Home | Contact Us        

State Laws for Ministers

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Marriage laws used by a Universal Ministries Wedding Officiant in Massachusetts serving couples in faith.

Marrying people in State is an opportunity for you to share the day with friends, family and loved ones as well as new friends you make in serving in faith.

To Become Ordained in Massachusetts is simple with Universal Ministries. Simply click on the Become Ordained link to become a minister in Massachusetts today.

State Marriage laws are shown below. It is easy and fast to Become an Ordained Minister in Massachusetts now. Officiants in Massachusetts perform weddings daily.

The Universal Ministries provides the laws of all states here and guide you in How to Perform Marriages in Massachusetts.

People want to know what kind of Minister in Massachusetts can perform their wedding and you can become an officiate in Massachusetts today.

Your Minister Authority in Massachusetts is completely legal through the Universal Ministries as we do it right when we provide Minister appointment in Massachusetts.
Become an Officiant in Massachusetts in the next few minutes. Click the become ordained link Now!

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576US 2015 redefines this portion, but we left it in as the next Supreme Court may revisit this Ruling. Same Sex Marriage is required under this Rule of the Court currently.

TITLE III. DOMESTIC RELATIONS
CHAPTER 207. MARRIAGE
Section 12. Legal ability of non-residents to marry; duty of licensing officer to ascertain Before issuing a license to marry a person who resides and intends to continue to reside in another state, the officer having authority to issue the license shall satisfy himself, by requiring affidavits or otherwise, that such person is not prohibited from intermarrying by the laws of the jurisdiction where he or she resides.

Section 10. If any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this commonwealth is disabled or prohibited from contracting marriage under the laws of this commonwealth and goes into another jurisdiction and there contracts a marriage prohibited and declared void by the laws of this commonwealth, such marriage shall be null and void for all purposes in this commonwealth with the same effect as though such prohibited marriage had been entered into in this commonwealth.

Section 11. No marriage shall be contracted in this commonwealth by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other jurisdiction, and every marriage contracted in this commonwealth in violation hereof shall be null and void.

Section 19. Persons intending to be joined in marriage in the commonwealth shall, not less than three days before their marriage, jointly cause notice of their intention to be filed in the office of the clerk or registrar of any city or town in the commonwealth, and pay the fee provided by clause (42) of section thirty-four of chapter two hundred and sixty-two. In computing the three day period specified in this section and in determining the third day referred to in section twenty-eight, Sundays and holidays shall be counted.

Section 28. On or after the third day from the filing of notice of intention of marriage, except as otherwise provided, but not in any event later than sixty days after such filing, the clerk or registrar shall deliver to the parties a certificate signed by him, specifying the date when notice was filed with him and all facts relative to the marriage which are required by law to be ascertained and recorded, except those relative to the person by whom the marriage is to be solemnized. Such certificate shall be delivered to the minister or magistrate before whom the marriage is to be contracted, before he proceeds to solemnize the same. If such certificate is not sooner used, it shall be returned to the office issuing it within sixty days after the date when notice of intention of marriage was filed.

Section 31. No alteration or erasure shall be made by any person on the certificate under section twenty-eight until it has been returned to the clerk or registrar, and then only in such form and to such extent as he may prescribe. Any such certificate may be recorded after correction in accordance herewith.

Section 38. A marriage may be solemnized in any place within the commonwealth by the following persons who are residents of the commonwealth: a duly ordained minister of the gospel in good and regular standing with his church or denomination, including an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church or in the Roman Catholic Church; a commissioned cantor or duly ordained rabbi of the Jewish faith; by a justice of the peace if he is also clerk or assistant clerk of a city or town, or a registrar or assistant registrar, or a clerk or assistant clerk of a court or a clerk or assistant clerk of the senate or house of representatives, by a justice of the peace if he has been designated as provided in the following section and has received a certificate of designation and has qualified thereunder; an authorized representative of a Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in accordance with the usage of their community; a priest or minister of the Buddhist religion; a minister in fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association and ordained by a local church; a leader of an Ethical Culture Society which is duly established in the commonwealth and recognized by the American Ethical Union and who is duly appointed and in good and regular standing with the American Ethical Union; the Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion; and, it may be solemnized in a regular or special meeting for worship conducted by or under the oversight of a Friends or Quaker Monthly Meeting in accordance with the usage of their Society; and, it may be solemnized by a duly ordained nonresident minister of the gospel if he is a pastor of a church or denomination duly established in the commonwealth and who is in good and regular standing as a minister of such church or denomination, including an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church or in the Roman Catholic Church; and, it may be solemnized according to the usage of any other church or religious organization which shall have complied with the provisions of the second paragraph of this section. Churches and other religious organizations shall file in the office of the state secretary information relating to persons recognized or licensed as aforesaid, and relating to usages of such organizations, in such form and at such times as the secretary may require.

