If you want to become a minister, choosing to get ordained online through the Universal Life Church has many benefits. You can become a legally ordained minister for free and without having to deal with the lengthy hassle of attending a seminary. Bypassing seminary also means that you don’t have to subscribe to any particular religious dogma or tradition; the Universal Life Church is open to anyone regardless of belief or practice.
However, you will need to prepare yourself for your new ministerial services by stocking up on material supplies. Luckily, all of these supplies can be obtained easily. The trick isn’t so much in being able to purchase the necessary items, but in knowing what you’ll need in order to set up a functioning ministry. Here’s a handy guide to the essential supplies for anyone who has just become a minister.
- Legal Documents and Certificates
As a legally ordained minister, you have the power to perform various ritual and ceremonies. Some of these are spiritual rituals that can be very important for individuals and families but do not have legal ramifications. This category includes baptisms, house blessings, commitment ceremonies, funerals and renewals of wedding vows. While they are not legally binding ceremonies, many participants will also appreciate receiving a document to commemorate this occasion. Beautiful certificates can be ordered online from a ministerial supply company to present to your clients.
You will also be able to perform legally binding ceremonies, such as weddings. In order to do so, you need a proof of ordination document or Ordination Credential. The exact requirements for ordination credentials vary from state to state. However, as long as your proof of ordination includes an original signature from the ordaining authority and the embossed seal of that authority, it should meet the local requirements. Contact your local county clerk to get specifics of what they will require of you. It is best to have both an ordination credential and a wallet credential that you can easily carry with you.
You will also want to have Certificates of Marriage for you couples. Check with your state and local authorities for the specific requirements for wedding certificates in your area.
- Ritual Tools
Your specific spiritual tradition may require certain sacred tools to be used. If you already have such guidelines, follow them. However, if you wanted to get ordained in order to minister to people from multiple spiritual traditions or if you are creating your own tradition, consider the following recommendations.
Candles and incense are used in many different religions to create sacred space. They are useful for almost any ceremony or ritual. For blessings, you may want to have a supply of holy water or oil. For other ceremonies and communion you might want a communion kit that includes every item you need in one bundle.
One aspect of being a minister is looking the part. You will want to consider creating a clerical wardrobe for yourself. Pieces such as a set of robes, a clerical collar and a stole can be essential.
You may also want to start a library of religious and spiritual texts. These can be used for your own education, such as the Wedding handbooks or ministers’ service manuals, and to lend to members of your community. Prayer cards can also be a useful item to share with people.