Chapter 16 » 16.49

The Quaker marriage

Holding a meeting for worship for the solemnisation of marriage

Elders have responsibility for the conduct of the meeting for worship (12.12.f). It is now common practice to arrange for the registering officer or another Friend to give a short explanation of the proceedings at the outset of the meeting for worship for marriage.

During the course of the meeting the couple will exchange declarations of marriage using the prescribed words. The declaration must be made in English (16.52) except that in places where the Welsh tongue is used a Welsh form of the declaration may be used (16.53). Wedding rings play no formal part in Quaker marriages, but many couples like to give each other rings after they have made their declarations. Potentially disturbing photography or electronic recording is not suitable during the meeting for worship. At an appropriate stage during the meeting a Quaker certificate confirming the declarations is signed by the couple and two or more witnesses, and is then read aloud by the registering officer, or other suitable Friend. After the meeting it is customary for all present when the declarations were made to sign this certificate. For couples in England and Wales, the official registration of marriage, or in Scotland the signing of the marriage schedule, will take place immediately after the conclusion of the meeting.

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