Apply for a Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony (Holy Union)

Apply for a Holy Union During the “New Normal” (GCQ / MGCQ) – Outside Chapel

Lesbian or gay wedding in Metro Manila

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, Ministry leader or Deacon or UFMCC Elders of an affiliated MCC Church. 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 the Family Code of the Philippines prevents the legal marriage of same sex couples (2018) in the Philippines. There is also no such legislation or jurisprudence 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 Open Table MCC 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 under existing laws.

However, the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its dismissal decision of the petition filed by Atty. Jesus Falcis, said the following:

“From its plain text, the Constitution does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression,”

The petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court on the grounds of technicality but the above pronouncement is a clear indication that in essence and constitutional principle, the Supreme Court agrees that there is constitutional basis for the legal marriage of same sex / same gender couples.

Open Table (MCC) Church – as with all MCC churches around the world – believes, affirms, and celebrates same sex unions as Matrimonial like any other marriages of heterosexual couples, only that as of now, the family code of the Philippines prevents same sex couples from being recognized and protected by the law. We pray, work and hope for the day that same sex unions are recognized as legal marriages our Philippine legal system.

The struggle for LGBTQI+ inclusion in state laws continues whether it be Marriage Equality or the SOGIE Equality (Anti-Discrimination) Bill.

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. In the Filipino saying which we paraphrase “Nasa Diyos ang awa at pagpapala, nasa mag-asawa ang pag-gawa.

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)

It is NOT a means to exploit others financially or in any other way
It’s a reality that some people, especially from third-world-global-south countries like the Philippines get into romantic relationships with economically able persons from first-world-global-north countries for financial and immigration purposes. Sometimes, a person from the global south country which would be much younger in age does this to exploit and abuse the feelings of the person from the first-world country. Other times, persons from global north countries having such economic power would exploit and abuse the economic vulnerability of the person from the 3rd world country. Or even within the same country of the same nationality, such exploitative relationships happen and exist.

Holy Union Ceremonies ARE NOT CONDUCTED for such exploitative and transactional purposes even if they have a semblance of a relationship.

Open Table MCC does not condone, encourage or support any form of exploitation based on a false pretense of a romantic relationship even if there seems to have a semblance of consent. The smallest hint of such a motive for one of the couples or both shall be enough reason for Open Table MCC to deny the request for Union and it is within the right and duty of Open Table MCC to do so.

The right to have a union does not give license or leeway for exploitation and abuse and certainly, Open Table MCC will not allow itself and the ceremony it does to participate in such situations and circumstances.

Official Personnel, Website, and Social Media

Be cautious of those that are attempting to pose as Open Table MCC’s other official Facebook pages and/or personnel.

Official Website: holyunion.opentablemcc.ph or opentablemcc.ph
Official Facebook – Church: facebook.com/opentablemccph
Official Facebook – Holy Union: facebook.com/OpenTableMCCHolyUnionMinistry
Official Contact Page: www.opentablemcc.ph/contact

Open Table MCC carries its historical prior identity of Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City (MCCQC). Anyone claiming to be MCC Quezon City or MCCQC not associated with Open Table MCC is a fraudulent claim.

All Holy Union requests are submitted through this website and are transacted through our official email also listed in this website. We do not transact over the phone or Facebook Messenger.

PLEASE BE AWARE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS.

Be cautious of those that are attempting to pose as Open Table MCC’s other official Facebook pages and/or personnel.

Rev. Joseph San Jose is the Pastor in-charge for Open Table MCC.
Bro. Michael Mia is the alternate Officiating Lay Minister for Holy Unions and also Interim Board Member.
Christopher Celeste is the Church Administrator and responsible for the Church Website.
Jack Nicklaus Quimpo is the Finance Officer / Treasurer.
Sean Malang is the Church Secretary.

Open Table MCC 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

Age
Couples seeking Holy Union should be 25 years old and above. After years of conducting Holy Unions, a minimum age requirement for readiness (while not absolutely certain) has been determined at this age of 25 years old. Ages 21 to 24 may still be considered depending on the circumstances of the couple.

