There seems to some confusion in the general public between what constitutes a civil ceremony with the general consensus being a civil ceremony is any ceremony that takes place beyond the confines of a religious place of worship or church. Whilst this may have been true for the original civil ceremony, many changes have occurred in the social and cultural landscape of Ireland to broaden this view.

Many people opting for a civil ceremony do so to refute any overt religious influence within their ceremony content and yet many still hold a belief in an existence of some external force within their lives which seems contrary to the practice of a traditional civil ceremony. In addition the type of civil ceremonies appealing to the majority are those whereby couples believe they will have more control over the content of their ceremony, content which will focus on them over and above any external force.

There are many companies and individuals who advertise that they will create a ceremony tailored to the couple’s’ individual needs offering individualised content and readings etc but unfortunately many of these individuals and companies do not make couple’s aware that they cannot perform the legal part of their ceremony misleading a couple to believe they must have the legal part of their ceremony performed on a separate date and time prior to the proposed personalised ceremony date. This is certainly not true.

Spiritual Ceremonies can do both on the same date, time and location. So what is a Spiritual Ceremony? A Spiritual Ceremony is a ceremony which recognises the individual needs of the couple on their wedding day and both sets of needs are worked into the ceremony content to reflect each individual personally and collectively.

What this means is we work with the individual and the couple to generate a holistic approach to compiling the ceremony content and honouring and respecting both parties. A Spiritual Ceremony solemniser can legally perform the legal part of the wedding ceremony within the ceremony content allowing the couple to have one official date for the wedding day, providing the couple have followed the guidelines set out by the civil registrations act .

What is Spirituality?and what separates it from religion. Spirituality essentially is any process where an individual chooses to live a more meaningful life with a view to enhancing their life for the better but also enhancing the lives of those whom they come into contact with in a subtle or overt away. Spirituality is personal and the individual may have a belief in a higher power, an external force or even a deity but this is not necessarily how they choose to identify or express themselves as an individual.

Religion on the other is a collective group of individuals who express the same beliefs and practices and meet regularly to confirm and celebrate those beliefs. So to clarify a spiritual person may not necessarily be religious and a religious person may not necessarily be spiritual. There are also individuals who hold a strong religious belief yet their intended spouse may have no belief in anything orthodox and Spiritual Ceremonies can reflect and honour both parties within their wedding ceremony.

There are then other individuals who have different religious beliefs who are excluded from their own place of worship because they are choosing to marry someone beyond their own beliefs and again Spiritual Ceremonies recognises and honours both parties individually and collectively. In essence Spiritual Ceremonies works with the individual and the collective to ensure that the uniqueness of their wedding day is reflected throughout the content and structure of the ceremony.

When trying to determine the type of ceremony for a significant life moment such as a Wedding, Funeral or Naming of a child it is crucial for any individual and or couple to be recognised in the construction and format of these ceremonies because they hallmark key transition points in their lives.

When opting to fulfil the legality of the ceremony along with recognition of personal beliefs and sentiments Spiritual Ceremonies fulfils these requirements providing the couple have undertaken the necessary requirements under the civil registration act. In essence, as individuals and as a couple Spiritual Ceremonies can personalise, tailor, reflect the couple’s own beliefs and that of their partner simultaneously, validate the legal requirements once the correct protocol has been followed and do so indoors or outdoors (subject to Civil registration law) at a time and location suitable to the couple.