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Get your wedding vows from the government

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Beijing Morning Post
January 15, 2010

Earlier this month, China's Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a set of recommended texts for conducting a civil marriage ceremony.

The texts are optional and are intended to remind registrants of the responsibilities involved in marriage. Today's Beijing Morning Post included quotes from two young people who were not too thrilled by the service:

"I suggest that the marriage registration department offer pre-marriage guidance or counseling so that people about to enter the halls of matrimony impulsively or ignorant of the responsibilities of marriage can obtain expert instruction. This is more important than testimony," said Ms. Cui, a white collar worker born in the 1980s. A young man named Jia Peng said that he hoped that marriage registration would not become a "value-added" service.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs website currently provides four texts for download, but more may be added in the future.

Form 1 ("The Law"):

Certifier: I am ___, a certifier for the ___ Civil Affairs Bureau, and I am pleased to issue the two of you a marriage license.
Certifier: Are you Mr. ___? (Man answers.) Are you Ms. ___? (Woman answers.) Then, Mr. ___ and Ms. ___, are you getting married of your own volition?
(Both answer.)
Certifier: The institution of marriage in this country based upon the free choice of partners, on monogamy, and on equality between male and female. Husband and wife shall be faithful to and respect each other. Family members shall respect the old and cherish the young, help one another, and maintain equal, harmonious, and civilized relations within the marriage and the family. Are you able to do this?
(Both answer.)
Certifier: You have been inspected and found in accordance with the requirements for marriage registration. Please accept your marriage certificate.
(Both step forward to sign and accept the certificate.)
Certifier: The Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China states that the husband-wife relationship begins as soon as the marriage certificate is obtained. Your married status begins now. I sincerely wish you a beautiful marriage and a happy home.

Form 2 ("Holding Hands"):

Certifier: I am ___, a certifier for the ___ Civil Affairs Bureau, and I am pleased to issue the two of you a marriage license. Please join hands to approach the certification platform and experience life's most beautiful moment together.
Certifier: Mr. ___, do you take Ms. ___ as your wife? (Man answers.)
Certifier: Ms. ___, do you take Mr. ___ as your husband? (Woman answers.)
Certifier: Then, Mr. ___ and Ms. ___, You have been inspected and found in accordance with the requirements for marriage registration. Please accept your marriage certificate.
(Both step forward to sign and accept the certificate.)
Certifier: Today is ___-___-___, the most memorable day in your lives. The beauty of your love blossoms today. Happiness embraces your marriage today. You are now legally husband and wife. I hope that in the days to come, you will cherish each other, love each other, help each other through tough times, and live out your lives hand in hand!

Form 3 ("Romance"):

Certifier: I am ___, a certifier for the ___ Civil Affairs Bureau, and I am pleased to issue the two of you a marriage license.
Certifier: Today is ___-___-___, the wonderful day that your lives are joined together. You have found each other out of the multitudes and have entered the sacred temple of matrimony. I offer you my heartfelt congratulations!
Certifier: As the saying goes, "It takes a hundred years of good prayers to travel in the same boat; it takes a thousand years of good prayers to share the same pillow." Marriage is a promise to spend a life together. It marks the beginning of a new stage of life. Life tells us that a happy marriage is warm, sweet, and romantic, but also involves duty, responsibility, and sacrifice. I hope that no matter what hardships you may encounter, you will treat each other with tolerant spirit of kindness, forgiveness, and understanding, and that you will share both the warmth of the home and the trials of life. Are you able to do this?
(Both answer.)
Certifier: Please accept your marriage certificate.
(Both step forward to sign and accept the certificate.)
Certifier: The marriage certificate is the legal document proving a husband-wife relationship. I hope that you will treasure it all your life! May you love each other forever!

Form 4 ("Vows"):

Certifier: I am ___, a certifier for the ___ Civil Affairs Bureau, and I am pleased to issue the two of you a marriage license. Today is a sacred day, so please answer thsi question sincerely: Are you getting married of your own volition?
(Both answer.)
Certifier: Facing the solemn national flag and state seal, please read aloud the wedding vows:

Wedding Vows
We choose to become husband and wife. From this day forth, we will share the burdens of duty and responsibility that marriage has placed upon us: honoring our parents, instructing our children, loving and respecting each other, understanding and forgiving each other, helping each other through hard times, and loving each other for life!
From now on, in good times and bad, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in youth and in old age, we will brave the storms together, standing together in hardship and sharing weal and woe as lifetime companions! We want to uphold the vows we make today, and we shall do so!

Certifier: Remember well the promise you have made today, to share the responsibilities of a family and to share your life together in the future. Please sign the Marriage Vows and accept your marriage certificate.
(Both step forward to sign and accept the certificate.)

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There are currently 3 Comments for Get your wedding vows from the government.

Comments on Get your wedding vows from the government

blah blah blah.
Wait, are they going to charge for adding the vows?

Love how they managed to slip the regime-approved buzzwords "harmonious" and "civilised" into it.

Since the certifier says "Your married status being now" at the end of form 1, does that mean they can skip forms 2-4?

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