web analytics

different marriage types?

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Anglican Diocese of Sydney will debate a new wedding liturgy at its forthcoming synod. In this rite the celebrant asks the bride “Will you honour and submit to him, as the church submits to Christ?” She then pledges “to love and submit” to her husband. This rite will be alongside other options.

[Breaking update: The couple in the video above appear not to be legally married. In the Australian Marriage Act, a religious ceremony must use a service authorised by the religion’s governing body. That appears to be General Synod. Even if Sydney Anglicans could make their own diocesan synod stick as being their religion’s governing body, that has not yet authorised this rite. Hence, Andrew and Stephanie are not Mr and Mrs Judd at all, and the Sydney Anglican diocese has at least one person accepted and undertaking ordination training who is publicly, openly “living in sin”. [See here and here following this comment. Conclusion disputed here.]

A question that springs immediately to mind is: does this mean there are at least two different types of marriage? (1) The wife-submitting-to-her-husband marriage; (2) the wife-not-submitting-to-her-husband marriage.

[This is a bigger question than merely for Sydney:
is “Christian marriage” different to “marriage”?
Roman Catholics do not regard a marriage “valid” if a Roman Catholic does not get married by an RC ordained person; they do not have this understanding for nonRCs.
Is sacramental marriage different to “secular” marriage?

[In the video above, and in the article, it is clear that Andrew Judd, the theology student, and Stephanie, the submitting wife, have already used this rite. One question of interest would be: in Sydney can one use a rite that has not yet had synodical approval, or was its status already experimental? Experimental wife submission exercise in progress…]

The vows were written by the diocese’s liturgical panel, which has the imprimatur of the Archbishop, Peter Jensen. The panel chairman, the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said “submit” was a deeply biblical word.

“The Bible never said women must obey their husbands but Paul and Peter did say submit, which I think is a much more responsive, nuanced word.”

The bishop said no one would be forced to use the new version, and an alternative would remain available to couples who did not want the woman to obey (which has been optional since 1928) or submit.

Rev. Dr Peter Carrell, who has written more than once about this liturgical development in Sydney, tells of the “downstream effects of “submit”” in the story “about a woman who sought counselling from John Piper because she couldn’t move from one room of the house to another without her husband’s permission. When he asked where on earth the husband got such ideas from, the woman said, From your preaching!”

Submissionists used to argue the wife’s submission to the husband applied in Christian marriage. Many (most?) also held that women cannot teach men in a Christian context [I wondered if, in the video above, Stephanie, the submitting wife, skirted dangerously close to teaching her husband – not to mention that men will watch this video!]. But, a line was drawn between church and “world” – in the “world” there was no fight with women holding positions of responsibility over men. No longer.

Priscilla & Aquila Centre, “a Centre established to encourage and promote further thinking about the practice of Christian ministry by women, in partnership with men” is an initiative of Moore College, the theological powerhouse of Sydney Anglicanism. In a paper on the Priscilla & Aquila Centre site by Caroline Spencer, Christian women and corporate leadership (pdf), Caroline argues that “for a particular Christian woman, considering a certain position [in the corporate workplace], the right decision could in fact be not to accept the position. This is because, while male headship might not be extended into the corporate workplace, it should still be respected. Male headship is part of God’s good ordering for all society – not just his church. Respecting male headship is a great witness to the society that God is re-creating.”

Don’t panic too much, however; on the final page of the study, Caroline Spencer concludes “if the building is burning down, a coercive leader will save human life”. The “coercive style… [is] much more authoritarian and directive in [its] approach, and generally perceived to be more masculine.” So in a burning building, even women are allowed to save human life.


This evening in the NZ Parliament is the First Reading of the The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill which if passed would bring about marriage equality in this country. It is a conscience vote. Most Kiwis I speak to have no idea how our parliamentary system works (nor how the system works in other countries). Many do not understand that we are rare in having only one House (we used to have an Upper House). Many do not understand that MPs do not have to be present any more for the yelling that is called “debate“. When a bill is passed they simply add up the number of members in parties as everything is just “voted on” by parties – it is fine if the numbers being counted are absent; certainly they have not been part of the yelling debate. If they disagree with their party – tough. There is no “crossing the floor” any more, because the voting doors are no longer used, because the MPs don’t have to be present… etc. A conscience vote is different. As far as I know, they have to actually be present. But I might be wrong.


