Over the years, the Association has participated in numerous conferences, panel discussions and workshops on the topic of humanist ceremonies, the need for rituals and cross-cultural dialogue.

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Re-enchanting the World: In Praise of Ritual and the Sacred | Impact Hub Geneva⎢14.02.2018


Since the dawn of time, our civilisations have always been punctuated by rituals that have forged our cultures and celebrated their high points. The advent of our individualistic and consumerist Western society, sometimes disenchanted, seems to have relegated the sacred to religions and partially forgotten its importance in the face of current needs and challenges. At a time when extremism is rampant (and frightening), it is useful to go back to the basics to recreate links: thus, bringing ritual back into our daily lives, reconnecting with our founding myths, marking the important thresholds of our existence allow us to better understand contemporary issues, to find new points of reference and to strengthen our sense of belonging in order to work together to re-enchant the world.

On 14 February, the Humanisthme Association invites you to a conference and presentation of the 2018 MasterClass Cycle proposed by Julien Abegglen Verazzi, on the importance of the sacred in our daily lives.

Registration: info@humanisthme.org
Where: Impact Hub Geneva | 1 Rue Fendt 1201 (behind Cornavin station)

Past events

InFlow Connection Workshop

InFlow Connection workshop ⎢ 20.05.2021 & 17.06.2021 ⎢ Impact Hub Geneva

The Covid pandemic has disrupted how we spend time with each other and ourselves – both the “screen time” and “me-time”. Because of the well-planned meetings and the new forms of organization, we´ve lost a lot of the playful, informal and the wordless aspects of our interactions that bring a sense of real connection into our lives.

Romain and Tuuli were here to change that!

To reclaim this space of connection, the InFlow Connection workshop helped to disconnect from the screen and (re)connect with ourselves and others around us by a series of simple embodied exercises. Through play, it was the opportunity to touch upon some of the patterns we have and have a chance to renegotiate our relationship to them. In the workshops some themes were central such as Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity – through experiencing them instead of talking about them.

Crafting Secular Rituals 4 724×1024

Rediscovering Ritual: The Senses and Sensemaking in Secular Rituals ⎢ Geneva ⎢ 16.11.2017

Addressing the origins, history and function of rituals, this conference looks at how we can create non-religious rituals to mark important life stages and events. Answering the call for new rituals in our secular age, it recognises the essential importance of rituals to the psychological, physical and spiritual health of individuals, families, organisations, and society as a whole.

Programme – Four case studies of contemporary secular ritualizing:

Naming ceremony > Julien Abegglen Verazzi (CH)

Confirmation ceremony > Nina Faartoft (DK)

Wedding ceremony > Andrés Allemand Smaller (CH)

Memorial & Wedding in one ceremony > Isabel Russo (GB)


Churches are emptying... Where are the believers going? | Cafés scientifiques - University of Fribourg ⎢ 17.01.2018

It is said that churches are emptying, but is this true? And even if they do not go to mass regularly, many people still want to mark the great moments of their lives (marriage, baptism, death, etc.). However, another demand is increasingly emerging: that of “alternative”, “tailor-made” or “atypical” ceremonies. Rituals and ceremonies mark our lives, from our birth to our death. But is spirituality really losing ground? Why do traditional ceremonies no longer meet today’s needs? What are believers looking for elsewhere?

Participants in the monthly Café Scientifiques will discuss the controversial topic: Is there still a need for ceremonies and prayers or not?

The Cafés Scientifiques of the University of Fribourg (http://events.unifr.ch/cafes-scientifiques) allow experts from within and outside our institution, as well as citizens, to dialogue together on a chosen topic. They take place in the Salle du Nouveau Monde, adjacent to the Café de l’Ancienne Gare, one Wednesday a month between 6pm and 7.30pm. The discussions continue afterwards over an aperitif.

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Round table ``Death: rites and rituals`` - Alix Noble Burnand ⎢ Crêt Bérard ⎢ 07.03.2014

“A society that relegates death to the rank of taboo is preparing for a difficult future: by wanting to keep death quiet, we risk killing life. Thanatology seeks to give death a place again, to prevent it from taking over. It wants to give it back its human dimension and its place in society. Yes, death is a violence done to the living. A terrible wound. Yes, death unties, creates rupture and tearing. Yes, it is fearsome and hateful. It is an enemy. No, it can never be tamed.
But it is part of life. It needs common sense. To confront it in a healthy way is to accept its presence as inevitable and not to flee in illusion and denial. And refusing to submit your entire life to it. It will not have the last word.”

Alix Noble Burnand – Translated by Humanisthme

Snow In Paradise 10

In search of meaning: words of converts ⎢ Impact Hub Geneva ⎢ 29.11.2017

Conversions to Islam often arouse curiosity and astonishment, even suspicion and hostility. The figure of the ‘radical’ convert now fills our screens and our minds, and is sometimes the subject of real moral panic. Armed with her small recorder, sociologist Juliette Galonnier collected the words of 82 converts to Islam in France and the United States. Based on these testimonies, she proposes to deconstruct some of the stereotypes surrounding conversion, insisting on its ordinary character as well as on the diversity of paths and journeys. She will also attempt to dispel the current debate by reviewing the historical depth of conversions to Islam on both sides of the Atlantic.

Impact Hub

« Tailor-made ceremonies: for contemporary rituals » ⎢ Impact Hub Lausanne ⎢ 05.11.2017

The French-speaking association of professional celebrants is pleased to invite you to its annual “Open House” on the occasion of the inauguration of the Impact Hub Lausanne. Come and discover, meet, share and discuss with the professionals of a vocation that is still little known and yet remains perhaps one of the “oldest professions in the world”. We look forward to meeting you.

Programme (free admission) :

13:30 – Welcome & opening
14:00 – “In praise of rituals and the sacred” | Julien Abegglen Verazzi
Humanisthme Association | www.humanisthme.org
14:30 – ” Reinventing funerals ” | Sarah Joliat & Philippe Seidel
Pompes Funèbres du Léman | www.pfduleman.ch
15:00 – Coffee break
15:30 – ” Getting married… differently ” | Nathalie Michlig
Rythmez la vie | www.ceremonie-de-vie.ch
16:00 – Round Table + Q&A
16:30 – Closing & closing ritual
17:00 – Aperitif


Funeral rites: in history and modernity ⎢ Lausanne ⎢ 01-02-30.11.2012

It is first and foremost the ‘religious’ traditions that have surrounded death with important rites. These rites, which are intended to mark a break in ordinary time, are carefully elaborated and retransmitted. They are addressed both to the deceased and his or her passage into the unknown (symbolically represented by the rites) and to the survivors, for whom they are the markers of the passage from life to death, of loss and of mourning.

Célébrations Humanistes

Humanist ceremonies...or how to deal with our need for consolation? ⎢ Lausanne ⎢ 02.11.2012

However, “contemporary modernity”, particularly the western and urbanised one in which we live, is going through a crisis that we could describe as “disenchantment”, accompanied by a loss of reference points (and even of classical values) in which the traditional churches are struggling to find their place.

At the dawn of the 21st century, what solutions can we find to the de-ritualisation of our societies?

Mourir Sans Cérémonie

Dying without ceremony? Funerals in a changing world ⎢ Geneva ⎢ 15.09.2011

“Ritual allows us to accept what is happening, not to conceal it. …] You have to live through this moment of the other’s disappearance. First of all, we owe it to the other, this moment, and then we owe it to ourselves as well […] We have wanted – through drunkenness, presumption, vanity – to remove death from our landscape, even from the human condition. This is absolutely false, we must accept it, integrate it.”

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt – Translated by Humanisthme

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