Skip

The life of Twine
April 5, 2003 2:50 PM   Subscribe

My bet is no-one will care, but I'm marrying my fiancee six months today. Who cares, you say. But think about this... Current UK law means you can either be married by an Anglican minister or by a Registrar. Due to ecumenical fun we're getting married in an Anglican Parish Church with a URC minister and have to get a registrar to stand in the church. Why the religious difference? Does it matter?
posted by twine42 (27 comments total)

 
Another difference with the US due to our First Amendment. My fiance and I are getting hitched five weeks from today and we asked a close, loving friend to get an ordination from ULC so she can perform the ceremony. Seems a lot freer and simpler. You guys ought to fix that.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:00 PM on April 5, 2003


ok wait a minute... are you saying the only way any 2 people can get married in the UK is if it's by the anglican church or a registrar... so, for instance, a jewish couple wouldn't be allowed to be married by a rabbi...? would the only official stamp on their marriage be by a registrar...?

or do they just not recognize the united reform church...?

and congrats btw, both twine42 and billsaysthis, i hope you live happily ever after :-)
posted by t r a c y at 3:06 PM on April 5, 2003


"Current UK law means you can either be married by an Anglican minister or by a Registrar."

Pardom me for being a stupid American but I have no idea what you're talking about. Jews and Moslems have to be married in anglican churches?

Ummm.... What t r a c y said.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:12 PM on April 5, 2003


As it's been explained to me (by the URC minister in question) the only legal ways to get married in the UK are to be married by an Anglican minister, a Catholic minister or in a civil service. All other religious services are a two tier ceremony with the Jewish/Muslim/whatever service being rubber stamped buy a suit who was lurking at the back of the room.

There's a list of 'approved' religions too. Pagans, for example, aren't approved and have to have seperate religious and civil weddings.

Damned stupid, but true. And thanks for the congrats to you and anyone else who may say it between now and the time I next get myself near a pc. ;)
posted by twine42 at 3:27 PM on April 5, 2003


Even more ridiculous, two Anglicans cannot be married by the church or the state... if they are gay. It wasn't always so.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:58 PM on April 5, 2003 [1 favorite]


And, of course, marriage for all is a recent invention. And therefore so is the idea of children out of wedlock for the unwashed masses.

Anyway, it's 1am, so I'm vanishing for a while... tata...
posted by twine42 at 4:00 PM on April 5, 2003


you DO realize this means the end of hubba hubba...
posted by quonsar at 5:48 PM on April 5, 2003


Well, I suppose it makes sense in a twisted sort of way. The Anglican church is recognized by the government as the official church of England, isn't it? So because of ther unique quasi-governmental character, they are the one exception to the general rule that you have to have a registrar present for the marriage ceremony.

That doesn't explain the Catholic exception though.
posted by boltman at 6:03 PM on April 5, 2003


Eenh. Not to make light of your post or anything, but frankly I wouldn't sweat it. It's been my experience that no matter what kind of wedding you have, there will be all kinds of stupid crappy details to deal with that Make No Sense But Have To Be Taken Seriously Anyway. If it isn't the multi-ministers, it'll be something else. So just thank God (if you'll pardon the expression) that you already know your particular annoying snags.
posted by JanetLand at 6:06 PM on April 5, 2003


All other religious services are a two tier ceremony with the Jewish/Muslim/whatever service being rubber stamped buy a suit who was lurking at the back of the room.

isn't this true of all marriages in the US? I mean, the only thing that makes it a legal marriage is the marriage license, right? Some religions won't perform a service unless you've got a marriage license (the catholic church, e.g.) but others will (your eccentric pagan friend can perform a ceremony if she wants that can mean marriage to you & yours without the gov't's seal of approval). But if you want to be officially married, the church / ritual part doesn't matter at all; that's just for kicks.

what am I missing?
posted by mdn at 6:27 PM on April 5, 2003


English Catholics, as well as Protestant Dissenters, have been able to wed in their own churches since 1836, when the Marriage Act instituted civil ceremonies.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:31 PM on April 5, 2003


You mean in the UK you can't get married by just living together?

Yikes!
posted by shepd at 6:33 PM on April 5, 2003


mdn, the license is necessary--though I would guess that the UK has a similar requirement for bookkeeping purposes--but has to be signed by a recognized authority and returned to the issuing clerk to be valid. At the bottom of the application I have in front of me, we must check one of the allowed choices for "We will be married by a:"

- Clergyperson
- Judge
- Deputy commissioner (i.e., county clerk)
- Other

And I'm reasonably certain Other, which you must specify, has requirements to be valid.

So it's not "just for kicks" and someone authorized must perform the ceremony. We just apparently have a wider selection than the (often whacky) Brits.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:35 PM on April 5, 2003


Eenh. Not to make light of your post or anything, but frankly I wouldn't sweat it. It's been my experience that no matter what kind of wedding you have, there will be all kinds of stupid crappy details to deal with that Make No Sense But Have To Be Taken Seriously Anyway.

Well put JanetLand. Exceedingly well put. In fact, he'll be lucky if the only things that get wierd are easy things like these ... easy because they can all get planned and dealt with before the wedding. I remember my wedding day - both the priest (who was arriving from Mexico) and my wife's wedding dress (that was arriving from New York) went missing until the last moment.

you DO realize this means the end of hubba hubba...