I am unimpressed by the scaremongering that “Church ministers with a moral objection to gay marriage would be criminalised by refusing to wed same-sex couples if a new bill becomes law”. By all means, let’s be open to differences of opinion, but surely Ian Bassett’s silliness can only be taken seriously if people can point to clergy being required by the state to marry divorcees, clergy being required by the state to marry those who are not baptised. Read the lips of the Human Rights Commission: religious ministers would still be allowed to refuse to marry anyone– including same-sex couples – if Wall’s bill passed. Wall herself has been clear, clergy “will retain all the rights that they currently have. They choose who they marry, they choose what definition of marriage they have and so my bill isn’t going to affect them in any way.” “We should have an open and honest debate. What I don’t like is scaremongering and the fact that ministers are saying that they will have to go to jail. That’s not right in our country and it won’t happen. I will protect the rights of our ministers to define marriage as they see fit.”


Update: I am following the live debate in parliament of the first reading of the bill here. I must say I am (mostly) impressed by the quality of the speeches. It is being made explicitly, plainly clear that clergy and churches will continue to have the right to marry only whom they will. The speeches are constantly making reference to the churches, religion, and spirituality. [I did not know that in NZ a woman can adopt boys and girls; a man only boys – this bill, apparently, will alter this.]

Update: On first reading of the bill in the NZ parliament, the ayes are 78, the nos are 40, with no abstentions. Updating this update: parliament miscounted. It was 80 – 40. Only one MP didn’t vote.

Update: Those who have expressed particular concerns in the comments – here is how you now make submissions for the Bill’s second reading.

Similar Posts:

57 thoughts on “different marriage types?”

  1. Scaremongering? Isn’t it really just outright, bold faced lying. The people saying such things are liars, are they not?

    Why would really & truly Christian people participate in such behavior?

    1. The ‘submission’ element is probably a misinterpretation of Paul’s use of a wife submitting to her husband as her head, just as Christ is head of the church. It seems to me that Paul was using the normal pattern of the marriages he saw around him to illustrate the way the developing church should relate to Jesus, that is, as the head of the church, but somehow the metaphor has been turned around to point in the other direction, and therefore encourage women to submit as the church submits to Christ. If we consider that one is used to illuminate the other, rather than one being used to prescribe behaviour, there is much less reason for asking anyone to submit, and in fact Paul speaks elsewhere of both marriage partners submitting to each other. I am surprised the Synod in Sydney is persisting in contemplating including this move.

      1. Um… this is a thread about same gender marriage equality, not the diocese of Sidney changing the marriage liturgy to allow the women of that diocese to submit to their husbands. You’re posting in the wrong place.

  2. Until yesterday, when I read Family First’s legal opinion, I used to think this was scaremongering too. But the legal opinion seems to me to at least provide a strong prime facia case that the proposed law would in fact make it a violation of the Human Rights Act for a Church minister to refuse to marry a couple purely on the grounds of them both being of the same sex.

    At the end of the day, when an aggrieved gay couple take a case to court, it does not matter what Louise Wall says or what the Human Rights Commission (whose desire to pass the bill is palpable) SAY.

    What will matter is how the law is WRITTEN.

    I think this is a serious issue and I don’t think it’s helpful to accuse people of scaremongering.

    God Bless

    1. Chris, if there is something unclear, can this not be dealt with in the second reading? This is not an argument against the first reading, the principle of the bill. It seems to me that Wall, from the quote, that she is certainly intending this not to be an issue and would work with anyone to make sure that this is so in the second reading. Blessings.

    2. Chris, what in this law regarding the marriage of same gender couples is different from the other laws in your country that do not make refusing to marry a particular couple by clergy OK?

      1. Bro,

        The specific requirement that refusal to marry same sex couples BECAUSE THEY ARE OF THE SAME SEX would be a violation of the law.

        That is a very radical change to NZ marriage law and a gross infringement of religious freedom and civil liberties.

        God Bless

        1. Bosco,

          Here’s the legal opinion:


          Beginning page 4 is the key point:

          1. A Church minister refuses to marry a same sex couple (on the grounds that they are a same sex couple) :

          Opinion: If Louisa Wall’s Members Bill was enacted by Parliament then the Church minister (subject to the qualifications outlined below under the heading “Reasons”):

          (a) Would be investigated by the Human Rights Commission.

