The Rite of the Holy Union is one of the Rites of the Metropolitan Community Churches all over the world as stated in Article III, Section C, paragraph 3 of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches Bylaws and it says:
The RITE OF HOLY UNION is the spiritual joining of two persons in a manner fitting and proper by a duly authorized clergy, Interim Pastoral Leader (Lay Pastoral Leader) of the church, or UFMCC Elders. After both persons have been counseled and apprised of their responsibilities one toward the other, this rite of conferring God’s blessing may be performed.
The essence of the Rite of Holy Union is the vow, the pledging of deepest fidelity of each other. It is the spiritual joining of two persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a celebration of love witness and affirmed by their friends, family, and the Church.
Freedom of Religion
As of the present time there is no State Legislation or Jurisprudence as of yet (2017) in the Philippines recognizing the Union of people of the same sex. There is also such state recognition or law yet recognizing the union of Transgender persons with their partners who might be construed by society and state also as a same sex union.
The Holy Union conducted by MCC Quezon City is a religious ceremony that blesses, celebrates and affirms the love and commitment of persons wishing to declare their vows of life-long loving partnership and loyalty to one another.
As such, the Philippine Constitution guarantees that the Freedom of Religion is protected, in Article III, Section 5 of the Bill of Rights states that:
No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
The essence of the rite of the Holy Union is the exchanging of the vows of two loving persons that promise to be together for the rest of their lives with or without the legal papers. This is a private ceremony to be conducted purposely for the celebration of love.
What Holy Union Is Not
It is NOT a Marriage
The word “marriage” is a legal term that denotes the government and its laws and through its agencies recognize a particular union or partnership. As of yet, since there is no law yet in the Philippines recognizing and protecting the union of same sex or same gender couples, the Holy Union is therefore not a Marriage.
It is NOT a solution to broken and problematic relationships
There is no magic formula or prayer or incantation that can make a bad relationship a good one. Union ceremonies are ritualizations and celebrations of what is already true and real in a relationship. Therefore, a problematic relationship entering into a Holy Union will only create more problems. Holy Union ceremony is not the solution nor the bandage to heal a problematic and conflicted relationship.
It does NOT provide assurance of “Forever”
While it is the hope and the prayer of the ceremony that the couple will last for a lifetime or to whichever time period they wish to be with, there is also NO magic formula that binds a couple forever. There is no assurance that after the ceremony, the couple will last. The longevity of the relationship is NOT dependent upon the ceremony. The longevity of a relationship is in the commitment and effort of each partner to make the relationship work every single day. The blessing comes from God and the effort and work is with the couple.
Nasa Diyos ang pagpapala. Nasa couple ang gawa.
Official Personnel, Website, and Social Media
Please be reminded that the following are our ONLY official links and social media accounts:
Official website: www.mccquezoncity.com (this website)
Official Facebook – church: facebook.com/mccquezoncity
Official Facebook – holy union: facebook.com/mccQuezonCityHolyUnionMinistry
Official Contact Page: www.mccquezoncity.com/contact
PLEASE BE AWARE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS.
Be cautious of those that are attempting to pose as MCCQC’s other official Facebook pages and/or personnel.
Pastor Joseph San Jose is the pastor in-charge for MCCQC.
Jack Nicklaus Quimpo is the Church Administrator and the official contact person of the church.
Ivan Malapit is the contact person of MCCQC for Community Relations.
REMINDER: Mr. Crecensio “Ceejay” Agbayani is no longer connected with MCC Quezon City since October 2012. Any transaction or request with him will not be honored by our Church and its leadership.
MCCQC currently has no ecclesial relationship or organizational connection with any other Church or group that is outside the MCC Denomination and is not officially authorized by MCC Denomination.
Steps to Request a Holy Union
1. Read these steps and guidelines
…carefully and thoroughly. Many of your questions will already be answered by the succeeding steps and information below. Any forwarded questions relating to the steps are going to be reverted back to this portion of our website to read again.
2. Suitability and Approval
Couples seeking Holy Union should be 19 years old and above. If one or both couples are exactly 18 years old, a written parental consent and parental interview shall be required for the person or persons that is 18 years old. WE DO NOT DO UNIONS FOR MINORS.
