Hmmm... Not sure about this, What do YOU think?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I was watching a video on wedding planning and it mentioned having a family member or close friend become ordained and marry you. I have not figured out how I feel or what I think about this.

    I don't have any problems with what other people define as their family, or their marriage. I believe it is spiritual and a total commitment, whether the eprson who marries you is a Justice of the Peace or a Priest or a Minister. As long as the couple is committed to each other and their family, I don't really care if they even get married. For us it was with a minister in front of just our closest friends and family.

    But I think becoming a minister should also be taken very seriously. To just fill out a form online and print a confirmation email out to prove you are "ordained" somehow does not show much commitment. If the person takes it seriously then that is enough, I guess.

    But people TRUST ministers. They tell them their deepest secrets, and take their guidance to heart when shaping their lives. Somehow it well, almost cheapens, or devalues the ministry if the ordination comes without any training or guidance.

    What do you think or feel about it?

    This is NOT meant to be a religious discussion. I am wondering strictly about how the instant minister could possible affect the way the bride and groom think about the commitment.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with you. If the person is just getting authority to marry people it's one thing. But becoming a minister with all typical authority seems different. I guess anyone could actually "preach" but to be "ordained" with authority just seems like it should require more than an online application. I don't really see any special meaning in having the person who marries a couple be a relative or close friend, unless it is someone already authorized to marry people.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, I'm not in to formal religion. But even I think that's over the top. I'm also one to think if someone wants to be a minister it should be for much stronger reasons than simply to marry someone. While I may not be into formal me it is still wrong to disrespect someone else's beliefs even if you don't agree with them. To me, this is sort of being flip about the whole thing.
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I don't have a problem with someone doing that's not a religious thing. I don't really know a lot about getting certified online to perform marriages but if it was just a legal thing...not a problem for me. But if it's a religious thing, I might have some reservations. I know when husband and I were planning our wedding, neither one of us belonged to a church. Either of us hadn't really been raised in a church although we did both attend various churches as kids. Me on my own and husband with his grandmother. But, I thought it would be nice to get married in a church and do it "right", you know? At the time though, we checked with husband's grandmother's pastor but he was going to be on vacation or something and couldn't do it. I had been baptized Catholic and briefly thought about doing the classes and getting confirmed but I didn't do it. I knew I would only be doing it so I could get married in the Church and I just didn't feel right about it. I think it would have been neat to have a close friend or family member perform the ceremony. The certification process though, I think would just depend on the circumstances. We actually wound up having the then mayor perform the ceremony (outside wedding in a local park) because husband had known him for years and the man had been friends with my father in law.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Here is the website. It IS through the Universal Life Church. I am unfamiliar with them.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly, there has been some controversy with people becoming "ministers" through this church, and then claiming they should not be required to pay income tax because they are a church.

    I don't agree with this philosophy of click and pay, and you're a minister.
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I think when a family member or close friend does that just to perform a marriage and everybody involved likes it, it is a good thing. HOwever, I do see that it could be a problem if they decide to carry it on for other purposes.
    I know of one case where the daughter of an Episcopal minister was getting married. Her father had passed away and her brother (definitely a full-blown difficult child in his own right) got ordained that way and performed the wedding. It was a great moment for everybody concerned. He did it sort of in honor of his father; his sister was happy, his siblings enjoyed the irony, his mother was ecstatic. However, he did NOT then go ahead and establish a church and give sermons and try for tax exempt status, etc. It was just a nice family thing. I know of a couple of other people who have done similar things. I'm sure if you are super religious you would not want that for your wedding but for the rest of us it can be a nice alternative, done correctly.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Susie, I just reread your original post and specifically the last line. I didn't catch the part about commitment the first time around, sorry.

    Anymore, I don't know that that would really affect a couple's outlook on the commitment. So many people, married in a church/religious setting or otherwise, go into a marriage thinking that if it doesn't work out, they can always get a divorce so I don't think that the setting really matters. I mentioned in my previous response about husband and I talking about getting married in a church to do it "right". For me, it wasn't so much a religious belief but more of a traditional thing. I have my beliefs but I don't really consider myself all that religious. But....I respect religion and that's why I didn't pursue the confirmation classes to be married in the Catholic church. I knew I wouldn't go to church and I didn't feel right "using" the church in that manner. husband and I have had our ups and downs over the years but it would take a lot for either of us to ask for or file for a divorce. I know it's always a possibility and I would do it if necessary, but it would be a last resort or take a BIG idiotic move on husband's (or mine to be fair) part for me to do it. Even though we weren't married in a church, I think the attitude would be the same even if we had. Also, husband has been married twice before with at least one wedding having taken place in a church. I know him (and I've also been told this by others who knew him at those times) and know that he would have put some major effort into the marriage to try to make it work. That attitude is just how he is and I don't believe would have anything to do with who performed the ceremony. I think your attitude on marriage is based on your own beliefs whether they be religious or otherwise....not on who does the ceremony. For example, one of my sister in law's best friends is married. She (and her husband) comes from a very religious background and would never get a divorce. But....she's miserable. She got married for all of the wrong reasons (partly because she lived a very sheltered life at home and wanted to be out of the house but didn't want to be alone) and while I think she does love her husband (who is a difficult child of sorts), I don't believe she loves him in the way you should when you marry someone.