          (b) Would be ruled by a court to be in breach of the discrimination provisions of the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993.

          (c) Would be ruled by the court to have acted unlawfully.

          I am not a lawyer, but To any Christian minister that would at least appear to be clear and present danger.

          God Bless

          1. Chris, I have done you the courtesy of reading the text you provide. Now please do me the courtesy of replying why your logic hasn’t resulted, as far as I know, in a single investigation of refusals to wed non-Christians or divorcees – both regular positions in NZ churches. Please provide at least a single such formal investigation. Please don’t hide behind not being a lawyer – the logic is simple enough to follow. You cannot keep maintaining one consequence of your logic and denying the find-and-replace equivalent. Note – the investigation of not marrying divorcees, unbaptised, etc. does not require the Bill – it, according to your logic, is the situation now. Blessings.

          1. Chris, I am still waiting for you to quote the “NEW legal criteria” in the Bill, now passed its first reading. The logic of your latest pdf link applies equally to the existing situations I have indicated. Please quote from the Bill the changes to the current situation that alters the ability of churches and religions to define their own understanding of whom they will marry. If you followed the speeches last night, you will have noticed the regular affirmation of MPs against your point. I look forward to a quote from the actual Bill supporting your contention, after which I suggest you make a submission dealing with the quote you will present us, and I have provided you with the link to how to go about that. Blessings.

          2. “what the new law actually says” – exactly, Chris. Hence my repetition, to which you haven’t yet responded, asking you for a quote from the actual Bill. As for your point about adoption – current law allows for a child to be adopted by an individual, not a married couple. Blessings.

        2. Bosco,

          The new legal criteria is simply to allow same sex couples to marry.

          Whether or not people are currently prosecuted for refusing to marry person who are already married is not the point.

          The point will be how the new law works together with existing law to create a legal framework which seems to criminalise ministers refusing to marry same sex couples.

          At the end of the day, MPs statements or Human Rights Comission statements or other legal opinions supporting the Wall bill will not matter.

          What will matter when an aggrieved gay couple take a minister to court will be what the new law actually says (and that’s not only what the Wall bill says but how it works with existing marriage and human rights legislation to create a legal framework).

          Another danger in the Wall bill is that it will legalize same sex adoption without due and proper public debate which will violate the natural civil rights of children to be raised (wherever possible) by a mother and a father.

          God Bless

          1. Chris, you must live in a tiny world to have such closed off ideas about the world. There is no natural civil right that says anything about a child being raised by anyone aside from someone(s) of any gender who loves, respects and looks out for the child’s best interest in this world. That is often a mother and a father, sometimes biological, sometimes surrogate, sometimes adoptive and sometimes different combinations of the three. Other times it may be just one of the three. And there are also some first nation peoples in South America, who have little contact with the modern world, were children are reared by the entire clan and are completely unaware of who their biological progenitors were.

            I know a man in the USA who was adopted at two weeks of age. The adopted parents eventually divorced do to the infidelity of the man who then abandoned any responsibility with the boy. The mother had deep psychological issues and was in and out of mental hospitals. A single man took the boy under his wing and eventually legally adopted him. Today he is 40 years old and married. His legal parents are his 63 year old adoptive heterosexual mother and his 58 year old adoptive homosexual father, who are not married to one another. He loves and cherishes them both and is thankful that both are a part of his life.

            It all seems very natural and beautiful to me. But I guess I live in a much bigger world.

  3. In response to “Roman Catholics do not regard a marriage “valid” if a Roman Catholic does not get married by an RC ordained person; they do not have this understanding for nonRCs.”

    My wife (RC) and I (Reformed) were married in a Roman Catholic Church; but in our preparations the priest emphasized that he was only serving as the witness of the church and that the ministers of the sacrament were us – the spouses who conferred the sacrament mutually upon one another.

    Alternative Futures for Christian Worship: Marriage is a Roman Catholic resource that suggests spouses process together during the marriage rite as opposed to the woman being “given away” in order to emphasize a mutuality.

    1. Thanks, Joel. My point was that if you two were not married by an RC ordained person, should your marriage (God-forbid) break up, your RC wife would have had grounds for annulment. Those particular grounds are absent now since you were married by a RC priest. Blessings.

