Pagan Clergy: Tips and Tricks for the Newly Ordained

Handfastings, Priesthood, Clergy, and Ordination, Oh My!


The Story!

A while back I was ordained, legally, to be recognized by the state. It’s an interesting thing, being ordained. According to most Pagan faiths, particularly in initiatory traditions, you become a Priest or Priestess in your own right.

The state, however, does not recognize this as a legally binding ordination unless the group by which you were initiated has a church standing filed under a 501(c)3 non-profit organization status, or you are ordained and vouched for by another legally ordained clergy member whom legal authorities may call for verification purposes. So, unless legally ordained, a Pagan Priest or Priestess may perform handfasting rites but may not sign a legally binding certificate of marriage.

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