I never dreamed of being a Minister or a Reverand.
Still, I happened across The Universal Life Church the other day and found out you can be ordained from them for free. So I did it. Why not?
I recognize that this probably means absolutely nothing but it’s still fun.
I did a little digging and found that according to Section 11 of the New York State Domestic Relations Law the following list of people are authorized to officiate a wedding ceremony in New York State:
Various government officials;
a member of the clergy or minister who has been officially ordained and granted authority to perform marriage ceremonies from a governing church body in accordance with the rules and regulations of the church body;
a member of the clergy or minister who is not authorized by a governing Church body but who has been chosen by a spiritual group to preside over their spiritual affairs;
other officiants as specified by Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law.
The person performing the ceremony must be registered with the City of New York in order to perform a ceremony within the New York City limits. The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State.
Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.
Looking a bit further, Also in Section 11 I found:
The term “clergyman” or “minister” when used in this article, shall
include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law.
The word “magistrate, ” when so used, includes any person referred to in
the second or third subdivision.
This doesn’t quite cut it yet so I looked a little further into Section 2 of the Religious Corporations Law and found:
The term “clergyman” and the term “minister” include a duly authorized
pastor, rector, priest, rabbi, and a person having authority from, or in
accordance with, the rules and regulations of the governing
ecclesiastical body of the denomination or order, if any, to which the
church belongs, or otherwise from the church or synagogue to preside
over and direct the spiritual affairs of the church or synagogue.
Honestly I think that pretty much sums it up and means that as long as the Universal Life Church Monastery believes you to be ordained as a clergyman of their church (which they do as soon as you register), you can perform a wedding in New York State. Note that the articles of law I found do not list any documentation you must provide, that is likely up to the individual county clerk. Just for fun I’m going to look into it for Monroe County. If whatever I need to get from ULCM doesn’t cost much, I might just do it.
Then again, I have no idea what I’m talking about and I’m using Google as a Law Book.
DISCLAIMER: Please do not take my word for it. If you decide to pursue this method of marriage, clear it with your county clerk first.
So there you have it.
Reverend Randy Aldrich is now available for all your wedding ceremonial needs.