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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

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marriage clearness committee

 When the request for oversight of a marriage under the care of Meeting is received, the overseers should appoint a marriage clearness committee. Members of this committee should be available, willing to give prayerful consideration regarding the right course of action, and well-informed about Friends practice. <See Appendix 6a.> The marriage clearness committee and the Meeting need to be sensitive to the couple’s hopes and expectations for setting the wedding date. However, until the Meeting has actually approved taking the marriage under its care, no date should be announced.

 The couple and the marriage clearness committee should meet together for thoughtful and prayerful discussions to seek God’s will regarding the proposed marriage. The Committee may also meet with each of the partners individually. Specific queries or topics may aid the discussions, or they may arise out of worship. Everyone in the clearness process should approach each meeting with open hearts and minds, and with sufficient time for thorough understanding and seasoning to occur. Possible encumbrances should be explored to ensure that the couple is free of conflicting obligations.

 When the couple and the committee are clear that the marriage should go forward, the marriage clearness committee reports to Overseers, indicating that unity has been found. The Monthly Meeting accepts the report for consideration at the following Meeting for Business. <See Deferring Decisions p. 86>. When the Meeting has united in approving the request, a time and place for the wedding should be scheduled and the Meeting should appoint an arrangements committee.

 If unity to move forward is not readily found, the marriage clearness committee and the couple may choose to continue seeking God’s will in this matter, or they may choose to lay aside the request indefinitely or even permanently. This should be reported to the Overseers.