Minister For a Day - Online Ordination and the Place of Religion in the 21st Century

Michel Clasquin-Johnson


The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have seen the rise of a new phenomenon - online ordination. It can be accepted that much of this burgeoning industry is a financial scam, but is that the whole story? The very existence of online ordination raises questions. Why do people feel the need for a “minister” to officiate at weddings? If they are sufficiently estranged from the religious sphere that no bona fide minister of religion will marry them, and if secular alternatives are readily available, why make use of this service? This article presents an overview and typology of online ordination services and places them in the context of the development of religion in contemporary society, and the development of society itself.


Online ordination, Marriage, Wedding, Church-state relations, Secularisation

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