Marriages may be contracted either in the civil form or in the religious form. Although the ceremony is different, the legal effects of a religious and a civil ceremony are the same.
Religious marriages are contracted according to the rites custom of that particular religion. Whichever rite is used the person officiating the marriage should always “ask each of the persons to be married, first to one of them and then to the other, whether he or she will take the other as his wife or her husband respectively, and upon the declaration of each of such persons that they so will (made without any condition or qualification), he shall declare them to be man and wife”, as prescribed by the law (Article 15(2)), Marriage Act).
The Marriage Act empowers the Minister responsible for the Public Registry to recognize marriage rites carried out according to other churches and religions apart from the Catholic Religion. If a particular religion or church has been recognized by the Ministry, then it is possible to get married according to the rites of that particular religion.
Civil Unions may take a religious theme by having a priest participate in the ceremony, however the person who declares the couple as partners in a civil union must be a representative from the marriage registry.