What is the difference between a wedding minister or pastor and a wedding officiant?

I am asked often the difference between a wedding minister and a wedding officiant. Although I hear the question often, it is a very good question.

In short, anyone who resides over a wedding and pronounces the couple married is an officiant. That man or woman could very well be a minister but not necessarily. They could be an attorney, and judges, justice of the peace, a chaplain, or simply a friend of the family.

Most people today still prefer a “minister” or “pastor.” Most couples still view the wedding ceremony as a spiritual event as well as a civil event. For that reason, I love to perform weddings because I view the event as a way to ask God to honor ad bless this relationship for years to come.


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