The Ontario Humanist Society Ceremonies Program
Vision and Philosophy
If you have an interest in becoming a Humanist Officiant with the Ontario Humanist Society, we ask that you read the following statement elaborating the vision and philosophy that guides our Ceremonies Program:
Our interest in providing rites of passage ceremonies and other social supports, at times of life transition for humanists and the general public, is solely to ensure that those seeking to mark the milestones of their life through a Secular Humanist perspective have access to qualified, professional, compassionate Humanist Officiants.
Therefore, we have an interest in increasing our numbers across the Province of Ontario with individuals who bring a Secular Humanist perspective along with the personal and professional qualities required to celebrate humanist rites of passage, as an ethical commitment and a labour of love. We regularly train and appoint individuals as Humanist Officiants, who will address these important social purposes.
We expect all our Officiants, who must be active members in Humanist groups, at the national, regional and/or local level, as well as members of the Ontario Humanist Society, to also serve as resources for Secular Humanism in their communities; supporting, explaining, and encouraging a Humanist view of a secular, just, and responsible society: rooted in compassion and committed to the application of reason and science in the task of solving social problems; supporting and defending Human Rights, and caring together for the world we all share.
Our officiants thus do not merely perform secular ceremonies and rituals, such as child-welcoming, weddings, memorials, funerals and celebrations of life and other life transitions, they also serve as a community resource for other Humanists. We see the role of Humanist Officiant as a vocation of service.
As a matter of principle, the OHS has established a policy that our Ceremonies Program will operate on a cost recovery basis, and not serve as an engine for revenue to OHS.
Information for Officiant Applicants
Thank you for your interest in joining the Ontario Humanist Society Ceremonies Program (OHS).
The first step in the process of becoming an OHS Humanist Officiant is to read the information below to determine if you currently meet the qualifications to submit a formal application.
If you do not currently meet the requirements, but plan to do so in the future, we encourage you to proceed with the application once you have fulfilled the indicated criteria.
Here is another copy of this information letter in PDF form which you may also print
You may download the free ADOBE PDF reader here.
The basic requirements for applying to become an OHS Officiant are:
- You should espouse a Secular Humanist philosophy and be familiar with Humanist core values and principles, and be able to discuss and present your understanding to others.
- You should be in agreement with the Bylaws and Objectives of the Ontario Humanist Society published on the Ontario Humanist Society website.
- You must be an active Humanist, and a member of your local/regional/Provincial Humanist association for a minimum period of one year before applying.
- In addition, you must be a member of OHS at the time you submit your application to become a candidate for appointment as an OHS Officiant.
- If there is no Humanist organization or association in your area, we encourage you to become active with the Provincial association (OHS), or you may decide to establish a local association or Humanist group in your area. Information on Ontario Humanist organizations is available at:
We also encourage you to become active online, and to demonstrate a local commitment to Humanism in your community through community involvement, and other relevant activities.
In addition to the above 4 requirements, we also require that:
- Applicants have significant life experience that is relevant to the role of a Humanist Officiant.
- You should possess a post-secondary degree, diploma or equivalent training and life experience as assessed by the OHS Ceremonies Committee.
- You should have ability and interest in public speaking and group discussion, a genuine interest in celebrating rites of passage and the interpersonal skills to discuss such events with a diverse group of individuals.
- You should be comfortable explaining the philosophy of Secular Humanism to others, especially to the general public whom you may meet at public gatherings.
- You should have some experience as a self-employed professional or have the capacity to establish and manage a small business, including record-keeping.
- Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and/or access to a car or other reliable means of transportation in areas without effective mass transportation.
If you meet these requirements and then wish to apply, please provide: a summary of your qualifications in an e-mail cover letter, and send it with your Resume and the Application form, below.
Please send this information to the Registrar, email@example.com
or by Canada Post to:
Registrar, Ontario Humanist Society, 265 Gore St. Almonte ON K0A 1A0.
The Registrar will process your application form and documents and forward your submission to the Ceremonies Committee for review.
Once again, we thank you for your interest, and wish you much success.
Chris J. Love
Registrar, OHS Officiant Program