“We are all children of the same universe”
For those who do not belong to a church or other religious organization, finding someone to perform their marriage ceremony can be difficult. These people thus frequently ask a friend or family member to become ordained in order perform a marriage ceremony for them. So, once the person is chosen, they must go through the process to get ordained. One of the simplest and most well-rounded organizations to acquire an ordination certificate from is the Universal Life Church. The ULC has detailed instructions for how to get ordained online through their church.
The ULC believes that every person holds the right to be able to officiate over ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, or funerals, regardless of their religious affiliation. The core belief is that we are all children of the same universe, and that we are just as qualified to perform a marriage as any justice of the peace or clergy ordained through a more prolific organization.
A ceremony performed by someone with an online ordination is just as valid as any other person who is legally authorized to perform a wedding ceremony. Even celebrities are taking advantage ofbecoming ordained online to perform marriage ceremonies for friends and fans. Kevin Smith of “Clerks” and “Dogma” fame is one of the 20 million ordained ministers through Universal Life Church. Smith believes that nobody should be told who is capable of performing a wedding ceremony. See New York Times article.
Others who have received their ordination certificates online include comedienne Kathy Griffin and actor Jason Segel. While some people seek and acquire ordination because they were asked toofficiate a marriage ceremony, some who received online ordination take their ministry very seriously. Al Green, a soul singer, has been ministering through his own church in Memphis since the mid-70s, and former Run-DMC member Rev Run also provides ministerial services to the community.
Freelance Writer Jane Hodges was introduced to online ordination when she was engaged to her husband. Since they had no religious affiliation, they decided to ask friends to officiate the ceremonyfor them. But before they asked their friends to go through the process of becoming ordained, they decided to go through the process themselves to see how authentic it was. They were able to find several websites that offered online ordination. They also found that ceremonies performed by thoseordained online were not always legally binding. Luckily for Jane, the municipality in which she and her fiance resided did accept those ordained online as legal clergy capable of performing the marriage ceremony. See Wall Street Journal article.
To become a legally ordained minister to be able to perform religious services through the Universal Life Church Monastery, simply go to the website and click on the link for ordination. Enter your full legal name (no nicknames) and your e-mail address. Ordination is free of charge for life. (Some online ordination sites charge fees and some organizations have expiration dates on their ordination certificates.) You should receive an e-mail confirmation of your ordination within 24 to 72 hours, depending on registration volume. The e-mail will contain a welcome message and several important informational links.
There are no questions about your spiritual or religious beliefs, because the Church believes we all should be allowed to become ordained ministers. The Church also provides various services to theirordained ministers to help them along their path. There is a network for ministerial training and support, an outreach program, a forum to connect with other ministers, and a variety of ceremonies that you can use in your own ministry.
Though it is easy to go online and obtain an ordination certificate, the ordination itself is not something to be taken lightly. This is an important responsibility, as you will be able to officiate wedding ceremonies, perform baptisms, and conduct funeral services. While sometimes tensions can be eased by humor, the ceremonies themselves are not jokes.
Those considering using their friends or others who were ordained online should make sure that their state and local municipality will accept the ordination as valid. Some states do not recognize online ordination certificates without further documentation being filed. Every state has its own laws about who may officiate a legal-binding wedding ceremony. New York State, for example, requires that the person be recognized as a spiritual leader to a congregation (though they do not define either of those terms). Most states, though, simply require that the proper paperwork be filed with the local governmental body.
So, if you are seeking ordination to perform religious ceremonies, or you want a friend or family member to perform your wedding ceremony, Universal Life Church Monastery is the best place to start for online ordination.