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Ethical Milestone Ceremonies

Why is there a need for an Ethical Milestone Ceremony?

Ethical Milestone Ceremonies, Why is there a need? Ireland has seen a huge rise in the interest in secularism in recent years. Many parents are seeking secular, non- religious ceremonies. Such as naming ceremonies and various kinds of coming of age ceremonies. All cultures throughout history have found meaningful ways to celebrate and mark these important transitions in life, and alternatives here in Ireland are becoming more popular.

A little girl in a dress on her Naming Day

The Irish Ethical Celebrants Society believe that all children deserve a milestone ceremony in Ireland regardless of their religious background and beliefs. Therefore we have created ceremonies to honour and celebrate children as an alternative to first communion and confirmation rituals.  In line with the basic tenets of the IECS, we want to acknowledge the diversity of children around the country. We aim to deliver milestone ceremonies, which focus on those students who may feel excluded, so that they feel celebrated, loved and supported. 

Ritual and celebration go back centuries, so we want children to feel celebrated outside the confines of organised religion if that is their wish. We also want to offer choice to mark the occasion in a structured, meaningful and memorable way, surrounded by family, friends and the wider community.

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Our Focus

We have created Ethical Milestone Ceremonies which focus on children and young adults who may not be participating in the traditional rituals of First Holy Communion or Confirmation.   

Our Stepping Stones Ceremonies have been created for children who are not taking part in First Holy Communion, so typically children in 2nd class. Meanwhile, our Coming of Age Ceremonies have been created for young adults who are not taking part in Confirmation so typically children in 6th class. These inclusive and exciting new ceremonies will be joyous occasions, and can include themes such as community, environment, culture, charity projects, responsibility and empathy.

Stepping Stones Ceremonies

Stepping Stone Ceremonies

A Stepping Stones Ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the lives of children. Who, by the ages of seven and eight, are becoming responsible, more independent, aware of the community around them, brave, more questioning, developing empathy and developing social awareness. These ceremonies can be celebrated individually or with a group of friends who may not be celebrating a First Holy Communion.

Coming of age ceremonies

Coming of Age Ceremony

A coming-of-age ceremony is an opportunity to support, honour, encourage and celebrate children who are stepping into adolescence or teenagers moving into adulthood. So many 11 to 13 year olds are becoming independent, questioning everything around them, becoming more responsible, seeking support and mentorship and seeking the ability to forge their own path.