The Officiating Minister and the Church reserves the right to determine the suitability for Union based on age AND other sound ethical considerations. Ministry leader may offer a relationship blessing instead if the request for Holy Union seems to be premature as determined by the Ministry leader.
Age Gap or Age Difference of 8 to 10 years or More
For couples who have an age gap or difference from 8 to 10 years or more, a Counselling is required by the Pastor before an approval of the Union can be granted.
The couples must undergo the counselling with the Pastor first before making any arrangements with establishments for their Union, like hotels, restaurants, resorts and etc. Parental consent and interview may also be required if other than the 8 to 10 year age gap is also connected with the age eligibility if the one of them are 18, 19 or 20 years old of age.
1 Year Ban
A couple must at least be 1 year in a functional and physical relationship with each other. Long distance relationships may be considered on a case to case basis. Relationships less than 1 year may also be considered on a case to case basis.
If you had previous Legal Marriage or previous Holy Union – If you had a previous legal marriage and it is in the process of divorce (from another country) or if it is in the process of annulment locally, please provide us proof of the process or certification to that effect.
If it was a previous Holy Union from other LGBT Affirming Churches, please request a dissolution certificate or lifting of vows certificate from that Church where you had your previous Union ceremony. If there is any previous holy unions or previous legal marriages and there are grievance disputes with the former partner or spouse we might most likely decline the Holy Union request but we may still offer a simple blessing of relationship instead.
Passing the Suitability Clause, proceed to STEP 3 (below).
3. Fill Out the Online Form (below)
Towards, the last part of this instructions will be an Online form. Fill it up and click submit. It will automatically generate and send an email to our Holy Union email box. On the Online form, do not forget to indicate your email address as this will be the primary means for us to advice you and answer your questions throughout the entire process or transaction.
ALL UNION REQUESTS are received through our Online form and email.
Once you have submitted the Online Form, please wait for 24 to 48 hours to get a response back from us through the email address you have provided.
NO EMAIL ADDRESS, NO TRANSACTION.
We do NOT answer nor receive questions and requests through our phone.
We do not hold office in the Chapel. The Chapel is closed from Monday to Saturday. And as mentioned all Union Requests are received through email only.
PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS BEFORE FILLING OUT THE ONLINE FORM. THANK YOU. Questions relating to information already indicated here will not be answered and will be reverted back to this part of our website.
Fill out the contact form at least 10 to 20 Business days prior to your desired date of Holy Union. However, the date will still be subject to availability considering all other factors. If the desired date of Union is crucial, we advise that you fill out the contact form at least 30 calendar days (or more)— or even month(s)— prior.
NOTE: We do NOT do any immediate Union Ceremonies. We highly advice that you take enough time to prepare and to coordinate with us your Union request. We do NOT do a “madalian/paspasan/Las Vegas-type” Union.
4. You Will Receive an Email Confirmation from MCCQC
You will receive an email from our official Union email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Email will say if the date you requested is available or not. If it is not available, we will negotiate or make arrangements with you for an agreeable date (see Date details below).
The email will contain an attached Registration Form. Upon receiving it, please download, print and fill up the registration form. Once filled-up. Send us a scanned copy for our private internal records and scheduling. The hardcopy of the Registration Form must be submitted to the Pastor or Ministry leader on the day of your counselling together with the other documentary requirements.
NOTE: Once you have started an email thread with us, all succeeding questions and correspondences should be sent by replying through the existing email threat you have with us. DO NOT SEND a new email to us outside of the email thread as this will cause administrative confusion. We need to track your request and all emails relating to it under one email-thread.
6. Deposit/down payment
Once date of Union has been agreed upon, make a deposit of at least 50% of the fee (see fee & bank details below) to reserve and guarantee your date. The remaining balance must be deposited again in our bank account 7 to 10 business days before the day of the Union.
Send us back a scanned copy of the Deposit slips as proof of payment.
We do not receive any payment by hand or by money transfer using the name of our personnel. All fees are to be received in our bank account for proper security and recording.
