Fun Church to become a minister of? Marry people in Canada?
September 4, 2008 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions of fun (such as Church of Euthanasia) churches that I could easily become a minister of. Bonus question, has anyone been ordained in order to marry people in Canada (eg. ULC), and if so, do you have any recommendations?
posted by imaswinger to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm ULC-ordained, though in the southern part of the continent, whatev'. I'd strongly recommend doing it the old-fashioned way: through the mail. They'll send you a ministerial packet (printed certificate, booklet), send you a newsletter or two and keep your vitals on record. There are a large number of sites that will provide ordination under ULC's policy of allowing ordained ministers to ordain others, but if you ever need the Church to document your ordination (e.g., you need to obtain a license to perform marriages in a jurisdiction) you'd be kind of rolling the dice that they filed your paperwork for you properly.

The online certificates never compare to the ones they provide anyways...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:16 AM on September 4, 2008

The Church of the Subgenius, Praise Bob!

The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. At least it's an ethos.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:34 AM on September 4, 2008

If I recall correctly, ULC isn't valid in Canada. Canada takes a rather more restricted view of what is a church and what isn't than the US does -- Scientology is one example.
posted by the dief at 11:45 AM on September 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Discordianism is the classic "fun & wacky" church, and has the best weddings. I was quite unimpressed by the subgenious wedding that I once saw.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:37 PM on September 4, 2008

jeffburdges, Discordianism is my go-to religion for, well, anything religious, but it's not recognized as a religion by the US even, so imaswinger couldn't marry someone *as a chaplin or Pope*, although maybe there's some sort of civil ceremony they could do? Donno.
posted by the dief at 3:15 PM on September 4, 2008

Well, you'll need the main civil part regardless, but even a culture leader suffices in some states, meaning Discordian organizers might suffice. Maryland says any adult can sign as clergy, as long as the couple who are getting married agree that he is a clergy. California permits anyone to apply for permission to become a Deputy Commissioner of Marriages for one day. South Carolina, Maine, and maybe others let public notaries marry people, so you might find a Discordian notary. Some other states have interesting laws, like the $1500 bond in West Virginia. Georgia apparently has laws saying merely "minister", but they might merely accept the certificate filed by a Discordian pope. Of course you should file it quickly, giving you time to marry again before a judge if they say no. etc. So the real answer is : check your state law.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:33 PM on September 4, 2008

jeffburdges: This is Canada. We don't have states. We also don't have the very liberal definition of what makes a church that the US does. So please, please, please stop quoting US laws here; it's not applicable to the poster's question.
posted by the dief at 7:31 PM on September 4, 2008

I was talking to a friend just last week about this (in Canada!). She had looked into it as a way to earn a bit of extra money in the summer, but was turned off by the fact that wedding officiants only make around $50 per wedding--at least in BC that's the case.
I, too, have considered getting a my officiant papers, just in case of emergency (you just never know when you'll need to wed two people). My research has never really gone anywhere though. Admittedly, it's been many years since I've tried. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
posted by pantagrool at 8:36 PM on September 4, 2008

Hail Eris--Discordianism over Subgenius, all the way. You don't just get to be a minister--you can be Pope. You actually already are the Pope. But so am I.
posted by Tesseractive at 8:36 PM on September 4, 2008

Response by poster: I got the Marriage Act for BC, but I can't figure out which religions are considered religions in BC. If anyone knows how to find that out, that'd be great.
posted by imaswinger at 10:00 AM on September 5, 2008

Hello imaswinger, I asked a Real Live Librarian in BC about this, and here's what she had to say:

According to Vital Stats BC, only religious leaders registered with VS can perform marriages here... or authorized marriage commissioners, who serve 5 year terms (no temp appointments). Look at "Arrange the Marriage Ceremony" on this page:

The site also has a section for aspiring marriage commissioners - there's a whole training process involved, and you have to serve in a community where there's a vacancy.

And here is the most recent BC Marriage Act, as cited by the above:
See the section "Registration of religious representatives to solemnize marriage" to see who qualifies - they must be responsible for a congregation etc., so internet-ordained people don't qualify.
posted by the dief at 1:57 PM on September 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: well, so much for that little dream.. I don't come even close to meeting the requirements for a marriage commissioner. Thanx for all the help! and the religion suggestions...
posted by imaswinger at 2:33 PM on September 5, 2008

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