research on ceremonial traditions worldwide. From public events to creatively inspired celebrations of all kinds. Han’s humanist approach and failproof practical advice will guide you to create and improve your development and delivery of customer-pleasing weddings, memorials, and more...
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On to the sample ceremonies. What a wide variety of ceremonies are included. It is a wonder. Handfastings, ring warmings, unity candles, and sand ceremonies are just the beginning. How to acknowledge family members who have passed away and can't be present. If you can think of it, it is either in here, or there are enough examples of ceremonies to guide you to put together whatever special addition your couple wants.
And that is what makes it so useful for experienced officiants. I have been ordained for over a decade and have officiated hundreds of weddings. This book is my new best friend when I am working on a ceremony and want or encounter something new or different. It is an absolutely essential resource.
Clearly written, direct, and comprehensive. If I have even the smallest quibble, on occasion the author may be too assertive in some of his statements. Instead of a phrase like "under no circumstance should you . . ." I would prefer something with a little more flexibility. Always remember never to say always or never. But maybe that's just me. And it is certainly not enough for me to give this book any less than 5 stars.
The only issue I found with the text was a matter of organization. Simply put, the book is so long that it ends up getting cluttered, ironically making it more difficult to find some items. Some of the content in the main section, such as a long group of the example ceremony elements, would have been better placed as an appendix or two. Likewise, some of the appendices, such as the list of state laws and the list of foreign laws regarding marriage, should have turned into a standalone annex and had only a single-line entry in the index (and instead had their own index when you get to the annex itself). But really, if this is the only complaint I can muster, that should tell you something about the book.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any celebrant. Keep it handy, right alongside the collection of songs and readings that any celebrant should be curating, as you will be sure to reference it just as often.
(Written by my husband, Ryan, a fellow Humanist Celebrant.)
This handbook includes everything you need to know regarding how to conduct any manner of ceremony. It's perfect for a first timer embarking on a first call to officiate a ceremony, or an experienced celebrant wanting a reference guide to keep handy. This is not a handbook you read once and never touch again, but will refer to it again and again for ideas, clarification and inspiration.
When I first started out, there were no reference books for secular or humanistic ceremonies, so this amazingly comprehensive compilation of ideas, readings, various unity gestures and other celebrant tips, is very much needed today. Humanistic, secular style ceremonies are on the rise, becoming ever more popular. This book was really inspiring to me, reminding me why I do what I do. Highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in creating meaningful and memorable ceremonies!