Marriage Ceremony Rites & Usages

Our Ontario Marriage Ceremonies

  • All ceremonies performed by Clergy Support Memorial Church clergy must be conducted by Appointed or Ordained ministers.
  • We do not conduct civil ceremonies.
  • Our clergy are required to display their credentials to all couples they meet.
  • A legal marriage licence is required.
  • Couples may add certain elements to the ceremony: e.g. the unity candle, the handfasting ribbon around the hands at the vows, wine ceremony, prayers and readings and blessings from various religions. If in doubt about a particular element run it by your minister who may consult the Chief Governing Official.
  • All marriage ceremony requirements below apply.

For a marriage to be legal in Ontario it must meet the following requirements:

  • The marriage licence must be valid on the date of marriage.
  • The marriage licence must be given to the minister conducting the ceremony.
  • The ceremony must take place in Ontario
  • The ceremony must meet the requirements of the provincial Marriage Act, e.g. questions of intent, pronouncement
  • The minister’s registration with the provincial government must be current.
  • The couple and two witnesses over the age of 18 must be physically in the presence of the minister.
  • Marriage by proxy is not allowed.

The witnesses and the couple must meet the following requirements:

  • Witnesses must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Neither the witnesses nor the couple can cognitively impaired, including being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The couple and the witnesses must be fluent in the languages being spoken at the marriage ceremony and fully understand the documents they have to sign.
  • If the couple and/or witnesses are not fluent in the language of the ceremony and documents, an interpreter/translator may be required – talk to your minister.
  • When an interpreter/translator is required, it’s the couple’s responsibility to provide one.
  • During the ceremony, the licence must be signed by the couple, two witnesses, and the minister.
  • A Marriage Register must be used for every marriage ceremony.
  • Any other requirements the church should add by notifying the minister.
  • If any of these rules raise questions, please discuss them with your mentor or the Church’s Chief Governing Official.

Revised & approved at our annual Board meeting June 17 2011