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Marriage registration

Christian marriage act 1872 and Christian Marriage Certificate

Christian marriage registration

Christian marriage registration in India is governed by the Indian Christian marriage act 1872. Itzeazy facilitates in the Christian marriage certificate process. In this article, we will discuss the Christian marriage act 1872, the Christian marriage registration process, and documents required for Christian marriage registration.

According to Christian culture, they believe that marriage seems to be a gift from God, which one should never take for granted. Christians usually marry in churches, where the two partners who are getting married are seen taking public vows declaring their love and commitment towards each other. This event is usually held in presence of their friends and family members.

Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872 is the law regulating the consecration of marriages amongst the Christian Community in India. Christian marriage registration falls under the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872 initially enacted by the British-Indian administration. Like this, there are other laws for wedding/marriages of other religions /Believes etc. too.

Christian Marriage Registration

According to the Indian Christian marriage act 1872, Christian marriages are performed only in churches, in presence of a priest or minister. Meanwhile, once the marriage is done the priest or church father issues the marriage certificate to the newly married couple.

Thus by endorsing their marriage. Later it is also enrolled in the church’s register by the priest. Firstly, there are certain terms and conditions that need to be satisfied from both the groom and bride’s side, then only the marriage can be done and get officially approved.

NOTE: Previously, marriages could be performed without any official registration. Now the Supreme Court of India has ordered the compulsory registration of all marriages in India, irrespective of religion.

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Requirements for Christian Marriage Registration

In order to constitute a valid marriage under the Indian Christian Marriage Act, it is a requirement that either one or both parties are Christians. Unless one of the parties to the marriage is governed by its own personal law forbidding such a marriage on the grounds of prohibited steps of the relationship, the marriage will be considered null and void, or redundant under the Act. To constitute a legitimate marriage under the Act, the following factors have to be fulfilled:

  1. The bridegroom must not be under the age of twenty-one and the  bride must not be under the age of eighteen, respectively;
  2. Consent from both parties must be free, voluntary and not obtained by misrepresentation of facts, compulsion or undue influence;
  3. Neither party should have a living spouse at the time of the marriage;
  4. Marriage must be performed in the presence of at least two reliable witnesses, by a person licensed to grant a certificate to the marriage, such as a priest or minister in a church.

Conditions Required for Performance of a Marriage by a Marriage Registrar

The guidelines specified below have to be followed for the performance of the marriage by the Marriage Registrar, appointed under the Christian Marriage  Act 1872. They are as listed below:

(a)    Notice of Intended Marriage to the Registrar:

A written application or notice is to be completed by either party to the marriage who is currently residing in the same area as the Marriage Registrar, in order to notify the concerned authority of their intention to get married.

In the event that both the bride and groom reside in different locales, each party will have to draw up a distinct notice in writing to the Marriage Registrar located within their areas of residence, respectively. The written application is then recorded in the official Marriage Notebook and is pasted in a distinct, noticeable area in the office of the Registrar.

(b)    Making a Pledge before the Registrar:

In order to acquire the Certificate of Notice, either one party to the marriage must make an appearance before the Marriage Registrar in order to pledge that:

  • there is no obstacle, natural predisposition or other legitimate obstruction to the marriage;
  • the place of residence of both the parties is within the locale of the marriage registrar;

In the event where one of the parties is a minor, the consent of one of the persons mentioned below is of utmost importance, in order to perform the marriage:

    • Father of the minor, if alive and not deceased, or,
    • The Guardian of the minor or if no guardian, then,

Consent of the mother is required (only if there is no person authorized to give such consent residing in India)

(c) Issuing of the Certificate of Notice after the Pledge

The Registrar has the power to issue the Certificate of Notice only once the pledge has been taken before the Registrar by either one of the parties and a duration of four days has passed after the notice of intended marriage has been received.

The information contained in the above-mentioned Certificate of Notice contains the location of the Church or Chapel, where the marriage rituals are expected to be performed.

The certificate will not be issued in the event that it is stopped by anyone demonstrating grounds why the document ought not to be issued. Once the Registrar issues the Certificate of Notice, it becomes obligatory to perform the marriage within two months from the date of issuance.

In the event that the marriage is not solemnized within the stipulated time period, the certificate becomes redundant and a fresh certificate will have to be issued.