NOTE: Once you have started an email trend with us, all succeeding questions and correspondences should be sent by replying through the existing email trend you have with us. DO NOT SEND a new email to us outside of the email trend as this will cause administrative confusion. We need to track your request and all emails relating to it under one email-thread.
7. Considerations in choosing your date of union
Please note that the Pastor or Officiating Ministers are only available for Holy Union on dates that fall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is available only if Union is done in our chapel:
Announcement: The Pastor will be away from June 3rd to July 17, 2017 as he will be travelling to London, UK for a 7 week Programme.
For Unions for June and first 2 weeks of July, ALL UNION Requests can be officiated ONLY in our Chapel, in Cubao, Quezon City after our Mass/Worship Service on Sundays.
June and July Unions will only be available for Sundays and venue is in our Chapel. Counselling and Union will be conducted and officiated by our Authorized Ministry Leader. Even if it is a Sunday, availability of Ministry Leader will also be considered.
After July 17, 2017
- Tuesday – Thursday – Holy Union request dates that fall on any of thess dates can only be officiated in Dasmariñas, Cavite, within the Seminary grounds where the Pastor resides on those days. Preferably 5:00PM onwards.
- Friday and Saturday – Preferably within Metro Manila and nearby provinces (Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna)
- Farther provinces are also welcome on dates that fall on this days however the Union must be coordinated or requested within 30 Calendar days, or way ahead of time.
- Sunday – If venue is in the Chapel and time of Union is 4:30PM.
- We do not do Holy Union on Mondays as this is the rest day for pastors and Church staff
Christian Holy Days
On major Christian Holidays we DO NOT officiate Unions:
- Holy Week
- Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday
- Pride Sunday: The Sunday nearest June 28
- Sunday Nearest October 6th as MCC Sunday
- December 23, 24, 25, 25, and December 29, 30, 31 and January 1, 2 & 3
- October 31, Novermber 1 (All Souls) and November 2 (All Saints Day)
- September 10 to 20 as this is the Anniversary week of MCC in the Philippines
Please be guided in choosing your date and day of your Holy Union. And as mentioned above, dates are also in consideration to the availability of the Officiating Minister/s as they have other responsibilities and personal schedules other than officiating Holy Union ceremonies.
Time of Union is ideally any time after lunch. The Pastor or Ministry Leader cannot officiate Unions earlier than 12:00 noon. If there is such a request for an early time of Union, we will check with the Pastor or Minister and see if they are able but we cannot guarantee.
REMINDER: Please make sure that an agreed date, day and time has been secured and approved before making any arrangements with suppliers and establishments.
8. Union counselling
Once the Holy Union date has been guaranteed, secure a schedule for the Counseling Session with the Pastor. The Counselling session happens only on Sundays after the Worship Service. Attend the counselling session, and please bring the hard copy of documentary requirements during said counseling. Attend at least one (1) Sunday Worship Service to enable familiarization with the Church and its ministry.
THE COUNSELLING SESSION CANNOT BE WAIVED. It is important that the couple dedicate a time to speak with the Officiating Pastor or Ministry leader in person. As much as possible we do not do the counselling on the same date of the Holy Union. We do not do Skype Counselling or any online counselling. Please set a time and availability to meet your Minister.
Ask all your questions and concerns to the Pastor including questions about the ceremony.
9. Final reminders
You will receive a final email from the office of the Church secretariat with the list of reminders regarding the Union. We will also ask you to provide us the names of your witnesses who will sign on your Union Certificate.
The Pastor or Officiating Minister will require a Music Stand or a small Podium to place the ceremony book or folder and from where to speak. A wireless microphone is also preferred. The music stand/podium is required should the Holy Union happen somewhere else other than our Chapel facility.
10. See you on the Holy Union Date.
- Photocopy of Birth Certificate
- MCCQC Holy Union Registration Form
- Valid Government issued ID with clear photo (Passport, SSS ID, NBI, TIN ID, Voter’s ID)
- The Church may require other legal documents or notarized affidavits for Holy Union requests that has special circumstances or situations similar but not limited to past legal separations, past annulments and/or divorce (even if the previous marriage or union was from another country) of one or both persons. Dissolution certificate of previous Union ceremonies from other affirming Churches.
