Marriage Clearness Committee meets upon written request of members/attenders who wish their marriage to take place “under the care of the Meeting” or “in the manner of Friends” either in a meeting house or elsewhere. The request is sent to the Clerk of the Providence Monthly Meeting.
The committee may ask for a brief autobiography of both individuals to be distributed to committee members prior to the first meeting. At the meeting, committee members acquaint themselves, if necessary, with the couple and assure themselves of the validity of the request, meeting more than once if needed. If the Marriage Clearness Committee approves of the marriage, it so recommends at the Monthly Meeting for Business. After consideration, if Business Meeting approves, a committee of oversight is appointed by the clerk of the Monthly Meeting at the prior suggestion of the couple.
As of 1981, the State of Rhode Island has eliminated any definition of religious clergy. We, as the Society of Friends, are able to wed members or non-members (having a Rhode Island resident member of the Society sign the marriage certificate) as long as we approve of and oversee the marriage. The categories of “under the care of” and “in the manner of Friends” are non-legal terms relating solely to how closely the couple is involved with the meeting.
More information may be obtained by contacting the clerk at Marriage Clearness Committee.