We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why We Need Pagan Clergy

Ten years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted to be legally handfasted in our back yard. The problem was we did not know any clergy who would be willing to perform our wedding ceremony.  Little did we know that the Goddess and God would soon provide one for us. 

A short time after I met Lady Sabrina Rhiannon, she informed me that she had recently been ordained by the Universal Life Church. She very graciously agreed to officiate at our legal handfasting ceremony and we were indeed blessed! Not only had she become a good friend to us, but she would become our Pagan Minister as well!  Since neither my husband nor I wished to get married in a church, nor did we want a civil ceremony, this was a dream come true!  Even though we lived across the street from a Justice of the Peace, who was kind enough to offer to officiate for us at our home, it was so very important to us that we have a Pagan wedding.  Needless to say, we had a beautiful handfasting ceremony - surrounded by family and friends! 

 About a year later, I, too, made the decision to become ordained by the ULC. I thought about how fortunate I was to have had the opportunity to choose “how” I got married and how many others did not have that same choice.  Not only that, but I felt that it was extremely important that we have Pagan clergy for all of our other Rites of Passage as well – Wiccanings, funerals, etc. Having Pagan clergy not only gives Wiccans, but other non-conventional faiths the same rights that mainstream religions have.  Unfortunately, for all the “lip service” we as a society give with respect to “Freedom of Religion,” we still somehow manage to fall adequately short of the concept. The fact remains; however, that freedom of religion means freedom for ALL religious beliefs – not merely the politically acceptable ones!

I am proud to be a Pagan clergy for the Universal Life Church. The founders of ULC fought for our right to practice what we believe and they fought hard! They gave us the ability to perform legal marriage ceremonies throughout the entire United States and; furthermore, they gave us the legal right to found our own organizations i.e. covens, groups, congregations, etc.

Of course, as with most other laws, each state has its’ own set of guidelines and requirements which we as clergy must abide by.  Still, just think how far we have come since The Middle Ages.  We, as Pagans, are at last becoming recognized.

Our Wiccan Handfasting - September 22, 2001

1 comment:

  1. Your handfasting sounds wonderful. It would be interesting if you posted what you had to do for your Pagan clergy certification (right word?) and how you perform this role. Blessings from Robin.