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Archiver > SOUTH-AFRICA > 2005-07 > 1122873124


From: "gpieterse" <>
Subject: Re: [ZA] Banns and licences??
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 07:12:04 +0200
References: <173JgEXQw8144S12.1122853342@cmsweb12.cms.usa.net>


The state does not accept all church marriages as binding.

To be married in the Greek Orthodox Church (Johannesburg) my sister and her
husband had to go through a civil ceremony first, two weeks prior to to the
church ceremony. They will have been officially married for 30 years on the
3rd of August, but the grand celebration is on the church date, which will
be on 17 Aug.

I believe 'traditional' marriages required (or used to require) a civil
licence to make them legal as well?

Keith wrote:

> My wife and I were married in Hermanus in 1987, by my family's retired
parish
> priest. Since he was retired, a different priest signed our (civil)
marriage
> certificate. When we returned to the USA, we had to prove our marriage to
> absolutely no one. Not my employer, not the taxman, no one. The only
time I
> know I will ever have to prove marriage is to my company's pension fund
when I
> retire.

We never had to prove that we were married either, but after my husband
passed away I had to have at least twenty certified copies made to get the
estate rolling, policies and other payments sorted out, assets transferred,
etc. Keep the original copy you received very safe!

My abridged South African marriage certificate is not accepted by the Dutch
authorities - they need a vault copy to prove that I am really the person
stated on my birth certificate. Only documents that prove that my maiden
name refers to the same person as my married name are acceptable to them.

Gerda Pieterse
Richards Bay

----- Original Message -----
From: "Keith Meintjes" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 1:42 AM
Subject: [ZA] Banns and licences??


> We need to recall that there are two authorities that can sanction
marriage:
> The Church, and the State.
>
> In some religions, banns precede a church marriage.
>
> Marriage licenses are usually granted by civil (government) authorities.
>
> Of course, the two get hopelessly intertwined. Priests are allowed (and
may
> be licensed) by the state to perform marriages. A marriage license may be
> used to short-circuit the process of banns, to obtain a "quickie" church
> wedding. Civil officials (magistrates, for example), are able to perform
> marriages whether any church agrees or not.
>
> So, a "license" usually means permission to be married was given by a
civil
> authority. A license does not preclude a religious ceremony. There are
many
> reasons for a couple to seek a marriage license, only a few of which will
lead
> to family legends and gossip.
>
> One of my Kinghorn ancestors and his wife acknowledged in (his) parish in
> Haddington, Scotland that they had been "clandestinely" married in
Edinburgh.
> I take it to mean they were originally married in her home parish,
possibly in
> a different denomination. (This was before civil registration.)
>
> My wife and I were married in Hermanus in 1987, by my family's retired
parish
> priest. Since he was retired, a different priest signed our (civil)
marriage
> certificate. When we returned to the USA, we had to prove our marriage to
> absolutely no one. Not my employer, not the taxman, no one. The only
time I
> know I will ever have to prove marriage is to my company's pension fund
when I
> retire.
>
> One reason to seek a marriage license in South Africa before about 1820
may be
> the following: Remarriage after the death of a spouse. I have
encountered
> this recently. The surviving spouse, in a will made before the
remarriage,
> had to certify that the children of the first marriage had received their
> payments from the Orphan Chamber (Weeskamer, MOOC).
>
> In the current age, I think the discussion over "non-traditional" marriage
> could be more civil (pun intended) if we distinguish the differences
between
> between unions deriving from religious beliefs, and unions recognized by
> governmental authorities as qualifying for some sort of preferential
> treatment.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Keith




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