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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36328
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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This is actually a question about officiating weddings and

Customer Question

Hello. This is actually a question about officiating weddings and I'm not sure if weddings fall under family law. Anyway. I am an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and I'm to officiate a wedding in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. PA is a little less straightforward on the legality of such marriages because of court cases with conflicting rulings. According to their website, I'm to seek legal advice before officiating. If I officiate this wedding in Lancaster County, will it be legally binding?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good evening,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Your right to officiate over a wedding on PA is controlled by PA state laws. The law in pertinent part effecting your question is as follows:

§ 1503. Persons qualified to solemnize marriages.

(6) A minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation.

Here is a link to the full code section: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.015.003.000..HTM

What the law means is that as long as you are a minister of the Universal Life Church, and as the Universal Life Church is a legally and regularly established church in the state of PA, you may legally officiate at the wedding of persons in the state of PA.

Here is a link showing that there are established Universal Life Churches in PA and that weddings may be performed by ministers of this church: http://www.ulcweddingchapel.com/weddings.html

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug

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