UCC General Counsel Warns Against Officiating Weddings Remotely

UCC General Counsel Warns Against Officiating Weddings Remotely

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Heather E. Kimmel,  General Counsel for the United Church of Christ, sent the following email to Conference Ministers:

Please know that one of your colleagues contacted me today regarding the legality of a clergy person officiating a marriage remotely.  After some research into that state’s law, I recommended that clergy not do this because of a “presence” requirement for a solemnizing officiant.  While there are a few states that have issued COVID-era exceptions to officiants solemnizing marriages in person, it is only a few.  And so I would encourage any clergy person who is considering doing this to proceed with extreme caution and consult a domestic relations attorney for a legal opinion in their state.  The risk is that the couple’s marriage could be invalid, and also that the clergy person may be charged with a likely misdemeanor level offense for officiating an invalid marriage.
 
 
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