Freedom of choice is a beautiful thing. In the United States, it means we can pursue any religious path we choose — or none at all. It also means we can pretty much marry whom we choose, as ruled in the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision of 2015. Yet in some cases, finding an officiant can be challenging. If you've been asked to officiate a wedding or want to become a professional officiant, your first question is probably, "How do I get ordained?" Fortunately, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how to get ordained plus other useful things to know for performing weddings.
A Quick Overview of the Universal Life Church
The Universal Life Church has ordained over 20 million people to date. As a nondenominational religious organization, the ULC welcomes anyone who wants to join, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other identifying characteristics. That ethos is one of the reasons the ULC offers free online ordination.
People dedicate their lives to religious or spiritual service in a variety of ways. Some faiths' doctrines limit who can serve and in what capacity — for instance, not permitting ordination for women, married people, or members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Getting ordained through organizations like the ULC offers alternative paths for service. This is especially true if one wants to perform weddings or start a ministry.
Why Choose Online Ordination
The ability to solemnize weddings is one major reason that people choose online ordination. Before marriage equality was a thing, ULC ministers officiated weddings for same-sex couples. The ULC also helped champion the right for these couples to marry in the first place.
Even after Obergefell v. Hodges, people are eying online ordination for another reason: the COVID-19 pandemic. Searches for "how to get ordained to perform weddings" and similar terms increased after COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. As people become ordained online, they help couples tie the knot amid social distancing guidelines and an uncertain future as new virus variants emerge.
How To Get Ordained
The Universal Life Church offers free ordination through a very simple process. You can actually get ordained now by completing a short form on the ULC's website. You'll just need to enter some basic information:
- Your legal name (without titles or suffixes)
- Your email address
- Your country and state
- A password of your choosing
Submit your completed form and check your inbox for a confirmation email, which should arrive within a few minutes. Once you have this email, your ordination is complete. The ordination process also registers you for an account on the ULC website, where you can set up a minister profile, order supplies, and more.
Post-Ordination Resources and Support
Now that you've found out how to get ordained to marry someone, you may want to learn how to actually perform a wedding. Fortunately, the ULC offers helpful resources both online and in print. There's the Minister Training Center, which offers a wealth of information on a huge range of topics. There's an extensive wedding training section where you can learn how to perform a wedding ceremony, write the script, fill out a marriage license, and more. There's even a guide to becoming a professional officiant plus extensive information on state marriage laws.
After you get ordained, you'll also want to check out the Minister Supply Store. You'll find wedding packages that contain official proof of your ordination plus other useful supplies for creating a meaningful wedding experience. The store also contains religious texts, valuable guidebooks, and other items that can aid in building your ministry.
No matter what your goals for faith or service are, the ULC offers the opportunities and support to help you pursue them.