Marriage Under Christian Law

The Christian community is an integral part of the Indian society. Marriage laws in India have been codified under separate act for this community. Marriage, as is seen in Christian tradition, is not merely a civil contract nor is it purely a religious contract. It is a contract according to the law of nature, antecedent to civil institutions and it by itself has emerged as an institution. A marriage among Christians, as per Marriage laws in India, is traditionally understood as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.  

Marriage of persons professing the Christian religion is governed by the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872. Every marriage between persons, at least one of whom is a Christian, can be solemnized in accordance with the provisions of the Christian Marriage Act. There is also no legal impediment for marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant. 

The Christian Marriage Act provide that the age of the man intending to be married shall not be under 21 years, and the age of the woman intending to be married shall not be under 18 years. Every marriage under the Christian Marriage Act shall be solemnized between the hours of six in the morning and seven in the evening. The Christian Marriage Act requires that the marriage take place in the presence of at least 2 credible witnesses.

If the marriage is solemnized as per the provisions of the Christian Marriage Act then a certificate of marriage would be issued to the parties on payment of necessary fees as per section 61 of the Act. In any suit which questions the validity of the marriage, such marriage certificate shall act as a conclusive proof of its having been performed. There are no traditional ceremonies that are required with regard to marriage under the Christian Marriage Act