Section 40. Every justice of the peace, minister of the gospel, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Association, rabbi, secretary of a Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, leader of an Ethical Culture Society, duly ordained priest or minister of the Buddhist religion, Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion, clerk or keeper of the records of a meeting wherein marriages among Friends or Quakers are solemnized, nonresident justice of a court and any person authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usage of any other church or religious organization which shall have complied with the provisions of the second paragraph of section thirty-eight shall make and keep a record of each marriage solemnized by him, or in such meeting, and of all facts relative to the marriage required to be recorded by section one of chapter forty-six. He shall also return each certificate issued under section twenty-eight no later than the tenth day of the month following each month in which marriages are solemnized by him to the clerk or registrar who issued the same. Each certificate and copy so returned shall contain a statement giving the place and date of marriage, attested by the signature of the person who solemnized the same, or of said secretary of a Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is or of said leader of an Ethical Culture Society, or of said duly ordained priest or minister of the Buddhist religion, or Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion, or of said clerk or keeper of the records of a Friends or Quaker Monthly Meeting or any person authorized to solemnize marriages according to the usage of any other church or religious organization which shall have complied with the provisions of the second paragraph of section thirty-eight. The person who solemnized the marriage shall add the title of the office by virtue of which the marriage was solemnized, as "justice of the peace", "minister of the gospel", "clergyman", "priest", "rabbi", "authorized representative of a Spiritual Assembly", "leader of an Ethical Culture Society", or "duly ordained priest or minister of the Buddhist religion", or "Imam of the Orthodox Islamic religion", or other appropriate title, and his residence. All certificates or copies so returned shall be recorded by the clerk or registrar receiving them.

Section 41. If a certificate of marriage is found, upon its return to the clerk or registrar, to have been incorrectly filled out by the person who solemnized a marriage under it, the clerk or registrar shall have it corrected and shall enforce the penalties provided by law relative thereto. Such imperfect certificates shall be recorded and indexed by the clerk or registrar.

Section 45. The record of a marriage made and kept as provided by law by the person by whom the marriage was solemnized, or by the clerk or registrar, or a copy thereof duly certified, shall be prima facie evidence of such marriage.

Section 48. Whoever, not being duly authorized by the laws of the commonwealth, undertakes to join persons in marriage therein shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 49. Whoever, being duly authorized to solemnize marriages in the commonwealth, joins in marriage persons who have not complied with the laws relative to procuring certificates of notice of intention of marriage shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Section 50. Any official issuing a certificate of notice of intention of marriage knowing that the parties are prohibited by section eleven from intermarrying, and any person authorized to solemnize marriage who shall solemnize a marriage knowing that the parties are so prohibited, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred or more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 51. Violations of any provision of section seven, twenty-six or thirty-four, shall, upon complaint made within one year thereafter, be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Section 56. Whoever neglects to make the record and returns required by section forty shall forfeit not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars.

Section 57. Whoever performs a ceremony of marriage upon a certificate more than sixty days after the filing of the notice of intention of marriage as set forth in such certificate, and whoever having taken out such certificate and not having used it fails to return it, within sixty days after such filing, to the office issuing the same, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten dollars.

Chapter 207: Section 58. Advertising to perform marriage ceremony; business cards
Section 58. A justice of the peace or other person authorized to solemnize marriages may advertise his name or any trade name, business address, telephone number, rate of compensation as provided by law, regular hours of availability and any ability in a second language and any present or former professional affiliation, in any newspaper, magazine, telephone directory or other publication of general circulation. Whoever advertises to perform or to procure the performance of a marriage ceremony by any other means shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars; provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of a business card by a justice of the peace or other person authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; and provided, further, that if a justice of the peace uses a business card said card shall not display the seal of the commonwealth.

Counseling/healing
Chapter 119: Section 51A. Injured children; reports.
New regulation that affects Clergy. Addition of last line to law.
The Legislature now requires the following persons to report instances of sexual abuse: "priest, rabbi, clergy member, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, accredited Christian Science practitioner, person performing official duties on behalf of a church or religious body that are recognized as the duties of a priest, rabbi, clergy, ordained or licensed minister, leader of any church or religious body, or accredited Christian Science practitioner, or person employed by a church or religious body to supervise, educate, coach, train or counsel a child on a regular basis." G.L. c. 119, § 51A.

Second, the Legislature has enacted a child endangerment statute punishing anyone who "wantonly or recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child or wantonly or recklessly fails to take reasonable steps to alleviate such risk where there is a duty to act." G.L. c. 265, § 13L.

