Dear Engaged Couple,
I have been performing weddings for 15 years. In fifteen years no one has ever asked me for evidence of my authorization by the Commonwealth of Virginia–authorization to perform weddings. Then, in this past week, I was asked twice for information regarding the legality of what I do. Is this a sign of the times—that suspicion reigns—that you can’t trust even reverends these days (which truth be told, is probably very wise)? Anyway, just for the record, I have been authorized to perform weddings in the Commonwealth of Virginia as you can see for yourselves from the document at left–the Oath of Office for wedding officiants. . The Order given by Fairfax County in the Commonwealth of Virginia appears at left.
The swearing in took place in Fairfax County—I was living in Northern Virginia at the time. I remember well being taken to a back room at the Court House where a kindly woman asked me to raise my right hand and swear to support the constitution of the USA and the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Further, I promised to “…faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as a Marriage Celebrant, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.” It really moved me, the swearing in part. I remember being so happy afterward—so happy in fact, that I hugged the surprised person who swore me in. Maybe I saw this as a culmination of my four years of seminary. Maybe I saw it as recognition by the State that I had achieved something grand. I have a taste now, though, of what it must be like when a person is finally sworn in as a US citizen.
Since I have given my oath to support the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am not able to officiate at same sex marriages. This is an ethical error in our state law, which we can only hope will be rectified soon. Until that time when the state sees the error of its ways, is offer same sex couples a blessing, a blessing from God of their union.
I will continue to support political candidates who support such a change in our state constitution. I hope that change comes very soon.
Happy Wedding Planning!
Your Wedding Preacher for Hire