Minister Appointment to perform Marriage Ceremonies

Effective March 10, 2014, the requirements set forth must be satisfied before the court will consider any request for an order authorizing a minister or pastor to perform marriage ceremonies in Virginia under the provisions of Section 20-23 of the Code of Virginia. Specifically, a form affidavit must be completed. In addition, the following information must be submitted in writing, along with the affidavit.

  • The educational background of the minister or pastor.  This should include all degrees and courses that were completed as part of any training program that was required.
  • The full name of the religious denomination to which the minister or pastor belongs and the full name of the church where the minister or pastor currently holds office.  The information should also include a description of the church, the physical location and address of the church, and the approximate size of the congregation.
  • A full description of the duties and responsibilities of the minister or pastor.  This should include a summary of the work schedule and it should set forth the weekly schedule of services presided over by the minister or pastor.
  • Documentation regarding the ordination of the minister or the appointment of the pastor.
  • A description of the specific educational and training requirements that have to be met by the minister before he or she could be ordained.  In the case of a pastor, a description of the educational and training requirements that had to be met before he or she became eligible for appointment.

Submit this information, the affidavit, and a check or money order in the amount of $22 to the
Madison County Circuit Court
PO Box 220
Madison, VA  22727

The check should be made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Pursuant to Cramer v. Commonwealth of VA, 214 VA 561, the Court does not recognize online ordinations.

Affidavit of Authorizing Minister (PDF).