Chapter 112: Section 80B. Nursing practice
(3) managing, directing and supervising safe and effective nursing care, including the delegation of selected activities to unlicensed assistive personnel.
Neither "professional nursing" nor "practical nursing" shall mean or be construed to prevent: (4) the performance of services incidental to the practice of the religious tenets of any church by any member thereof

Chapter 112: Section 125. Exclusion of other professions or occupations from applications of licensing or registration requirements
Nothing in sections one hundred and eighteen to one hundred and twenty-nine A, inclusive, shall be construed to prevent qualified members of other professions or occupations such as physicians, teachers, members of the clergy, authorized Christian Science practitioners, attorneys-at-law, social workers, guidance counselors, clinical counselors, adjustment counselors, speech pathologists, audiologists or rehabilitation counselors from doing work of a psychological nature consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions, provided, however, that they do not hold themselves out to the public by any title or description stating or implying that they are psychologists or are licensed to practice psychology.

Chapter 112: Section 134. Practice of social work by certain parties
Nothing in sections one hundred and thirty to one hundred and thirty-seven, inclusive, shall be construed to prevent qualified members of other professions or occupations such as licensed physicians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed psychologists, members of the clergy, attorneys, clinical members of the American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, school adjustment or school guidance counselors who are employed by recognized private educational institutions while performing those duties for which they are employed, registered occupational therapists or certified occupational therapist assistants who are certified by the American Occupational Therapy Association, certified rehabilitation counselors who are certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification of the National Rehabilitation Counselors Association and the American Rehabilitation Counselors Association, from doing work of a social service nature; provided, however, that they do not hold themselves out to the public by any title or description stating or implying that they are engaged in the practice of social work, or that they are licensed to practice social work or independent clinical social work.

Chapter 112: Section 135A. Confidential communications; exceptions
No such social worker, colleague, agent or employee of any social worker, whether professional, clerical, academic or therapeutic, shall disclose any information acquired or revealed in the course of or in connection with the performance of the social worker’s professional services, including the fact, circumstances, findings or records of such services, except under the following circumstances:
(1) the client presents a clear and present danger to himself and refuses explicitly to voluntarily accept further appropriate treatment. In such circumstances, where the social worker has a reasonable basis to believe that a client can be committed to a hospital pursuant to section twelve of chapter one hundred and twenty-three, the social worker shall take appropriate steps within the legal scope of social work practice, to initiate proceedings for involuntary hospitalization. The social worker may also contact members of the client’s family or other individuals if in the social worker’s opinion, it would assist in protecting the safety of the client;
(2) the client has communicated to the social worker an explicit threat to kill or inflict serious bodily injury upon a reasonably identified victim or victims and the client has the apparent intent and ability to carry out the threat or has a history of physical violence which is known to the social worker and the social worker has a reasonable basis to believe that there is a clear and present danger that the client will attempt to kill or inflict serious bodily injury against a reasonably identified victim or victims. In either of such circumstances, any duty owed by a social worker to warn or in any other way protect a potential victim or victims shall be discharged if the social worker takes reasonable precautions. No cause of action shall lie against, nor shall legal liability be imposed against, a social worker for failure to warn or in any other way protect a potential victim or victims, unless the social worker fails to take such reasonable precautions. Nothing in this paragraph shall require a social worker to take any actions which, in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment, would endanger such social worker or increase the danger to a potential victim or victims;

Chapter 112: Section 164. Advertisement or engagement in practice of licensed profession; license requirement; Family and Maritial Counseling exemptions
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent qualified members of other professions including Christian Science practitioners, registered nurses, physicians, attorneys, or members of the clergy from doing the work of an allied mental health and human services professional consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions; provided, however, that no such person shall use a title stating or implying that they are a licensed allied mental health and human services professional.


Minister's Handbook
Member's
Handbook

Textbook for Ministers
Textbook
for Members

Minister training for performing Weddings
The Wedding
Professional

10-hour planned studies for marriage preparation
Pre-marital
Counseling
Funeral Training & Customs Book
Funeral Book
Training & Customs
Funeral Training & Customs Book
Funeral Ceremonies
& Rites

Minister's Handbook
Member's Handbook
Textbook for Ministers
Textbook
for Members
Minister training for performing Weddings
The Wedding
Professional
10-hour planned studies for marriage preparation
Pre-marital
Counseling
Funeral Training & Customs Book
Funeral Training & Customs
Funeral Training & Customs Book
Funeral Ceremonies
& Rites

© Universal Ministries 2000-2017

web analytics