Holy Union

Holy union in the Philippines. Same-sex marriage n the Philippines.

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 yet in the Philippines recognizing the Union of people of the same sex and/or biological gender.

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 lasts. 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.

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

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.

Pastor Joseph San Jose is the pastor in-charge for MCCQC.
Jack Nicklaus Quimpo is the contact person of MCCQC for its Holy Union services.
Ivan Malapit is the contact person of MCCQC for Community Relations.

We have a volunteer student, Jonas, who coordinates and handles our Holy Union email.

PLEASE BE AWARE of SCAM PAGES attempting to pose as MCCQC’s other official pages and/or personnel.

Steps to Request a Holy Union

1. Read these steps and guidelines

…carefully and thoroughly. Everything you need to know and need to do is already here.

2. Age and suitability

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 officiate 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/s may offer a relationship blessing instead if the request for Holy Union seems to be premature as determined by the Ministry leader/s or Pastor.

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.

3. All transactions are sent through the contact form (below)

…including the Registration Form. Please see the email steps at step #5.

We do NOT answer nor receive questions and requests through 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.

4. When to send a Holy Union Request

Please fill out the contact form below to send your Holy Union request, at least 10 to 20 Business days prior to your chosen date and still subject to availability considering all other factors. Most advisable is at least 30 calendar days 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” Union.

5. Fill out the contact form (below)

Fill out the contact form below. There will be an Auto Response directing you to this website. Disregard that if you have already read this policies and wait for a response within 24 to 48 hours. If you are answering the contact form on a Friday, a weekend, or a holiday, expect the next response to be the next business day.

 

6. Deposit/down payment

Upon receiving a response with the confirmation that your chosen date is available and also receiving a copy of the registration form, make a deposit of at least 50% of the fee (see fee details below) to reserve and guarantee your date.

Send us back a scanned copy of the Deposit slip as proof of payment. Also send us a scanned copy of the filled up registration form for our record purposes.

The hard copy of the registration form along with other documents will be submitted to the Pastor during your counselling session.

NOTE: Once you have started an email thread with us, all succeeding questions and correspondences should be sent by replying through the existing email thread you have with us. DO NOT SEND a new email to us outside of the email thread as this will cause administrative confusion.

7. Considerations in choosing your date of union

Please note that the 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:

  • Thursday and Friday – Any venue
  • Saturday – Within Metro Manila and nearby provinces (Batangas, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna)
  • Sunday – If venue is in the Chapel and time of Union is 4:30PM.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday may be considered if the couple is willing to go to Dasmarinas, Cavite where the Pastor resides and are willing to have a simple Union ceremony.
  • We do not do Holy Union on Mondays as this is the rest day for pastors.

On major Christian Holidays we DO NOT officiate Unions:

  • Holy Week – starts from the weekend of Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday
  • Christmas / New Year season – December 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, & 31; January 1, 2, & 3.
  • All Souls / All Saints Day – October 31, November 1, 2, & 3.
  • MCCQC Anniversary Week – September 10 to 20

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.

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 in person. As much as possible we do not do the counselling on the same date of the Holy Union.

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.

10. See you on the Holy Union Date.

Documentary Requirements

  1. Photocopy of Birth Certificate
  2. MCCQC Holy Union Registration Form
  3. Valid Government issued ID with clear photo (Passport, SSS ID, NBI, TIN ID, Voter’s ID)
  4. 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.

NOTE: Fees does not include cost of flowers and other logistical requirements of ceremony. MCC Quezon City does not provide wedding coordination services.

Transportation Cost of Pastor/Ministry Leader and Assistant

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Accommodations may be requested from the couple depending on the location, travel time and circumstances of the Holy Union.
  4. 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.

Banking Details

You may send your Reservation Fees to:

China Bank Account
Account Name:
Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City Inc
Account No.: 240-000943-4

NOTE: After date has been secured, 50% of the fee may be deposited in the bank. The other 50% is to be deposited to the same bank account, not later than 5 to 7 business days before the Union Date. All Fees shall be received through the bank account. We do not receive any payment in person. Your deposit slip serves as your receipt and proof of payment.

The transportation cost however, is to be transacted with the Admin Assistant either on the counseling session or on the Day of the Union itself.

We will issue a Holy Union Certificate, certifying your Holy Union under the Metropolitan Community Church.

Cancellation Request, Rescheduling and Refund

  1. The couple may request to reschedule or cancel their Holy Union at least 3 business days prior to the Union date.
  2. 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”
  3. For cancellation of the Union, please send us a notice at least 3 business days before the Holy Union date.
  4. 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 a cancellation and refund is requested after the counselling, only 50% of whatever has been paid will be refunded.
    • If a 50% deposit has been made and refund has been requested prior to counselling an admin cost of PhP 1000.00 shall be charged and the remaining balance shall be the amount refunded to the couple
    • The refund is not limited to the scenario mentioned. Refund requests are subject to the discretion of the Church administrator. Refund shall be treated on a case to case basis.
    • If a refund is granted and approved, expect it to be refunded by the first week of the following Month as we do our Banking Transactions every first week of the month. Provide us with your Banking details or Money transfer details for the refund.

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.

Lifting of Vows – Dissolution request

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 lifting 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.

Schedule policies as mentioned above shall be followed.

A certificate of the lifting of vows shall be provided.

If one of the partners is already deceased, then there is no need for dissolution 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
  • Aside from the Holy Union Fee and transportation cost, are there any other fees involved?
    Answer: NO other fees are involved.
  • Do we give any donation or Stipend or love-gift to the officiating minister Answer: It is the couple’s decision and goodwill to give or not to give a stipend (love gift) to the officiating minister and admin assistant.
  • 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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