    Wow...didn't really mean to write a book there. I guess my point is that, at least for ME, I don't think it matters WHO does the ceremony...your feelings on commitment and marriage are going to come from other things, not whose signature is on the license. But...I still have mixed feelings about the online ordination. (Is that a word?)
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I pretty much agree with you. husband & I really didn't care too much about who married us. He did sort of want a Catholic wedding, but I very much did not. My reasons stemmed from growing up in Catholic schools in a not very good era for the Catholic schools in that part of the country. Nuff said about that. So we found a Unitarian Minister. She was great. No one but my father in law ever questioned the validity of our marriage (He did it as an excuse the early years to

    I also refused to have husband's best friend marry us. He had been ordained years before, but was not a practicing minister. He offered in a tentative, uncomfortable, if-you-absolutely-have-no-other-choice way, but none of us thought it was a good idea.

    I think my thoughts on commitment came from having relatives who would (and 1 who DID) find a fault with the wedding ceremony/priest/church she was married in so that the family would okay her divorce and later marriage to someone else. Having seen her say ugly things about the priest, church and anything else she could think of to justify an annulment from the Vatican, I am somewhat curious about what others thought.

    Each person's beliefs are valid to me. I do not mean to criticize anyone. I just wondered what others thought.
  10. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My brother in law is an unordained pastor. I have no idea if he even went to any school to become a pastor or just accepted that position. He was unable to officiate at his daughter's wedding because he can not legally marry anyone.

    So, what his family did was have him "assist" in the ceremony. The ordained pastor opened the ceremony, announced the marriage, and closed the ceremony. brother in law did the "sermonette" - I believe the ordained minister did the exchange of vows. It was very nicely done and my niece got to have her dad as part of the ceremony.

    My husband and I had several discussions leading up to the day of how this would work. How can brother in law be a leading "pastorial" part of the ceremony when he is unable to legally marry the kids?

    I came to the conclusion that since anyone can get married within several options - Justice of the Peace, Vegas Wedding, Formal church wedding, outdoor wedding, ect. - that as long as the proper people (ordained pastor or Justice of the Peace or whoever has the authority) are involved, the ceremony is whatever the young couple sets up.

    The legal part of the marriage is really the unseen paper work. The ceremony is the public display and perhaps the religious input to celebrate.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I *love* the idea of somebody assisting in the ceremony!!!!!! :peaceful: Or a close friend helping out.

    But to become a minister to do one ritual...I'll have to think on that one, Sus.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Through ulc you become a legally ordained minister of what?

    In Australia regardless of whether you're a recognised minister of religion or not, in order to perform marriage ceremonies you MUST be a recognised marriage celebrant. There are hoops you have to jump through, papers you have to fill in, standards you must demonstrate you can achieve and rules you must follow. My oldest friend has become a marriage celebrant, I've even been thinking of giving it a go. We're getting my friend to be the celebrant for easy child 2/difficult child 2's wedding and we've already had the first meeting. Because she's my friend (and I knew where she lives!) I went along too and we got talking about just what is involved. The regulations are very strict, she has certain things she MUST do and say to every couple.

    I don't know how strict it is in the US but I suspect the process is more involved than that website indicates.

    Or if it isn't, then it perhaps should be, to prevent a too-frivolous attitude to something as binding as marriage.

  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The first time around I was married in the Catholic church and as long as you completed the marriage classes (pre-cana) and were a Catholic, you could get married in their church, basically. I did not feel anything spiritual about that union. I wanted it to be, but really, it wasn't.

    The second time around, H and I were married in my sister's backyard by a JP, who by the way, just applies to become a JP in his/her town, and if they only have a certain number of JP's in that specific town, they too are an instant JP and can perform ceremonies. With H, I did feel a deep spriritual connection and it had nothing to do with who performed the ceremony.

