For over 100 years Ethical Culture officiants have conducted wedding ceremonies reflecting humanistic values and the joy of loving relationships. Our focus is not on dogma or divinity, but on the uniqueness of individuals and their commitment as a couple. We do not refer to God or include prayers, but, as in most weddings, we offer a meaningful space for couples to share what getting married means to them and for those assembled to commit to support this growing relationship. We hope the wedding ceremony deepens the moral commitment to the worth of every person and the special nature of the marriage relationship.
The Baltimore Ethical Society has four active officiants certified by the American Ethical Union to conduct weddings. Each officiant has their own style, but we all collaborate with the couple to create their special day. Ceremony elements can include a greeting to guests, comments by friends or relatives, music, meaningful rituals such as lighting a candle or drinking wine from a common goblet, and most importantly, the composing and sharing of personal vows.
Couples may speak to officiants about including ethnic and cultural traditions expressing their respective backgrounds. Most officiants are open to including elements of other religions shared during the ceremony by people of those faiths. Ethical Culture has long supported the legalization of marriage for couples of the same sex or gender, worked to achieve marriage equality, and celebrated the Supreme Court decision in June 2015.
For more information about our ceremonies or to make arrangements, please contact our Officiant Team Coordinator, Kathryn Merrill.