Baha'i marriage?

iBrian

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I'm curious - I think it's come up before that Baha'is have a distinct approach to marriage , so I'd like to ask a couple of questions:

1. Does a marriage cerermony performed for Baha'is by Baha'is have to involve a civil marriage signing, or can it be recognised within the faith even if no civil papers are filed?

2. If a Baha'i marriage cerremony is largely symbolic, then what are the attitudes to divorce between Baha'is? I think it's been suggested before that divorce is recommended against, but are divorcees treated in any significantly different way because of this?

Just curious on the relationship between the Baha'i approach to marriage and civil "legal" marriages.
 
Baha'i marriage and divorce:

I'm curious - I think it's come up before that Baha'is have a distinct approach to marriage , so I'd like to ask a couple of questions:

1. Does a marriage cerermony performed for Baha'is by Baha'is have to involve a civil marriage signing, or can it be recognised within the faith even if no civil papers are filed?

2. If a Baha'i marriage cerremony is largely symbolic, then what are the attitudes to divorce between Baha'is? I think it's been suggested before that divorce is recommended against, but are divorcees treated in any significantly different way because of this?

Just curious on the relationship between the Baha'i approach to marriage and civil "legal" marriages.

Thanks for your questions Brian....

In answer to your first question... Baha'i marriage is recognized by most civil authorities so in my case when my wife and I married we met the full requirements and filed the paper work for the marriage. Baha'is always follow the civil requirements and register the marriages. The State of California basically recognizes the Local Spiritual Assembly which would be within legal boundaries as "clergy". It is actually the Spiritual Assembly that in a sense recognizes the marriages.

You may be aware of this Brian but in order for a Baha'i to marry they must have the free consent (usually a written statement but other representations are accepted) of the marriage from all the living parents of the prospective spouses.

Your second question I'll also respond to... The Baha'i marriage ceremony is in front of at least two designated witnesses accepted by the Local Spiritual Assembly and teh Assembly must be satisfied that the requirements of Baha'i law are met for the couple to marry. So this is the rule usually.

If a Baha'i is estranged in their marriage they also must follow Baha'i law which requires that a year of patience be observed in which the Baha'i is supposed to work hard through counseling or other means to repair the marriage. If after a year the parties are still alienated and unreconciled, then a divorce is recognized.

Unlike the stigma of divorce in other communities, there is no such stigma attached to divorcees in Baha'i communties. They are accorded full rights and acceptance as Baha'is and can remarry if they choose to do so, again following the Baha'i laws for marriage as above.

- Art
 
Thanks for the reply, Art - for some reason I wasn't aware that the Baha'i marriage ceremony would also seek to comply with civil laws.
 
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