  4. Bocso,

    I suppose that depends on how one reads Wall’s intentions. Psychoanalyzing others is always a risky business ! Judging and all that.

    But I think there will be a logic to where all this goes in terms of the state attempting to impose it’s politically redefined definition of marriage on us all.

    Bruce Logan certainly thinks so

    I’m a lot more suspicious of state power than you seem to be (I’ve been on the receiving end of it, as was Christ and John the Baptist). It’s certainly valid to read Wall’s proposed bill as indicating a desire to impose her own trendy liberal social reengineering on faith communities thereby seriously violating their civil rights and freedom of religion. Whether that is the intent is immaterial as it does seem to be the actual reality of how courts will interpret the bill as currently written.

    The first reading should be opposed not only because of the huge religious freedom issues, but also because of it’s backdoor introduction of same sex adoption and it’s quite improper attempt to redefine marriage away from a monogamous union of one man and one women oriented to procreation and family.

    God Bless

    1. Chris, your comment appears confused to me. You are correct, I do not have an overarching suspicion of state power per se. I certainly do have issues with particular decisions made by the state. If you cannot pick up the negativity I have for some of our NZ political processes in my post above, clearly I need to be even more explicit. I do not see how your psychoanalyzing of my level of suspicion, which a couple of sentences earlier you are stating is always risky, adds anything of value to the discussion. Please stay with the facts. In NZ individuals can adopt. There is a great shortage of children to adopt, particularly because we have an abortion practice which has earlier been ruled illegal. I do not see the churches saying a lot about our terrible abortion statistics. For some, the state has already redefined marriage by allowing no fault divorce. If the bill is not clear about “protect[ing] the rights of our ministers to define marriage as they see fit” make a submission to see that point, which Wall is on record as affirming, included in the second reading. Blessings.

    2. Sorry Chris, Bruce Logan’s rant here is just that, a rant and nothing more. There is no internal logic in anything that he spouts here, however it’s filled with a number of fallacies of logic and leaps of logic that do not follow. And if arguments such as this are what you base your opposition to the proposed law and your evidence that the law does what no other law regarding marriage does in your country, your argument is built upon sand. There is no history of human marriage here that existed aside from someone’s imagination. An individual with unfounded fear and loathing of the other, who projects backward in time his on fantasy of what marriage is.

      There is nothing to see here folks, move along.

      1. [Ficus, I require a real email address – you are welcome to discussions here if your comments are under your real name, a real contact email address, not ad hominem – we are a community here; however much there might be disagreements. Thanks & blessings. Bosco]

  5. Bosco,

    What is your understanding of marriage ? Do you think there can be a marriage between two people of the same sex ?

    Just what does the Anglican Church teach these days about what marriage is or isn’t ?

    God Bless

    1. Chris, the teaching of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is best found through the formularies of our church. For marriage, that is best expressed in the marriage liturgies of our Prayer Book – you will find those on this site. If you have been looking around my site more you will see that I am saddened by the increasing lack of clarity about our rites, but IMO, although the recent GSTHW meeting has muddied the waters, I would argue that we are required to use those marriage rites, or the 1928 or 1662 ones. We are IMO not free to construct our own vows etc. We are not free, for example, to insert “submit” into vows. Blessings.

    2. Bosco,

      So I would be correct, following from the Prayer Book I perused with great interest in a local Anglican Church recently, that the Anglican Church understands marriage as inherently a union of one MAN and one WOMAN ?

      How does one square that with the recent NZ Anglican decision to ordain ministers in “committed” (just how omitted is committed?) same sex relationships ?

      Perhaps I’m missing something, but as someone baptised and raised Anglican, my impression is that the Anglican Church is lost at sea in terms of understanding what marriage actually is, and isn’t.

      Your submit comments are very well taken.

      God Bless

      1. Sorry, Chris. Once again, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you have specific questions with specific people, I suggest you ask those specific people those questions specifically. I cannot read your mind. As an aside, my understanding is not that you are baptised Anglican – you are baptised; perhaps that what you meant. Blessings.

  6. Interesting development has become the latest news in Australia. If Sydney Diocese inserts “submit’ into the liturgy without seeking permission from the National Church then the Attorney General says any marriages will be invalid as the law states the liturgy must be that approved by the National church.
    All this confirms my belief that, as in France, marriages should be solely a State responsibility. Everyone needs to be married in a State registry and then, if they so wish, they may obtain a blessing of their marriage from their church.

