Graduation Ceremony Takes Place Same Week as NJ Law Set to Go into Effect Granting Life-Cycle Celebrants® Legal Authority to Solemnize Marriages & Civil Unions in the Garden State
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) honored the graduation of 98 certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair, NJ. This year’s day-long, family-centered celebration came at a particularly historic time with New Jersey set to become the first state in the nation to allow Certified Civil Celebrants to legally solemnize marriages and civil unions. The new law takes effect May 1. Governor Chris Christie signed the authorizing legislation back in January.
The CF&I, headquartered in Montclair, NJ is the nation’s preeminent online educational institute teaching and certifying people as modern day ritual and ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. The CF&I’s rigorous, seven-month, transformational program is taught via real-time, web-based, teacher-led classes where students explore the art of ritual, ceremony, world and faith traditions, ceremonial writing and public speaking. Graduates of the program are certified as Life-Cycle Celebrants® trained to perform and co-create personalized, substantive and meaningful ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events that reflect the needs, beliefs and values of the people they are honoring.
“This year’s graduating class of Life-Cycle Celebrants® are entering into field that is rapidly growing,” said Gaile Sarma, Founder of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. “The demand for certified civil celebrants is on the rise as a reflection of the ever-changing face of family,” she continued. “New Jersey should be proud to be at the forefront of giving couples of all backgrounds, traditions, cultures and faiths the opportunity to work with a Life-Cycle Celebrant® to create a marriage ceremony that best reflects who they are and want to be in their life together.”
The excitement surrounding New Jersey’s Certified Civil Celebrant law was just one facet of what made this year’s CF&I graduation so memorable. At the event, graduates heard from Keynote Speakers Freddie Zeringue, Editor/Publisher of Natural Awakenings Magazine and Mary Lou Pernod, Vice President of The Knot, the premiere wedding resource site and magazine. Both Zeringue and Pernod spoke about the many contributions certified Life-Cycle Celebrants® offer society and wished them well as they entered the growing profession. A collective wisdom panel conversation with Celebrant faculty offered graduates some real-life advice as they set to embark on their new career. The event then culminated with a celebratory dinner of South African cuisine where the celebrant graduates and their families listened to and participated in earth moving African drumming performed by Mark Wood of Woodndrums.
“With New Jersey on the cusp of granting certified civil celebrants legal authority to solemnize marriages, there couldn’t be a more exciting time to become a Life-Cycle Celebrant®,” said Lindsay Attalla of Howell, NJ, a 2014 CF&I graduate. “My profession offers people greater choice in how they want to honor their life’s milestones. I am proud to be part of this choice, and live and work in a state that recognizes and celebrates it. New Jersey is the model for other states to emulate.”
About the Celebrant Foundation & Institute
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) is the nation’s preeminent online educational institute that teaches and certifies people as modern day ritual and ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. Founded in 2001, the educational nonprofit organization headquartered in Montclair, NJ, is a member of the International Federation of Celebrants. To date, the CF&I has graduated nearly 900 Life-Cycle Celebrants® who preside over 20,000 ceremonies each year throughout North America, Asia and Europe. To learn more about the CF&I, visit www.celebrantinstitute.org
About Life-Cycle Celebrants®
Life-Cycle Celebrants® are certified graduates of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. Through the CF&I’s seven-month, web-based educational program, students are rigorously schooled in the art of ritual, ceremony, world and faith traditions, mythology, ceremonial writing and public speaking. Through the programs, they learn how to officiate at virtually every life event with a focus on personalizing each ceremony to reflect the needs, beliefs and values of the couple or family. Ceremonies include weddings, civil unions, funerals, baby and parenting, adoptions, and all other events honoring the milestones in peoples’ lives.