After the issue of setting a date for the wedding, there was another pressing question for the couple-to-be. Would they get married in a church? My parents are Catholic, but don't really attend church. The bride- and groom-to-be are much less Catholic, and never go to church. I say that opens the door for a fully-licensed, reasonably-priced minister to step in.
Thanks to the Universal Life Church, I am an ordained minister, legally empowered to perform wedding ceremonies in the state of California. Some licensed ministers officiate weddings, but I perform them. I did a wedding last year, and the happy couple is not divorced at all! Not one bit divorced! Clearly I am an excellent minister.
In a way, I feel like I have been moving toward ministerial ordination my whole life. Even before I ever heard of the Universal Life Church, I could see myself standing in front of an audience, talking and talking, forcing them to listen, and not letting them kiss until I was done talking. It's fate. I'm basically a pre-ordained minister.
But being a licensed minister is not all online registration and weddings. With minor power comes great responsibility. For example, if I say, "Bless you" after someone sneezes, it means that they are literally, legally bound for heaven. I have to watch my language so I don't accidentally consecrate excrement. I am allowed to hold a baby-naming ceremony, and I can also rename babies who already have names, if I think their existing names are ill-fitting. I get to say, "By the power vested in me", which is a phrase only available to members of the clergy and managers at the North Face Outlet.
To answer questions and eliminate confusion, here is a guide to what a licensed minister can and cannot do:
|Bless us Oh Lord in these thy gifts which we are about to receive
from thy bounty through Christ our Lord
|Good veggies, good meat, Good God, let's eat||Yes|
|Performing a wedding||Yes|
|Performing black magic||No|
|Performing at Ozzfest as Minister of War||No|
|Naming puppies and kittens||Yes|
|Naming the US Presidents in order||Yes|
|Marriages to the sea||No|
|The marriage of a man to his fruit salad||No|