Who Needs Priests, Anyway? Millennials Are Now Asking Friends to Officiate Their Weddings November 4, 2015

Who Needs Priests, Anyway? Millennials Are Now Asking Friends to Officiate Their Weddings

We know Millennials are less religious than any other generation, and here’s how that plays out: A lot of couples are choosing to have a friend officiate their wedding ceremony instead of a pastor or priest.

… when it came to choosing a person to oversee their “I Do’s,” [Megan Lantto and Patrick Bigelow] — both raised Catholic — broke from tradition. They asked Pat’s college friend Matt Ferari to officiate the ceremony, not a Catholic priest.

“Having a minister or a priest up there who doesn’t know us would have seemed fake,” said Bigelow. “I think Megan was probably a little nervous at first knowing Matt, um, but he’s done a great job.”

The majority of amateur officiants receive certification from websites like the Universal Life Church, a non-denominational online ministry. In 2014, the church ordained 250,000 people, and expects a 30-percent increase this year. The site says ordination is “fast, free and easy” with “no experience necessary.”

I did the same thing at my wedding, and I’ll be officiating a relative’s wedding next year for the same reason. It’s more personal, especially when the people getting married aren’t all that religious to begin with. Why bother having a stranger read Bible verses to celebrate the union of people he met only recently when neither of you spend that much time at church in the first place?

For Catholics, especially, a lot of people have told me how they went through Pre-Cana just to appease their parents even though they considered it a joke and disagreed with Catholic doctrine.

If it’s your wedding, and you’re not religious, and you have the option of deciding what to do (because your parents aren’t paying for it and forcing you to use a pastor), then getting a friend to officiate the ceremony makes it that much more unique and meaningful.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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