Marriage

We see people as unique, loved creations of God and welcome all people to the full life of Christian community, including marriage. We believe God intends loving relationships to be faithful, responsible, just, healing, and sustaining of the couple and those around them, and that such relationships require preparation and nurture.
The United Church celebrates the marriage of

  • same-sex couples
  • previously divorced people
  • couples of different religions
  • all people who believe in Jesus Christ and want to live faithful to his way

General Council—the governing council of The United Church of Canada—makes some decisions about marriage, and local United Church congregations make other decisions. This reflects the wisdom that some decisions are best made as a denomination and others are best made locally. Our denomination has followed this wisdom since our founding in 1925.

Marriages (in fact, all worship services) are performed with the permission of and under the responsibility of the local congregation’s church council. This means that while General Council welcomes same-sex marriage, it does not make same-sex marriage the norm in congregations. Congregations develop their own marriage policy and practices.