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PastorWeekly Lessons

Continuing education for ministry leaders
Weekly Lessons, created and written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, give you a basic legal overview of essential topics based on staff or volunteer positions within a church.

Previous Lessons

Week of September 30

The Termination of Pastors

This Week's LessonWeek of October 7

What Legal Requirements Apply to the Performance of Marriage Ceremonies?


In this lesson we turn our attention to the performance of marriages by clergy. Start by completing the following quiz. Then review the Executive Summary for the key points on this topic, or read the lesson for a complete discussion of this topic.


Executive Summary

Ministers often are called upon to perform marriages for members of their congregation, relatives, and friends. The law regards marriage as a fundamental institution, and as a result imposes several conditions on the performance of the marriage ceremony. It is important for new ministers to be familiar with these conditions. This lesson will review some of the basic conditions that apply in most states. It also will address the important question of performing marriages in other states.

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