Au contraire ... in fact, over the years married sex gets better and better. Certainly are phases of relatively more or less frequency, but (IMO) casual sex can't even remotely approach the hot depth of doin' it with the one you're walking next to through the peaks and valleys of life.

Nothing is as erotic as utter and total commitment to another soul (so long, I suppose, as the souls are well matched).
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:43 PM on April 5, 2003 [1 favorite]


"over the years married sex gets better and better."

Well, now we know you're not married. [makes notes]
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:03 PM on April 5, 2003


Nothing is as erotic as utter and total commitment to another soul

fetch my slippers and pipe. that's a good boy.
posted by quonsar at 7:29 PM on April 5, 2003


Well, now we know you're not married. [makes notes]

Married for awhile now. Took until my mid-thirties to find the woman I wanted. Had to chase her across a couple of continents, and beat out a fellow suitor ... but (again, IMO) no decision in life is more important than choosing one's mate.

We talked a lot about what we had seen happen in other marriages - and thought just about the worst thing was that couples began to take each other for granted. So we agreed from the start that each of us, for one week every year (picked completely out of the blue) would pretend the other needed to be won all over again. Showered with gifts and attention and surprises and passion. (Not quite sure how we stumbled upon that idea). At first it was kinda odd. But over time it's turned into almost a competition to outdo each other - so we're each doing it several weeks out of the year now, and on random days besides. I didn't know what to expect of marriage prior to taking the vows - but I certainly didn't think it could be anywhere near a great as it is.

And while comedians do like to joke about sex ending after marriage, I think I remember seeing surveys that say that the truth is that marriage people not only have sex more often than single people, but as a rule find it more satisfying as well.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:50 PM on April 5, 2003


So it's not "just for kicks" and someone authorized must perform the ceremony. We just apparently have a wider selection than the (often whacky) Brits.

wow. That's really weird. I really did think we were over the strange religious rituals = law. It's really no different from spondesne / spondeo (the ancient roman binding contract ritual - meaning, do you promise / i promise). I guess signing your name to a contract is just as ritualistic in a way though.

okay, well, both nations seem equally wacky to me in this regard.
posted by mdn at 7:52 PM on April 5, 2003


Took until...
We talked a lot...
And while comedians...


just drop the slippers and pipe, wag your tail, and curl up by the fireplace, please.
posted by quonsar at 7:56 PM on April 5, 2003


okay, well, both nations seem equally wacky to me in this regard.

Yes ... wacky, but relatively tame. Things can get truly bizarre in parts of Africa and the middle east.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:58 PM on April 5, 2003


Wow, that article about how you have to be married by an Anglican church or a registrar was a fascinating, full of harrowing adventures that left me breathless and a never-say-die attitude that inspired me to be a better person ;)
posted by The God Complex at 8:45 PM on April 5, 2003


Congratulations, twine42. Your fiancee, eh? Good thing you're not marrying anyone else...
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:23 PM on April 5, 2003


In the US it's more complicated than anyone has said so far, since marriage laws are up to the states. Some states require that a clergy person register with the state or local government a given number of days before doing a wedding. Others just require that they, effectively, register when they submit their copy of the marriage license.

All states, that I'm aware of, require that the clergy person meets requirements. Such as being ordained by a "real" church, and that they are either currently serving a church or serve some duty within the religion itself. For example, when I was married in Ohio, my mom, from Virginia, had to send the clerk of Ohio copies of her certificate of ordination and a signed form from the church she is currently serving to be able to do my wedding. And states differ in if they require both the clergy person and the couple submit copies of the license. It was odd, however, that my mom had to register with the state of Ohio, but then you get the certificate from the county that the marriage is being performed in.
posted by skynxnex at 9:25 PM on April 5, 2003


For example, when I was married in Ohio, my mom, from Virginia, had to send the clerk of Ohio copies of her certificate of ordination and a signed form from the church she is currently serving to be able to do my wedding.

Really? I thought the clause in the Constitution that says that one state shall accept another's laws would mean that the above wouldn't be necessary.
posted by Vidiot at 10:33 PM on April 5, 2003


*grin*

Sorry there were no articles linked off, and sorry if I implied that it bothered me the way things were done. I just meant to trigger a conversation about if there was a need for a link between weddings and religions.

As for the question of Catholic weddings, apparently only Anglicans can do the job without rubber stamping because they are effectively all registrars anyway. Blame Henry 8th and his plans to stick his 5th five in a bag and fire her into outer space...

I'll keep myself in check before I FPP next time. ;)
posted by twine42 at 1:11 AM on April 6, 2003


Vidiot: the requirement in Ohio is a general one for any clergy person--including from Ohio--to perform a marriage. It's vaguely like, I guess, how lawyers and doctors have to be certified by each state they wish to do medicine or law, respectively, in. Something like letting a person perform a marrage is slightly different than, say, repsecting a driver's license.
posted by skynxnex at 8:17 PM on April 6, 2003


ok wait a minute... are you saying the only way any 2 people can get married in the UK is if it's by the anglican church or a registrar... so, for instance, a jewish couple wouldn't be allowed to be married by a rabbi...?

Hmm. Synagogues of most of the Jewish denominations in the UK are licensed by the 1949 Marriage Act in order that the weddings performed under their auspices are also valid as civil weddings (though this applies only to the marriage of two Jews).
posted by Dan Brilliant at 3:32 AM on April 7, 2003


« Older Would duct tape help?   |   No more (universal) justice Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post