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Who are authorized to solemnize marriage in the Philippines?
Solemnizing officer might not be a common term in the Philippines. Solemnizing officer or SO others call them Marriage Celebrant or even Officiant is a person duly authorized by his/her church and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted him by his church or religious sect to solemnize marriage. The SO can be any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect. The following civil leaders are also authorized to solemnize marriages; municipal/ city mayors, judges,military commanders, airplane chiefs or ship captains, and if you are based abroad consuls in Philippine Embassies can also solemnize your marriage.
Below are the descriptions of the solemnizing officers that are authorized by the Philippine Law ( FAMILY CODE) to officiate marriage in the Philippines:
Municipal/City Mayor - Elected local chief executive can solemnize civil wedding within their jurisdiction. It is a requirement that one of the contracting parties or one of the couples should be a resident where the marriage will take place. The ceremony can be held either inside the Mayor’s Office or within its vicinity. Mayors can also officiate mass wedding or we call it kasalang bayan.
Judge within his/her jurisdiction- Civil wedding can also be officiated by a court judge from Supreme Court Justice down to Municipal Trial Court Judge, however this might be a challenge for you to get his or her schedules. In big cities where there are more judges, civil wedding will be raffled off to one judge or the other. Once you get to know who will officiate your civil wedding then you can start arranging your schedule. It could be a challenge for you, if you already have specific date for your wedding. Note: there is also a new guideline that court judge can only officiate within the courtroom, inviting him or her to officiate wedding for outside venue just like garden or hotel wedding is not anymore permitted. It is true that may only ask you a meager fee, however it is always hard to get their schedule not unless if you personally know the judge.
Military Commander, Chief of Airplane or Captain of the Ship - may also officiate a wedding under rare circumstances like when one of the marrying parties is “in articulo mortis” or at the point of dying.
Any Reverend/Pastor, Minister, Priest, Imam, or Rabbi of any church or religious sect- These religious leaders can perform and officiate wedding provided that they are authorized by their church and that they have registered with the civil registrar general. They need to have CRASM or Certificate of Registration of Authority to Solemnize Marriage. The said license should be issued by Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA. To verify if the SO is duly registered with PSA you may want to check from Solemnizing Officers Information System database .
Filipinos are known for being a family oriented individuals, and we can attest to that. If you are going to ask Filipinos most of us would say, " I am doing this for my family". This is one of the reasons why we have millions of OFW's leaving their love ones, in order for them to give their families a " better life". As a Filipino, our family is our precious pearl. We will do everything for them. But we must also admit the fact that we are also subjected to different trials and difficulties. We noticed that broken families are increasing. We see children growing without a father or a mother, sometimes both parents are missing. What is happening?
This page will particularly deal with the different family problems that we are facing as a nation. I will be sharing with you different topics and spiritual advises on how we can specifically deal with these challenges. I must admit that this will not be a silver bullet that can solve all our family problems, but at least we can have reference and guidelines. This page will be constantly updated with blogs and other materials that are based from my experience, and research collated, from different sources. If you have some concerns and suggestions you can always contact me Brother Ron for clarifications and questions. I would like also to clarify that the advises and mentoring I will be offering are different form the guidance and counseling that registered professionals are doing. My concern is more of the spiritual dimension of relationship and family.
It is my intention to help couples in dealing with their difficulties through the richness of God's message through the Bible. We believe that marriage is God given gift that we have to nurture everyday. We cannot do it alone, this is the reason why we need mentors and directors. We need people to guide us. These people can be our friends, parents, workmates, professionals or spiritual leaders. Above all, we need God to sustain our marriage. I will pray for you!
My wife and I, decided to make this website in order for us to share the beauty and blessedness of married life. We tied the knot of our commitment to each other last year , 2018 April 28. At first we were thinking that marriage is only for formality and for social acceptance. After all, both of us were convinced that 5 years of being a couple was already enough-LOVE is there anyways. However, marriage is more than just a contract. There were some challenges that came our way. Of course we need to take into consideration that marriage in the Philippines is also a family affair, if not, even bigger. Having this in mind, our number one question was, how much budget we have? Next, where? How civil or church? ( although the same license anyway), food, photography, dress and suit, etc.
Actually there was a dilemma on our part on how should we get married, what I mean is on what specific rite should we follow. I am a Roman Catholic and Leza, my wife is a Born Again Christian.
It was hard on my family to have a Christian wedding. On the other hand, her family was also firmed to have our wedding done under their denomination. To respect the decisions of both parties we decided to contact a Solemnizing Officer who will agree on our request. Here are some request we asked from the Solemnizing Officer or SO.
1. We want our wedding done not in any church but in a hotel.
Our SO agreed. But we have to secure a notarized copy of our wedding venue request. This is to make sure that the SO was duly requested to officiate our wedding. It was also for his protection, because as a religious minister he is only allowed to Solemnize Wedding inside the church.
2. We want a wedding with less rituals.
Of course, we want it to be God centered and in Christian and Roman Catholic way at the same time, but we don't want it to be too ritual. We want it to be more intimate and yet solemn. Luckily, our solemnizing officer agreed with our request and our parents were also amenable with our decision.
One of the objectives of this website is to share the beauty of marriage. We hope that we will inspire you to love and cherish each other despite the challenges that you might be facing before, during, and after your marriage. Hence, love is a commitment. It is a decision.
At the same time, Solemnizing Marriage Philippines is also aiming to build a network of suppliers and all wedding enthusiasts. We will be promoting your business through recommendations.
Sharing the love;
Ron & Lez
I am a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy-Classical minor in Theology. Currently I am under going another seminary training at Grace School of Theology taking Master in Ministry major in Biblical Counseling.
Program Director, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs
Religion and Philosophy Teacher since 2010
Married to my beautiful and loving wife Eleza S. Rocabo.
Christian blogger with 21k plus followers in his Facebook page Teacher Ron Says.
Bachelor of Arts in Theology ( in progress) in All Nations College
A proud father.
Advocate for Christ Centric Marriage