Christian marriages are solemnized under The Christian
marriage Act 15 of 1872. A Christian is one who professes
the religion of Jesus Christ and Indian Christians include
native converts to Christianity and their Christian
competent to solemnize marriage:
Under this Act a minister of religion may be licensed
to solemnize marriages. Marriage registrars appointed
under this Act or those who have received episcopal
ordination and the clergymen of the Church of Scotland
can solemnize marriages under this Act.
The Act applies when one or both the parties to the
marriage is or are Christians. If the personal law applicable
to either of the parties forbids the marriage, e.g.
no ground of prohibited degrees of relationship, it
cannot be validly performed under this Act.
Christian marriage Act is only concerned with the forms
in which the marriage is to be solemnized and where
the marriage is solemnized by a Marriage Registrar appointed
under the Act the following procedure is to be followed:-
Notice of Intended Marriage:
One of the parties of intended marriage should give
written notice of it to the Marriage Registrar of the
District within which the parties have dwelt. Where
the parties dwell in different districts the notice
should be given to the Marriage Registrar of each district.
The notice is affixed in a conspicuous part of the office
of the Marriage Registrar and is entered in the "Marriage
Oath Before Registrar:
One of the parties should appear personally before the
marriage Registrar and make oath-
- There is no impediment
of kindred or affinity or other lawful hindrance to
- The usual place of abode
is within the district of such marriage registrar.
- If either of the party
is minor (i.e. one under 21 years of age) the consent
of the persons competent to consent to the marriage
(father and if he be dead the guardian of the person
and if there be no guardian, the mother) has been
obtained or that thgere is no person resident in India
authorised to give such consent.
After the oath above mentioned has been made and 4 days
after the receipt of the notice have expired (14 days
if one of the parties is minor) the marriage Registrar
can give the Certificate of Receipt of Notice. This
certificate states in what Church, Chapel, or place
of worship the marriage is supposed to be performed.
The certificate will not be issued if the protest has
been lodged by any one showing grounds why the certificate
should not be issued. If the objection is frivolous
the objector exposes himself to a suit of damages. The
marriage should be solemnized within 2 months of the
issue of certificate and otherwise the certificate becomes
void and a fresh notice will have to be given.
The marriage may be solemnized according to such form
and ceremony as the parties think fit to adopt in the
presence of some Marriage Registrar (not necessarily
the one who issued the certificate) and of two or more
witnesses. Each of the parties should say to the other:
"I call upon these persons here present to witness that
I, A do take thee, B, to be my lawfully wedded wife
The Marriage Registrar present at the solemnization
shall register the marriage in a Marriage Register-Book
and in a certificate attached to that book as counterfoil.
The parties sign and the witnesses attest these entries.
At the end of every month the certificates (counter-foils)
are sent to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths
and Marriages. Special Provision for Indian Christians:
In the case of marriages between Indian Christians the
marriage may be certified without a preliminary notice.
following conditions, however, should be fulfilled:
- The age of the bridegroom
should exceed 16 years.
- Neither of the parties
should be having a husband or wife living. In the
presence of the person licensed to grant a certificate
and atleast two credible witnesses each party should
say to the other: "I call upon these persons here
present to witness that I, A in the presence of Almighty
God and in the name of our lord Jesus Christ, do take
thee B, to be my lawfully wedded wife (or husband)"
or words to that effect.