Fees (covers the Holy Union Certificate, Counseling, and Liturgical Mass)
Holy Union Fee – PHP 6,000.00
Added Fee: If the location or circumstances of the Union would take more than a day and would consume so much time of the Pastor and assistant, MCCQC may demand to increase the amount of the fee to compensate for the day’s wage (500 x # of days for pastor, 400 x # of days for assistant) that will be consumed by the Holy Union.
(Example scenario: Venue of Holy Union is in Daet, Camarines Norte. Travel time is 8 hours by bus as there is no air travel going to and from Daet. Total days consumed was 3 days. An additional 2 days’ worth of wage would be added on top of the PHP 6000.00)
A STIPEND or Love-Gift for the Pastor is optional. The Stipend is usually what we can construe as a ‘TIP’ for the officiating minister.
NOTE: Fees does not include cost of flowers and other logistical requirements of ceremony. MCC Quezon City does not provide wedding coordination services.
The Funds collected from the Holy Union Ceremonies one of the major resources that fund the ministry and operation of the Church community of MCC Quezon City.
Transportation Cost of Pastor/Ministry Leader and Assistant
- Even if the Holy Union is to be held in MCC Chapel, a PhP500.00 transportation fee is required as the Officiating Minister and Assistant will be coming from their respective places. This is our standard Transportation if Union is in the Chapel or anywhere within the Central area of Metro Manila. Far places like Fairview or distant parts of Quezon City and Caloocan may be a little higher.
- If Ceremony is held somewhere else, the Secretariat will inform you the amount of the transportation fee based on our Travel Matrix and Policy which we have determined and have assessed based on our historical experience of doing Holy Unions in several areas in and around NCR and other provinces.
- Accommodations may be requested from the couple depending on the location, travel time and circumstances of the Holy Union.
- For Very far and long travels that require air travel or bus travel for 4 hours and more. (Ilocos, Bicol, Boracay, Mindanao, etc). The Pastor or Ministry Leader will always have an Assistant to go with him for safety purposes. This is non-negotiable.
- For long and far travels also, upon determination and discretion of the Church leadership, a travel bond may be requested from the couple. This travel bond is also to be deposited to the Church Bank Account. Once the Pastor and Assistant has returned safely home without any additional adverse expenses to them, the travel bond will be returned to the couple within 10 to 15 Business days. Provide us a bank account where to transfer back the funds. The Travel bond is included in our Travel Matrix and Policy.
- Other more complex issues on travel, the Travel Matrix and Policy may be enforced and a copy be provided to the couple or the coordinator acting on their behalf.
You may send your Reservation Fees to:
China Bank Account
Account Name: Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City Inc
Account No.: 240-000943-4
NOTE: We do not receive any payment by hand or by money transfer using the name of our personnel. All fees are to be received in our bank account for proper security and recording.
The transportation cost however, is to be given to the Pastor or the Admin Assistant either on the counseling session or on the Day of the Union itself together with the stipend, should the couple decide to provide an additional stipend for the Pastor/Minister.
We will issue a Holy Union Certificate, certifying your Holy Union under the Metropolitan Community Church.
Cancellation Request, Rescheduling and Refund
- The couple may request to reschedule or cancel their Holy Union at least 3 business days prior to the Union date.
- Rescheduling request is subject to the availability of the new date being requested as stated above the section “Considerations in choosing your date of Union”
- For cancellation of the Union, please send us a notice at least 3 business days before the Holy Union date.
- Refund regarding cancellation:
- If the couple request to cancel the Union 10 Business days prior to the Holy Union date and has made full payment already, only 50% of the fee will be refunded. If the couple cancels the Union after the counselling session and has already made a 50% deposit, they will be able to refund only 50% of their reservation fee.
- The Refund is not limited to the scenarios mentioned above. Refund requests are subject to the discretion of the administrative leadership of the Church. Refund shall be treated on a case to case basis.
- If a refund is granted and approved, expect it to be refunded back in the next 10 to 15 business days. Provide us with your bank account or remittance details for the refund.
