Marriage and your Ministry?

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12 May 2016 16:10 #240942 by MadHatter
Has anyone in the clergy preformed a marriage? If you have do you have criteria for it? If not do you have criteria before being willing to preform a marriage for a couple? Do you require an interview? Do you have any factors you consider before saying yes? If you dont do you think you should?

I ask because as I work the Seminary IP this is one of the things I started thinking about. I am trying to formulate my own views and maybe even come up with something that might be of use to others in the Clergy.

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12 May 2016 16:19 #240943 by Carlos.Martinez3
I have been asked to write a ceremony for my in laws. they are very ...Disney savy... so the sermon is family and love centered. Does that count lol ?

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12 May 2016 16:27 - 12 May 2016 17:03 #240945 by Snowy Aftermath
I know Steamboat has (he had photos of one event). I'd definitely seek him out.

I need to think about this for my own ministry. If you do develop any firm ideas about this, I hope you'll share them :)

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Last edit: 12 May 2016 17:03 by Snowy Aftermath.
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12 May 2016 16:37 #240948 by Atticus
Replied by Atticus on topic Marriage and your Ministry?

MadHatter wrote: Has anyone in the clergy preformed a marriage? If you have do you have criteria for it?

Two, but only one as a Jedi. It was actually doing that ceremony last year that first made me want to start going through the program here at TotJO. I'm licensed at the ULC, but I wanted something more.

I do have criteria, the main one being that I would not perform a Jedi wedding for someone who only wanted to treat it as a joke. :) I'll get to the rest in your next questions.

MadHatter wrote: Do you require an interview? Do you have any factors you consider before saying yes?

I do want to sit down with the couple at least once before saying yes. In both cases, I have known at least the bride before being asked (I don't advertise, so anyone who is going to ask me to be the celebrant must already know me somehow). But I always want to know that they are taking the commitment of marriage seriously. I don't want to see them again in six months when they seek a divorce attorney. And of course I want to discuss what they want out of the ceremony; I make lots of suggestions for what we could do, including some broad topics for the celebrant's message, but it's their wedding so they should make most of the big decisions.

MadHatter wrote: I am trying to formulate my own views and maybe even come up with something that might be of use to others in the Clergy.

I hope you publish what you come up with. I know most of us are always looking for ways to improve on our rituals and ceremonies. :)
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12 May 2016 16:59 #240954 by steamboat28
MadHatter's Post [ Click to expand ]


I've only officiated four weddings (and only three of them on the civil side), but I can try to answer questions if you need.

Legally speaking, the bare minimum required is whatever your local laws dictate is necessary for a legally-recognized legal union (which is the standard). That part is vaguely mentioned in the Seminary coursework, and is part of the process of becoming a Licensed Minister. I say it's "vaguely mentioned" because while the Seminary coursework requires you to look up your local laws regarding wedding officiants, etc., it doesn't actually give you any information on how to find those local laws if you're brand new to this. The lovely people at the Universal Life Church have done a lot of that legwork for you, and it's the first place I recommend looking. After that, you can start to dig deeper into the actual laws and take note of them. Recording these laws (or at least where to find them and the Cliff's Notes versions) is also required for the leap to Ordained Minister in the form of the clerical handbook you'll have to create, so having them handy is a great thing. I can tell you (with one flip of a page) exactly which statutes are necessary for my state, and whether or not a particular individual or marriage meets them.

As for personal preference, every minister should create a set of criteria and standards. It's okay to say "no" to people. I have been lax in my standards for folks so far, because most of the weddings I have performed have been for friends or family who couldn't afford anyone else. My ideal set of standards, however, would require pre-marital interviews and discussion of some sort, and I'd like to encourage every couple to seek out a premarital counselor they find appropriate prior to the date, as well.

It's important to note that, while it would be very helpful to have a general set of criteria here at the Temple, every minister should take great pains to individualize their requirements before agreeing to officiate. It's your name (and your Name) attached to that marriage for as long as it lasts, and you want to be sure that such a sacred institution (even when secular) is not trampled beneath the weight of triviality.
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27 Jun 2016 01:22 #246611 by MadHatter
So I thank all those who contributed and here is what I have some up with so far as far as my own questions and what the goals are for those questions when speaking to a couple wishing to be married.