WE DO NOT DO UNIONS FOR MINORS. Based on the determination of the Pastor or Ministry Leader, ages 19 years to 21 years old are also subject to approval through counselling.

The Officiating Minister and the Church reserves the right to determine the suitability for Union based on age AND other sound ethical considerations. Pastor or Ministry leader may offer a relationship blessing instead if the request for Holy Union seems to be premature as determined.

1 Year Relationship
A couple must 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.

Long Distance Relationships (LDR)
For LDRs, the couple must have been in a physical relationship of at least 1 year prior to their LDR and have been together in total of at least 2 years (1 year relationship together and 1 year LDR).

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 MCC Churches or another Affirming Church, please request a dissolution certificate or lifting of vows certificate or certificate of abandonment of vows 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 if documentation is not provided but we may still offer a simple blessing of relationship instead.

Open Table MCC – MCC Metro Baguio – We are sister Churches and we will know if you had Unions with the other MCC’s. We are also connected with our Emergin Minsistry, MCC Marikina. We are also friends with 2 other affirming Churches and will also have access with them if you already had a Union with them.

We do not honor any Union done by Crecensio “Ceejay” Agbayani from October 2012 onwards as his ordination credentials have been revoked in UFMCC by the council of elders & the office of the Moderator. Nor do we honor any Union officiated by and under his self-made and self-established organization. We do not have any personal or organization relationship with him and his group since October 2012, when he was removed from MCC with finality.

Age Gap or Age Difference of 8 to 10 years or More

  • The younger couple must not be less than 28 years old and the older couple must not be more than 59 years old.
  • Has been together and in a functional relationship for at least 3 years. Long Distance relationship is not admissible for this situation.
  • 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.
  • Couples where one of the partners are below 28 years old and the age gap is more than 8 to 10 years will most likely be offered a blessing of relationship and will not be approved for Holy Union Ceremony.

The Pastor has the right to reject the Union request for any suspicious motive or circumstance of one or both parties.

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.

Passing the Suitability Clause, proceed to STEP 3 (below).

3. Choosing a Date

Please be advised again that wedding for other venues and areas in Metro Manila shall be available starting May 2021 and some other areas, October 2021 (see below, #5).

January 04, 2022 and Onwards – Weddings in other islands or provinces like Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Davao, Zamboanga, Ilocos Norte, Legazpi (Bicol) and Batanes.

We do not do weddings on days that fall on a Monday and Tuesday as these are the rest days for our Pastor.

We also do not do weddings on Christian Holy Days and Specific Holidays:

  • Holy Week (please check the dates of holy week)
  • May 1 – Labor Day
  • June 12 – Independence Day
  • Last Saturday of June (Pride Celebration)
  • September 11 – September 22 (Anniversary period of the Church)
  • First Sunday of October
  • October 30 – November 3
  • December 22 – December 27, December 30 – January 3 (Christmas break)

During Rainy Season:

We still accept reservations for dates during the rainy and monsoon season but we advise couples to consider the dates you choose between June to early September, and especially August because these months are the ones we have typhoons or heavy monsoon.

Should there be a typhoon or heavy monsoon that threatens the safety and security of our Pastor or Lay Minister, there is always a possibility that the Church or the Pastor or Lay Minister may decide to re-schedule your wedding date.

4. Health Guidelines and Requirements

Counselling Interview: A counselling interview is required for all couples. Some couples may need to undergo an interview before approval of wedding ceremony depending on the stipulations and circumstances discussed above regarding eligibility.

The counselling interview shall be through ZOOM unless the Pastor requires an actual physical interview in our chapel.

This counselling interview will be scheduled.

Venue as per IATF Guidelines:

The couple and their coordinator or any representative working on their behalf shall strictly follow the IATF guidelines for the number of guests or witnesses per venue capacity. The couple or their coordinator must inform the Pastor or the Holy Union committee ahead of time the number of guests that will be attending and other relevant information concerning the venue. This is with the understanding that the venue is a hotel, resort establishment, conference hall or restaurant.