- A refund request and if approved will constitute a PHP 200 refund process charge, deducted from the amount to be refunded. If the request of refund will be via money transfer, any money transfer charge will also be deducted from the refund amount.
These policies and guidelines may change without prior notice.
Important Reminder on Conduct:
MCC Quezon City as a Church and through its duly authorized representatives and ministry leaders reserves the right to decline and cancel any pending request for Union and/or reserved Union for any offensive attitude, rudeness, unacceptable behavior and language of the couple and/or anyone acting on their behalf, towards MCCQC as an institution and towards any of its officers, members, ministry leaders and Pastors. If the couple or anyone acting on their behalf also proves to be making things difficult, MCCQC may also decide to decline the Union request. We also reserve the right to decline or cancel a Union for any harmful risks that may also arise in the process of the Union.
Releasing of Vows – Dissolution request
We do not do a dissolution. What the Church does is an amicable “releasing or lifting of vows”. This is mutual agreement of the couple to release each other from the vows they have made in their Holy Union Ceremony.
The request shall constitute 1 counselling session and the ceremony of releasing of vows. It may be done on the same day. This will require that both couples be present for the lifting of vows.
There is a fee of PHP 3,000.00 for this request.
A lifting of vows request, and its associated fees, is non-refundable.
Counselling and Releasing of Vows ceremony is conducted only in our Chapel and only on Sundays after the Worship or Mass service should there be no other schedule for that Sunday.
A certificate of the lifting of vows shall be provided.
If one of the partners is already deceased, then there is no need for lifting of vows as it automatically frees the living partner from the vows made. If one of the partners is outside of the country, then some documentation to the effect of dissolution may be requested from the other partner.
If the other partner is nowhere to be found or is unwilling to cooperate, then the dissolution may be taken on a case to case basis whether the Pastor shall grant such a lifting of vows or not.
For MCC Quezon City’s location info, phone numbers, and email – click here.
Holy Union FAQs
- Is the Union legal?
Answer: No it is not legally recognized. There is no legal effect. It is purely a religious ceremony
- Is the Holy Union Illegal?
Answer: No. It is not illegal. The Union Ceremony is a religious ceremony protected by the Constitution in its provision on Religious Freedom.
- Why do you call it Holy Union and not Marriage?
Answer: The term “Marriage” is a legal term that means it has legal recognition and protection by the Republic of the Philippines. We do not call our ceremony as marriage because as of present date, there are no marriage equality laws yet in the Philippines recognizing and protecting the union of two people of the same gender or situations where one of the partners identify as a transgendered person.
- What does the Holy Union Fee include:
Answer: The Union fee only includes the certificate to be issued and given after the wedding ceremony. It also covers Administrative costs. It DOES NOT INCLUDE any flowers, designs or any logistical costs. It DOES NOT INCLUDE the transportation of the officiating minister and admin assistant.
- Do we need to pay for the transportation of the Minister and Admin Assistant?
Answer: Yes, the couple has the responsibility to shoulder the cost of the transportation of the officiating Minister and Admin Assistant. Please see the Transportation Matrix.
- Do we give any donation or Stipend or love-gift to the officiating minister
Answer: It is optional. We encourage a stipend (tip) but it is ultimately up to the couple.
- If we are a straight couple (man and woman) can we request for a holy union?
Answer: Yes, you can. However, it will still be a purely a religious ceremony with NO legal recognition and effect.
- Will other countries recognize our Holy Union in MCC?
Answer: MCC has a global presence and is well known in certain countries like Canada and in the US; however each country has its own laws regarding marriage and immigration. We suggest you consult with the Embassy or Immigration Office of the country you are migrating to, in relation to the acceptability and immigration effects of the Holy Union Ceremony you have done in MCC Quezon City.
- How will the ceremony happen? Can we get a copy?
Answer: The Ceremony details will be discussed by the officiating minister during the counseling session. You may request a copy of the ceremony from the officiating minister.
For MCC Quezon City’s location info, phone numbers, and email – click here.
Request for a Holy Union
After answering the form, please expect an email from us within 24 to 48 hours. If you answered the form on a weekend or a holiday, expect to receive an email from us on the next business day.
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