Questions

1) When did you know you wanted to get married?
2) Have you lived with each other prior to deciding to get married?
3) Have you talked about career goals?
4) Have you talked about children?
5) Have you spent time with each others friends and family?
6) Have you faced any great tests to your relationship?
7) Have you talked about division of labor around the house?
8) Do you have anything in your past that you think could test your current relationship?
9) Have you spoken about your religious views with each other?
10) Do you know who will handle the finances?
11) What does your family think of your relationship/decision to marry?
12) Marriage ceremonies contain vows, have you thought of what vows if any you want to make?
13) How will you decided things like where to spend the holidays?
14) What are some deal breakers for your relationship? Have you discussed them?
15) What do you see as my role in your ceremony?

Goals

The goals of these base questions are to get a feel for how much thought the couple has put into this decision. To get a feel for any trouble spots and encourage the couple to discuss them before going ahead with the decision to marry. Finally I seek to get a sense of the couples personalities and what they wish my role to be in their special day.

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27 Jun 2016 07:17 #246624 by Edan
Replied by Edan on topic Marriage and your Ministry?
Unless someone goes to you specifically for pre marriage counselling, I would avoid asking said questions.

MadHatter wrote: So I thank all those who contributed and here is what I have some up with so far as far as my own questions and what the goals are for those questions when speaking to a couple wishing to be married.

Questions

1) When did you know you wanted to get married?
2) Have you lived with each other prior to deciding to get married?
3) Have you talked about career goals?
4) Have you talked about children?
5) Have you spent time with each others friends and family?
6) Have you faced any great tests to your relationship?
7) Have you talked about division of labor around the house?
8) Do you have anything in your past that you think could test your current relationship?
9) Have you spoken about your religious views with each other?
10) Do you know who will handle the finances?
11) What does your family think of your relationship/decision to marry?
12) Marriage ceremonies contain vows, have you thought of what vows if any you want to make?
13) How will you decided things like where to spend the holidays?
14) What are some deal breakers for your relationship? Have you discussed them?
15) What do you see as my role in your ceremony?

Goals

The goals of these base questions are to get a feel for how much thought the couple has put into this decision. To get a feel for any trouble spots and encourage the couple to discuss them before going ahead with the decision to marry. Finally I seek to get a sense of the couples personalities and what they wish my role to be in their special day.


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Peace in the place of violence
Mercy in the place of vengeance

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27 Jun 2016 09:17 - 27 Jun 2016 09:19 #246629 by steamboat28
I will disagree with Edan here, but only because in my state it takes one minister and two witnesses and a $30 piece of paper to start a marriage, but two expensive lawyers and months and months of bickering to end one. I've already, in my very short marriage ministry, made at least two mistakes that could've been corrected by getting nosy.

If people don't want to answer my questions and talk with me a little bit, they don't want me to marry them. Not really, at least. They can go find someone else.
Last edit: 27 Jun 2016 09:19 by steamboat28.
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27 Jun 2016 10:03 #246630 by Edan
Replied by Edan on topic Marriage and your Ministry?
I didn't even meet the woman that married me and my husband, and if she'd asked those questions I would have told her it wasn't her business. It's not up to you who marries who or why. You're right not to marry them, but it really isn't your business.

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Action in the place of apathy
Peace in the place of violence
Mercy in the place of vengeance

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27 Jun 2016 10:37 #246632 by Jestor
Replied by Jestor on topic Marriage and your Ministry?

steamboat28 wrote: As for personal preference, every minister should create a set of criteria and standards. It's okay to say "no" to people. I have been lax in my standards for folks so far, because most of the weddings I have performed have been for friends or family who couldn't afford anyone else. My ideal set of standards, however, would require pre-marital interviews and discussion of some sort, and I'd like to encourage every couple to seek out a premarital counselor they find appropriate prior to the date, as well.


My first wife and I had to interview with her family Priest/Minister, as well as attend classes for those wanting to be married, as well as (oh my god) had to watch a video series on 'pleasing each other sexually', it was a educational sex video, done as tastefully as one could be done, but, there where still folks having sex on the screen... lol...

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