‘To have and to hold’ banned in civil weddings but passages from other religions waved through, study finds

Dec 5, 2018 by

by Henry Bodkin, Telegraph:

Registrars are more likely to ban Christian vows from civil weddings than passages from other religions, a survey has found.

A study by the University of Exeter reveals couples from non-Christian faiths find it easier to circumvent the prohibition on religious content because presiding officials often fail to recognise the words they are asked to read.

Phrases from the Book of Common Prayer such as “To have and to hold, / for better, for worse,” are routinely weeded out, the researchers said.

However, nearly nine in ten registrars would permit the lines “I give you this ring as a symbol of unity / in which our lives are now joined in one unbroken circle,” which is taken from Hindu liturgy.

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