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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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appendix 6: marriage

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6D: Legal Requirements with Regard to Marriage

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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 california law and quaker marriage

 Quaker couples who plan to marry should consult with the office of the county clerk several weeks in advance for current information about the forms, fees and health requirements. California law [Family Code Section 307] authorizes traditional Quaker “non-clergy” marriages. A statement is to be attached to or endorsed on the marriage license, showing the marriage is entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of the Society of Friends, and filed with the county registrar of marriages.

 If a couple does not elect to meet with a clearness committee as provided by their Monthly Meeting, and merely wishes to have a ceremony performed in the manner of Friends, arrangements should be made for an authorized person to“ solemnize” the marriage and endorse the details of the ceremony on the license. For a fee, an adult citizen, such as the Clerk of the Meeting, may apply to be named a temporary official for purposes of completing the paperwork. Any wedding ceremony desired by the couple may be used as a valid solemnization, provided that each person to be married declares in the presence of the witnesses and the authorized official that they take each other as husband and wife.

 nevada law

 Nevada requires a civil marriage license obtained from a county clerk. In addition, the state requires that a marriage be“ solemnized” and recorded, and the record filed by an ordained minister, a civil magistrate, or a civil commissioner.

 However, the state does recognize a Quaker marriage as an exception. A Quaker marriage is “solemnized” if it follows Meeting practices. A marriage “under the care of the Meeting” is recognized by the State of Nevada with the filing of a Meeting’s marriage certificate prepared in the form of Friends and signed by the members attending the Meeting for Marriage, and/or the Clerk or officers of the Meeting. For a marriage “after the manner of Friends” the state requires that it be solemnized, certified, and recorded by an ordained minister or by a civil magistrate.

 Couples in Hawaii, Mexico, and other places should check their local marriage requirements.