How does Scientology view marriage?

According to the Church of Scientology website, marriage is "an essential component of a stable family life."

Church of Scientology literature says: "Scientology wedding ceremonies have considerable meaning to all who attend. For example, a basic concept in the Scientology religion is that reality is created by agreement. The wedding is a gathering of family and friends who, during the ceremony, are asked to give their agreement to the union and its lasting happiness. This is not considered rhetorical or symbolic, but a tangible and important contribution to the future of the couple by the group to which they belong."

What did L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, teach about marriage and family?

Hubbard saw marriage and family as part of the "dynamic of creative activity," the second of  "eight dynamics of existence," a system he developed to describe the nature of human existence.  The "dynamic of creative activity" also includes sexual activity, procreation, and childrearing.

Who officiates at a Scientology wedding?

A Minister of the Church of Scientology officiates.

What kind of vows do Scientology couples exchange?

Scientology wedding ceremonies are collected in "The Background, Ministry, Ceremonies & Sermons of the Scientology Religion."  The book has five versions of the wedding ceremony: traditional, Informal, Single Ring, Double Ring, and Concise Double Ring. In the 1950s, L. Ron Hubbard wrote wedding vows that stress the mutual needs of the couple, now referred to as Scientology’s "traditional ceremony." They include such quaint advice to the groom as "Now Tom, girls need clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, perhaps a cat. All caprice if you will, but still they need them," and to the bride: "Hear well, sweet Katie, for promise binds. Young men are free and may forget. Remind him that you may have necessities and follies, too."

There are other, less formal ceremonies. In one of the less traditional variations, the double ring ceremony, the Scientology minister holds up the couple’s rings and asks them to imagine a triangle inside them, with Scientology’s core principles—affinity, reality, and communication—as the triangle’s points. The couple is asked to follow these principles in their relationship.

What am I likely to see at a Scientology wedding?

According to Church of Scientology officials, a Scientology wedding looks a great deal like the typical American wedding, with a white-gowned bride attended by a flower girl, ring bearer, and bridesmaids and given away by her father. As in a Christian wedding, bridesmaids are on the left, groomsmen on the right. At the center of the wedding are the maid of honor, the bride, the groom, and the best man. According to the Rev. John Carmichael of the Church of Scientology in New York City, at the end of the minister's instruction to the bride and groom, "the couple promises they will maintain communication to maintain the commitment."

A celebration usually follows the ceremony.

What role does Scientology play in the marriage of a Scientology couple?

Although the Church of Scientology does not require prenuptial training or couples counseling, Scientologists believe that the training they receive improves their communication skills and problem-solving abilities, which couples apply to the issues that arise in a marital relationship. According to the Church of Scientology website, “People often find that after they begin practicing Scientology, their relationship with their spouse and other family members strengthened dramatically. That is because Scientology teaches an individual to communicate more freely with others, raises his ability to love other people and puts him in better communication with family and friends.

“Surveys have found that after participating in Scientology services, individuals are more likely to marry or stay married and to have children than before they became Scientologists.”

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