    1. Fascinating, Brian! I will look out for some links about this. Your conclusion need not follow – having an agreed church-wide marriage rite appears perfectly fine to me. It means, of course, that the couple in the video may not just have broken church law by using an unauthorised-by-the-church rite, but they may not even be legally married and “living in sin”!!! Blessings.

      1. Bosco, it’s been pointed out to you for a number of days now that the notion that their marriage (or any marriage under these vows) might be illegal is ridiculous.

        I deal with this in detail here. The Oz Marriage Act is very specific on this point. In particular section 48 goes exactly the other way indicating that intent, not the specific form, is the key question to be asked.

        1. Thanks for your visit and comment, David. As you see in my response to Peter Ould’s tweet, my post here is not focusing on the change and its reasons. This post is focusing on whether there is more than one type of marriage.

          In fact, Stephanie and Andrew Judd themselves are totally uninterested if their marriage is legal or not:

          The Sydney couple Stephanie and Andrew Judd, who spoke to the Herald last week about why they chose the ”submit” vow for their wedding in January, are not fazed by suggestions that their union may not be valid in the eyes of the law.

          ”Adam and Eve didn’t have a state to get married under and God thought they were married, so I think we’re OK in God’s eyes,” Mr Judd said.


          1. thanks for your response Bosco.

            Yes, I recognise it’s not the main thrust of your piece, but it was a claim that you made and were corrected on on twitter and yet you didn’t amend your piece.

            As for the Judds, I’m not sure it’s correct to say that they “are totally uninterested”. They simply expressed the opinion that, ultimately, they’re still married. They may or may not be interested in what the state thinks (and by the Oz Marriage Act we have established that they’re legally married) but that wasn’t the point of their quote.

    2. — as it has been in Québec for many decades – a civil marriage followed by an optional religious ceremony. (Of course because the Québécois are almost all Roman Catholics, I leave it to your imagination as to how ‘optional’ the religious ceremony really is!)

      1. And as it is in most of Latin America. I think that the idea of clergy officiating at legal marriage is almost confined to current and former British colonies.

    1. Yes, Br David, you are correct. One might say that it is so long since our parliament met in this manner with the eyes of so many literally on them, that they forgot how to do this civil discussion and voting democratically and miscounted – but I will resist the temptation. Blessings.

  7. You are correct Padre, the sizeof one’s world is unimportant. I sometimes impudent because I easily take offense and allow things to get under my skin.

    1. This is a “you say pōtātō, I say pōtătō” argument. The state is still involved with passing legislation that regulates the legal manner in which folks live together in relationships. It’s marriage by another name.

      1. Not at all. In the current set-up in most countries, the legislation is such that the state creates the relationship. It should record social and domestic partnerships the way it now records births and deaths.

        If the state treated births the way it now treats marriage, we would have baby factories as in Aldous Huxley’s Brave new world, and then I’d be saying that the State shoudl get out of the births business.

        1. And if that was all there was to it, there would be a lot of abandoned children n the streets because there would be no laws to protect them because their parent’s relationships could be created and dissolved on a whim.

  8. @ Steve: your 3:52 … does the state.? – all depends on the state I should think. What do you suppose the attitude would be in Spain, Greece, the Vatican (the’postage-stamp’ country), any Islamic country . “I’m thinking of course, as ‘divorce-as-a-sin'”.

    @Bro.David: your 8:51 and @Steve 2:18 – here in Canada you’re both right – and wrong. Steve first, I guess; The state does not create the relationship, the people CREATE the relationship. The state ‘follows up on it’, recognizes it or ‘regulates the legal manner = marriage by another name’. The example of this I see every year in March is when I’m filling out my Personal Income Tax Form (something all states have, I think 🙁 ,) Am I: marital Status — “equivalent-to-married”. e-to-m meaning living in a common-law relationship for the past three years or more. Valid Federally and provincially for m+f and homosexual unions but not in Québec for homosexual ones.
    Anyway the reason for this is pretty obvious, at least to me – the whole thing is a pure ‘tax-grab’. I’m astonished that a variation of this hasn’t crossed more Finance Ministers’ minds.

