“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.” —George Eliot
In every life, there are certain occasions that call for ceremonies -- weddings, the arrival of a child, the onset of adulthood, marriage, separation and finally, death. Recognition of these milestones mark one's passage through life and gives community and family the opportunity to come together.
As our society grows increasingly secular, so grows the need for personal celebrations that accurately reflect the beliefs of the individual.
Margaret Downey is a recognized Secular Humanist Officiant. After attending Humanist leadership classes at The Humanist Institute and training sessions through the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH), Council Chairman Paul Kurtz certified her to conduct marriages and other secular ceremonies.
All couples who want to be married in a "guaranteed secular ceremony" through Secular Ceremonies must obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage License. Due to misinformation and the lack of training given to marriage license clerks, difficulties have arisen. Margaret Downey is happy to escort all couples in order to guarantee that the proper license is obtained and that clerks will not force the couple into obtaining any license other than the Self-Uniting Marriage License. If a couple attempts to obtain the license on their own, the couple must be prepared for possible difficulties. All secular/atheist couples have the right to obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage Licenses! Do not let an uneducated clerk tell you any differently. By law, you do not have to be a Quaker to obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage License! There may be confusion in due to a lack of education and proper training, but The Pennsylvania Human Relations Department has process several complaints and has promised to intercede should difficulties arise. Remember, you do NOT have to be a Quaker to get the Self-Uniting License and this is the only way that your secular ceremony will be recognized by the state of Pennsylvania.