Our Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, is available for weddings, memorial services, baby namings, and other life passage ceremonies. She can perform such ceremonies at the Meeting House (see Space Availability) or at another venue of your choosing, usually within 50 miles of Riverdale-Yonkers. If you are using our space, you can also bring the officiant of your choosing, or arrange for our Leader’s services.
Each ceremony is crafted with your participation, to make it truly unique and meaningful. People who’ve attended our ceremonies usually describe them as nonreligious, humanist, creative, or spiritual in tone. Many people include traditions from their culture, and many create new forms that fit who they are and how they see the world.
An Ethical Culture memorial service remembers the person who has died, recognizes their contributions to the lives of others, and helps the family and friends in their grieving process. Ms. Lewis meets with family members or friends who are available, usually for 1-3 hours, to find out the needs and wishes of the family and to hear about the person whose life will be celebrated. She works as closely with the family as they’d like in planning the ceremony.
Baby namings in Ethical Culture celebrate the new child, welcome them into the circle of family, friends and community, and recognize the responsibilities of parents and others. Baby namings are usually planned in a single 1-2 hour meeting.
Other Life Passages
If you have a different life passage ceremony to plan, talk with Ms. Lewis about what might be involved in the planning. She has done ceremonies recognizing such transitions as divorce, a new home, recommitment to marriage on a significant anniversary, and more.
Fees and Appointments
Fees for ceremonies range from $300 – $1500. (Ceremonies for pledging members of the Society do not require fees.) If the ceremony is more than 25 miles from Riverdale, additional travel compensation is included. Contact the office (718-548-4445) to check availability and to schedule an appointment to meet with Ms. Lewis if you are interested in her help in crafting a ceremony and presiding at your event. Be sure to mention the date and time of the ceremony if you are leaving a message.
More About Our Officiant
Ms. Lewis has been creating and officiating at life passage ceremonies for more than 30 years. She is a certified Ethical Culture Leader, authorized to perform legal wedding ceremonies in that role. She was also trained and ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister. More at: Jone Johnson Lewis