Persons authorized to perform the marriage under the act

Under Section 5 of the Act, the following persons are eligible to perform the christian marriage registration under the Christian Marriage Act 1872:


  • Persons appointed by the Bishop of the church where the marriage is taking place provided that such marriages are performed as per the customs, rituals, and regulations of that church;
  • Priest registered under the Church of Scotland, provided that such  marriages are performed according to the customs, rules, and regulations administered by the Church of Scotland;
  • Minister of Religion licensed under this Act to solemnize marriages;
  • A person who is appointed by, or is in the presence of, the Marriage registrar under the Act;
  • A person qualified to grant certificates of marriage between  Indian Christians, under this Act

If a marriage is performed by a person who is not authorized under the act to perform it, such a marriage would be deemed null and void.

Performance of the Marriage under the Act

A christian marriage registration that is performed between the parties to the marriage must adhere to the rituals considered essential and appropriate by the Minister or Priest performing the marriage.

The marriage rituals also require the mandatory presence of two reliable witnesses apart from the minister or the priest performing the marriage.

If a marriage has not been performed within two months after the issuance of the certificate of notice, such a marriage cannot be performed after the lapse of the two-month period, and a fresh certificate of notice would have to be applied for in order to solemnize the marriage.

Time and Place for the Performance of the Marriage

The Act clearly specifies the ‘time’ and the ‘place’ for the performance of the Christian marriage registration. The time for performing marriage rituals has been fixed to six in the morning and seven in the evening and the place where the marriage is to be performed is a Church.

The Clergy of the Church, under special exemptions, are given the flexibility of the time and place for performing the marriage.

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Christian Marriage Registration

A christian marriage registration application under the christian marriage act from the parties is given to the concerned authority in whose jurisdiction they are living. The marriage is being registered by the registrar in the presence of the married couple.

The acknowledgement slip is given by both parties and then they are required to sign on it, along with their witnesses. These acknowledgment slips are sent out to the registrar who records the birth, death and marriage counts in that particular district 

Indian Christian marriages can further be endorsed under a special provision with only a month’s prior notice, under the Special Marriage Act of 1954. This Act provides for the solemnization of a marriage as well as registration by a Marriage Officer/Registrar between people of any religion such as Jewish, Hindu, Christian and so on.

Documents Required for Registering the Marriage under the Christian Marriage Act

For an Indian christian marriage registration, the following documents are to be submitted:

  • Complete application form;
  • 3 Passport Size photographs,
  • The Marriage Certificate issued by the Minister or the Priest who performed the wedding,
  • Two photographs of the wedding rituals along with the wedding invite;
  • Residence and age proof of either party to the marriage (Voter Card/Aadhaar Card/PAN Card of both Bride and Groom);
  • A document (affidavit) certifying the mental and marital status of both parties.

Procedure for Christian Marriage Registration 

Here is the step guide for Christian Marriage Registration under Christian Marriage Act

Step 1: For Delhi, for marriage registration, the married couple has to visit M. T. Kom, Additional District Magistrate, West, Old Middle School Building, Lawrence Road, Rampura, Delhi – 110035. (nearest Metro Station Keshav Puram) . Along with the two christian marriage certificate issued by the Vicar and the above-mentioned following documents.

Step 2: After submitting the above Original & Copy documents to the ADM, will ask you to prepare an affidavit on Rs. 10/- Stamp Paper (matter will be given by the office). Then the ADM will verify all the submitted documents and return it back. After the verification, the ADM will fix a Hearing Date and ask you to purchase a form by paying Rs. 200/- and bring the filled form on the hearing date.

Step 3: On the Hearing date, the Married Couple (along with all the required documents and Two Witnesses) must be present. The Witnesses have to carry the above-mentioned documents.

Step 4: The Final verification will be done by the ADM under Christian Marriage Act and also the issuance of the Marriage Certificate.


  1. I am a widower 55 y and my fiancee is a widow 44y.
    We are both regular church goers. But she wants to keep her marriage a lit
    We intend to have a sacred holy marriage followed by government registration.
    Our immediate family members have already given their concent . We live in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

    Kindly advise.

  2. Nainan Joy

    I am from Kerala a teacher by profession and a member of Church of North India.

    My fiancee is a tribel from Jharkhand and a stanch catholic.

    After marriage I wish to join the tribel community as I already live with them.

    We both are from Ranchi.

  3. Azad nabi

    Jion Christian

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