  9. In the USA, I know that married couples pay less taxes filing a joint tax return, than folks living together without benefit of marriage. It not the same in Mexico where the majority of folks live in a common law situation called a Free Union, meaning they are free to break up at any time!

    1. Jill, you speak of “Sydney’s denigration of the BCP wording of the marriage vow”. Does that mean you are a proponent of the wife’s vow being “Love, Honour and Obey”?

      Or do you also denigrate the BCP?

      Which is a greater denigration of the BCP? To remove the term “obey” or to swap it for the Biblical term “submit” that it was intended to communicate in the first place?

  10. “love honour and obey”? — you’ve got to be kidding! I’ve just checked my Cdn. BCP – (1962) the ‘real’ one that is, not the BAS — anyway, the word ‘obey’ is nowhere to be found in the rite for the Solemnization of Matrimony. (And I think the air would turn brown if Synod tried to re-introduce it !) btw: it’s not in the BAS, either
    According to my admittedly shaky arithmetic the vow to ‘obey’ one’s husband has not been used for 50 years; well, not here, anyway.
    Is the ‘Sydney’ you speak of just one diocese, or a Province; or the whole Australian Church? In other words, with what authority does it speak?

  11. All of this seems awfully hasty – all I can remember an ‘immediate’ nature as a child was when our prayers changed from ‘for George our King’ to ‘for Elizabeth our Queen’ — for obvious reasons….
    In 1955, the General Synod of all 5 (Eccl.)Provinces decided that perhaps it was time that the C.of E. in Canada should update? the 1662 BCP – so a Committee got to work and in 1958 a ‘Draft Revision…’ or something like was published for trial use. (of course, there were people who just hated it because it wasn’t the one they were used to) – but it ‘sounded’ right,
    Cranmerian, so to speak, elegant but not dated, and it was formally adopted in 1962. The point being, I guess; that all sorts of time and consideration was given to what was to be done, and how.
    Liturgy, after all, is the corporate expression of (many) Christians’ worship of God – and this, I submit is a very deep thing altogether. When one considers anything that might involve change to a person’s/people’s to God I would think that all sorts of alarm bells would start going off.
    (As did not happen in my own Diocese of New Westminster, when it became the only Diocese in the Canadian Church to authorize and write a liturgy for the blessing of gay – well, I’m not going to use the ‘M’ word because it isn’t)
    I don’t like it – so what do I do? well, I go deeper. Is God to be found here? blasphemous,? well, I hope not – better I guess, Can I find God here in spite of…? Answer: yes – so I buckle down and get to work.

    1. Charlie, no offense, but you write in so many incomplete thoughts i can’t make heads or tails of what you are saying. It’s incoherent rambling to me! Finish a sentence sometime.

  12. right: I should have done some proof-reading before I hit ‘submit’.Let’s see: I got the distinct impression that the Sydney Diocese was trying to a hasty revision of the Marriage Rite (which apparently currently contains the word ‘obey’ – for which ‘submit’ is being substituted.)
    My first post was astonishment at the fact that ‘obey’ was still used; I gave the example that we, a sister Church, had dropped it 50 years ago. (With no substitute such as submit, either!)
    Second post: As much an effort to show how much time was involved in our liturgical change – 1955 – Committee – 1958 – Draft Version published for trial use; then finally the Official version of 1962 — covering eight years from start to finish.
    (As opposed to my perceived impression that Sydney Diocese is taking much less time for its revision of its Marriage Rite.) I tried to draw an analogy to my Diocese’ other ‘rite’ – also drawn up in relative haste and with little consultation. The – general reaction here – was “who cares?”
    I hope I got the point across that Liturgy is part-and-parcel of a person’s worship of God and that worship is a fundamental part of the person. Therefore anything involving a change of liturgy needs to be very closely thought out and introduced in small bits.
    I do tend to get carried away at times and go in a rush.
    btw: It’s closing on 9/11 up here: Please join me in prayers for Peace on earth – in fact; ‘the Peace which passeth all understanding…’

  13. Is the Oz marriage law different from the Kiwi marriage law? According to the NZ DIA website: “During the ceremony before a marriage celebrant, and before at least two witnesses, each party must say the words “I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife/husband” or words to similar effect.” is the requirement for legal marriage in NZ. Any additional vows (for example the Marriage Rite) are optional. This would not make the marriage illegal if a vow to submit was added.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.