Last weekend I performed my fifth wedding ceremony as a minister of the Universal Life Church. I love doing these ceremonies: it’s a blending of some of my best skills: public speaker, workshop leader, Unitarian worship leader. It’s also in my genes.
My dad was a Justice of the Peace in Connecticut – and his all-time favorite task was performing weddings. My mom, my sisters and I were often called in to be witnesses because he often did the service at our house. When he died in 1994, the headline on the front page of the local paper said, “Fred Kimball dies: famed for 700 marriages.” This would have totally cracked him up. (He and my mom were married 56 years.)
So far I’ve done a pagan handfasting ceremony, a “surprise” wedding where the guests didn’t realize what was about to happen, a wedding on a boat, and a couple of non-denominational ones. I’ve also officiated at a memorial service… whew.
I’ve been ordained by ULC since 1992 (it’s free online) but just realized I could go so much further… for a contribution of just $10.95 I can choose a reverential honorific from the following list at the ULC headquarters:
Abbe, Reverend of Rock ‘n Roll, Abbess, Abbot, Ananda, Angel, Apostle of Humility, Apostolic Scribe, Arch Deacon, Arch Priest, Archbishop, Arch cardinal, Ascetic Gnostic, Bible Historian, Bishop, Brahman, Brother, Canon, Cantor, Cardinal, Channel, Chaplain, Colonel, Cure, Deacon, Dervish, Directress, Disciple, Druid, Elder, Faith Healer, Evangelist, Emissary, Father, Field Missionary, Flying Missionary, Free Thinker, Friar, Goddess, Guru, Hadji, Healing Minister, High Priest, High Priestess, Imam, Lama, Lay Sister, Magus, Martyr, Messenger, Metropolitan, Minister of Music, Minister of Peace, Missionary, Missionary Doctor, Missionary Healer, Missionary of Music, Missionary Priest, Monk, Monsignor, Most Reverend, Mystical Philosopher, Orthodox Monk, Parochial Educator, Pastor General, Patriarch, Peace Counselor, Preacher, Preceptor, Priest, Priestess, Prophet, Rector, Rabbi, Religious Preacher, Revelator, Reverend, Reverend Father, Reverend Mother, Right Reverend, Saintly Healer, Scribe, Seer, Shaman, Soul Therapist, Sister, Spiritual Counselor, Spiritual Warrior, Starets, Swami, Teller, Thanatologist, The Very Esteemed, Universal Rabbi, Universal Religious Philosopher, Vicar, Universal Philosopher of Absolute Reality, Wizard, Gothi, Gythia, Psychic Healer, Minister of Rock ‘n Roll, Rock ‘n Roll Missionary, Rock Doctor (R.D), Rock ‘n Roll Minister, Child of the Universe, Prince, Spiritual Healer, Saint, Pope
I especially like Saint Joy, but my friends and family would cough, sputter, choke and gasp if I tried it.