Essential and Procedures of Christian Marriage


In India the procedure of Marriage differ from community to community. In India Christian marriage was introduced, when Britishers came to India or simply it was started in British Era and enacted as The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872. In Christian for the valid marriage age of boy is 21 or above 21 and girl age should be 18 or above 18. The age criteria are defined under Sec. 60 of the Indian Christian marriage act.

Essentials of Christian Marriage
Under Sec. 4 of Indian Christian marriage Act, 1872. The marriage is VOID, if any marriage between the Christian or when only one person is Christian i.e., when it is solemnized according to the provision of the act the marriage is Void And it is provided in Sec.4 Of Indian Christian Marriage Act.

There are 4 Essential Conditions for Valid Christian Marriage

1.Age of Bride should not be less than 18 and the Groom age should not be less than 21[Sec.60]
2.either of the Parties must have spouse still living at the time of marriage[ Sec.60].
3.The marriage ceremony must take place in presence of the person licensed [Sec.9]and in presence of at least two witness.
4.According to Personal law if there is no concerned of either party or either party forbids the concern of marriage then nothing in the Act shall Validate any marriage. [Sec.88]

For Instance, inter-caste marriage between a Christian and another person will be invalid, if the personal law governing the other person prohibits marriage with a Christian.

In every Indian Marriage in all communities there are some procedures which are must to follow.
So, In Indian Christian Marriage too there are rules and procedures for solemnize of marriage.

Time for Solemnize Christian marriage
Christian marriage can be Solemnized only between time interval of 6am to 7 pm. At any time other than between 6am to 7 pm or in absence of two witness if marriage solemnize then person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years with fine.

but there are some exceptions ~
i). There should be special license Authorize by a clergyman of Church to the Clergyman who will solemnize the marriage at any hour other than 6am and 7pm.
ii). Marriage being solemnized by a clergyman of the Church of Scotland according to the Church’s rules, rites, and ceremonies.
iii). Marriage can be solemnized by Clergyman of the Church of Rome when he has received the general or special license.

Place of solemnization of Christian Marriage
The marriage only solemnized at a church where worship is Generally held in a form of church of England as permitted by Sec. 11 to Clergyman of the church. Otherwise if there is no Church within a 5 miles distance then special license is permitted to the clergyman to solemnize the marriage at any other places.

The process for solemnization of Christian marriage deals under section 12 to 26 deal with religion license by minister to solemnize marriage under the Indian Christian Marriage Act.

Sec. 12 deals with the notice of Marriage:
Either of parties is required to give written notice, in form contained in first schedule of the Act, informing details of other party to whom want to marry to the concerned Minister. The details mentioned in the notice should be: NAME, SURNAME, PROFESSION, & RESIDENCE of both marrying parties.

Sec. 13 deals with the publication of Notice;
There is requirement of the Minister concern if the parties want to marry in the Church or their marriage to be solemnized in a Church.

Sec. 14; Notice of intended marriage in private dwelling.
If it be intended that the marriage shall be solemnized in a private dwelling, the Minister of Religion, on receiving the notice prescribed in section 12, shall forward it to the Marriage Registrar of the district, who shall affix the same to some conspicuous place in his own office.

Sec. 15 deals, where either party to the marriage is Minor;
Here the Ministry is required to send a copy of notice to marriage registrar or senior marriage Registrar of concerned District.

Sec. 16 deals with the procedure of receipt of Notice;
The send notice to marriage Registrar is required to affix the notice in some conspicuous place in his office & senior marriage Registrar is required that in same district the notice should be forwarded to each marriage Registrar for affixation.

Sec. 17 deals with the issue of Certificate;
The ministry shall issue a certificate to the parties indicating the giving of the notice and making of Declaration.

Sec. 18 deals with the Declaration;
If both parties are minor, they need to be present personally before Minister & declaration that there is no affinity to marry, there is proper consents, mandated by law have been obtained.

Sec. 19 deals with the consent of father or guardian or mother.
for the marriage consent of father or by Guardian if father is dead is required. If there is no Guardian then Minor Mother consent is required for marriage.

Sec. 20 deals with power to prohibit by notice issue of certificate.
person who have prohibited the issue of certificate for marriage by written notice to the Minister.

Sec. 21 deals with procedure on receipt of notice.
the notice in which Minister cannot issue a certificate unless satisfied, upon examination for prohibition of the marriage.

Sec. 23 deals issue of certificate to Indian Christian;.
Before issuing the certificate the Minister shall concerned whether Indian Christian is cognition of the purport and effect of the notice/certificate.

Sec. 24 deals with form of certificate;
The Act requires the certificate issued under sec. 17 to be in the form contained in second schedule to the Act.

Sec. 25 Deals with solemnization of marriage after issuing the certificate. Minister is entitled to solemnize the marriage between the parties in presence of two witness.

Sec. 26 deals with the marriage which is not solemnize within 2 months from the date of insurance of certificate. The certificate shall become Void, and marriage will not be entitled to solemnize if parties will not get the fresh certificate.

• Dr. Paras Diwan book on Family Law.
• Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 pdf as visited on 15 March 2021.