    I am an ordained minister through ULC and I did so because I wanted to become a JP in our town, but there were too many so I was put on a wait list. In the interim, I was interested in learning more so I went to their website, entered my info, paid the fee and later receieved my packet of information. It's interesting for sure. But it doesn't feel 'real'. I can legally perform a marriage, death, baptism, etc. (they even send you certificates to file, etc), but I've never done one. My easy child asked me to perform her wedding ceremony when the time comes but I declined - no way could I be both the minister AND the mother of the bride without falling apart.

    There are some states that do not recognize the ULC. My exh became a ULC ordained minister and performed the wedding ceremony for his brother. Throughout the ceremony there were many comical references to Seinfeld episodes. I blanched when I heard how not seriously the job of joining two people who had already had a lifetime committment to one another went. To me, it was just wrong - BUT the couple didn't seem to mind. Which brings me back to what I said earlier.

    It doesn't really matter who performs the ceremony - it is up to the couple to make a deep emotional and spiritual connection.
  14. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Just follow on a bit about the importance of marriage...

    There's been a bit discussion here lately because one of our senior politicians is beating a personal drum and wants to make divorce harder. (Australia brought in no-fault divorces about 15 years ago). Marg and I were watching a couple of pundits -chosen for their usually opposing views - discussing it. They agreed he was wrong but one of them made a VERY good point - that MARRIAGE is too easy.

    Marg & I have been married over 30 years and I'm a little more in love with her every day. I know we are very much the exception. Too often we have seen marriages break up because the couple involved had rushed into it.

    Perhaps we should make it harder to get married, so that people who patently unsuited to each other are not forced to stay together rather than forcing these people to stay together. How often have we seen damage done because a couple stayed together "for the sake of the children".

    We only have to look at our daughter in law to see a glaring example of that. Her parents should never have got married and should have got divorced immediately. She didn't believe marriage could be happy - until she met us. Sad really.

    Marriage is a massive commitment, not just to each other but to your families present and future. It should be gone into lightly . These mail order ministers further devalue the whole process.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I totally agree that it can only be the couple who bring a deep sense of spirituality and commitment to the ceremony.

    I also agree with Marg's Man that marriage is maybe too easy. Anyone can fly to vegas and be married in 24 hours! It is one in a huge number that actually lasts after that kind of marriage. NOT that Vegas weddings are a sham, they are not. But people who just met and get married, well, life is not an episode of Dharma and Greg. It would be nice if it was, but it just isn't.

    husband and I hadn't known each other a year, and even making it this far was against the odds. We still love each other. We work at our commitment to each other. For us it is for life.

    But my childhood best friend knew her now-husband for 5 years before they got married. They had a huge wedding in her church, her husband even got baptised at the rehearsal. They are together, but it is very very tenuous and rocky. Esp since the kids were born.

    I think divorce is too easy. In some cases it is necessary, but many times the couple just isn't willing to work at it. Our digital age - instant everything mindset is contributing to it, in my opinion.

    I find this to be a very interesting discussion. As for the minister of what? I have no idea. You actually do not need to pay anything for the ordination. If you want the forms and certificates THEN you pay for them. But the email is supposed to give you the proof you need.

    Just seems strange to me. Less special somehow.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree that the requisites for getting married should be strict. I have a friend who I call "The Serial Bride". She's been married 4 times. This last time she even moved out of state and handed custody of her difficult child to her ex (whom she hated). She was married less than a year later to a guy she met on a blind date. All they do is party. I know it's only a matter of time before she becomes bored and moves on to husband No. 5. Seriously.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well, I'm a Notary Public. I have the legal power to officially marry people. I won't do it. I have a NP friend that basically does nothing BUT marry people and she loves it, has married several people and feels that her "unions" are lasting. She also feels horrible when they divorce.

    Personally? I don't want that responsibility. I don't want a ballerina changing the oil in my car and I don't want a mechanic to have the lead in the Nutcracker....Know what I mean?? Not that each couldn't do the others job- but just fits better in it's place than the other.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Star, I'm a Notary also, but in CT we do not have the power to marry people. When I tried to get my JP my goal was to marry people because I love the romantic idea of joining two people in love....blah blah blah. Like I said earlier, however, it's up to the couple. If two people want to get married badly enough, they will eventually find someone to do it for them, even if it's obvious they shouldn't get married. My friend was on vaca in Mexico and while there, she was married.
  19. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Luckily, my sister is a minister so she was able to marry Pcson and daughter in law. It was a really special ceremony. She choked up about half way through. When pcson was born, he was the first child in the family in 20+ years. He was everyone's baby. My sister's all fought over who got to keep him for the weekend---of course they had to get past his granny first. So, for her to be able to officiate his marriage in our home church was very touching.