Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What do you think is your main responsibility as an officiate?

What do you think is your main responsibility as an officiate?

I have responsibilities to both the state and the couple in a civil or non religious wedding. There is additional responsibility in a religious wedding.

My responsibility to the state is:
Outdoor gazebo wedding at the DeMenil House

  • ·        to make sure that the couple has obtained a marriage license and that it is less than 30 days since they obtained it.
  • ·        The state requires that I know the people that I am marrying are the people on the license. If I know the couple there is no problem but if I do not know them I must verify their identity with a government issued photo ID.
  • ·        In Illinois I must be sure the ceremony is being performed in  the same county where it was obtained. Missouri does not have this requirement, as a Missouri license can be obtained in any courthouse anywhere in the state and it is good throughout the state. 
  •   Finally, I have the responsibility of seeing that the paperwork is filled out correctly and that it is filed with the Recorder of Deeds on a timely basis,

My responsibility to the couple is immense and one I take very seriously:

  • First to make sure that the couple gets the wedding of their dreams....the kind of ceremony that they want, and one which (if they choose) reflects their personalities and the unique bond which links them.
  • Further, I take responsibility that the wedding  meets the Remembrance Wedding three part
    Back yard wedding beside pool.

    • ·        The wedding should be language and in the pictures that it paints....both in the minds of the couple and in the minds of the attendees.
    • ·        The wedding should be meaningful. I try to stay away from empty fluff and use the ceremony to make the couple and their guests think about love, marriage and the things that are necessary to make marriage work.
    • ·        The wedding is memorable.  I try to stay away from wedding language, vows, rituals and readings which are overused., unless the couple specifically requests it. I want the couple and the guests to remember the wedding and its contents through the years. You can only do that if the text isn't the same thing they have heard at many weddings with many ministers.

I have an additional responsibility if the wedding is religious.  I want the ceremony to be true to the religion of the couple.  If they are of different faiths I try to blend the elements of both religions being true to both without one overshadowing the other. Luckily my position as International Moderator of the United Fellowship of Interfaith Ministers,gives me easy access to files from most of the major religions and a lot of the smaller ones; too. Between those files and the power of the net, and contact with ministers of that faith I have been successful at writing and performing ceremonies from many faiths.

Which of these is the main one? I have been unable to pick just one. I'd be interested in hearing what you think? Leave me a note if you would like to choose one.


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