Open Table MCC, our Pastor or any of our officers or any of our official representatives shall not be responsible or liable for any violations committed by the couple, the venue or the couple’s representatives.

If for whatever, reason or situation that the venue is crowded and observably in violation of IATF guidelines upon arrival of the Pastor or Lay Minister in the venue, the Pastor or Lay Minister may decide to not proceed with the ceremony until guidelines are followed. The Pastor or Lay Minister may also decide to cancel the wedding and leave the venue should the couple or venue insist on a crowded event. Should this happen, Open Table MCC, our Pastor, Lay Minister, officers or any of our representatives shall not be liable or accountable if they decide to not proceed or cancel the ceremony.

If the Venue is in a house, condo unit, apartment or any venue that is not a formal establishment:

We shall require that the number of guests shall not be more 6, 8 or 10 people, relative to the capacity of the venue. 10 people is the maximum should the venue be able to accommodate 10 people with safe social distance from one another.

Health Declaration Form and Witnessing Contract:

All the guests shall be asked to provide the Pastor or Lay Minister with a filled-up Health Declaration Form and Witnessing Contract. The couple or their coordinator may have this filled out ahead of time. This forms shall be collected and submitted to the Pastor or lay ministry.

Wedding Agreement

Along with other documentary requirements the couple also will fill-out and submit a Holy Union Agreement with the stipulations all requirements, processes and health protocols.

Health Protocols:

  1. Masks & Shields: The wearing of Masks and Face Shields shall be required for everyone attending the wedding ceremony including the couple and the Pastor or Lay Minister. The Pastor or Lay Minister maybe asked to not use the facemask or shield if the couple will provide and shoulder an official COVID-19 swab test for the Pastor or Lay Minister.
  2. No Physical Contact Policy: The Pastor or Lay Minister shall not have any physical contact with the couple, coordinator or anybody else before, during and after the ceremony.
  3. Social Distancing – Shall be observed by everyone the entire duration of the ceremony. Seat placements of guests must already take this into consideration. The Pastor’s distance from the couple must already be pre-planned.
  4. Couple’s Responsibility and Accountability: The couple shall ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our Pastor, Lay minister or anyone representing Open Table MCC. Should any injury or infection befall our Pastor or Lay minister arising from any negligence or violation of the couple, venue or their coordinator; or if anyone of their guests attends the ceremony in a many that is negligent or in violation of the guidelines, the Church shall may seek civil damages and recompense from the couple on behalf of the injured Pastor, Lay Minister or representative.
  5. Informing Authorities – Should our Pastor or Lay minister become infected of COVID-19 right after the wedding ceremony, we are authorized under the agreements to inform the medical staff and government authorities regarding the ceremony. We are authorized to submit to relevant hospital and government agencies all the Health Declaration forms submitted to Open Table MCC.
  6. Non-liability – Following strictly health protocols and guidelines, Open Table MCC and any of our officers, Pastors or representatives are released from all legal and civil liabilities should anyone attending the ceremony be infected of COVID-19.

5. Location of Venue During Pandemic (GCQ and MGCQ)

Starting May 2021 – We can accommodate weddings whose venues are within Metro Manila except Novaliches, Fairview, Caloocan, Marikina and CAMANAVA.

Other venues:

Rizal: Antipolo, Cainta and Taytay
Cavite: Tagaytay, Alfonso, Silang, Dasmarinas, Bacoor, Carmona and Imus
Laguna: San Pedro, Binan and Sta. Rosa

October 2021

Batangas: Nasugbu, Lian and Lemery, Lipa and Santo Thomas
Additional Location for Laguna: Calamba, Los Banos and San Pablo
Quezon Province: Candelaria and Lucena

Weddings that will require AIR TRAVEL

January 04, 2022 and Onwards – Weddings in other Islands or provinces like Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Davao, Zamboanga, Ilocos Norte, Legazpi (Bicol) and Batanes.

6. Transportation

Car Transport Required

The couple shall be required to provide a car transportation for the Pastor or officiating minister unless the Pastor or officiating minister will advise that they prefer to commute.

The Pastor lives in San Pedro, Laguna bordering Muntinlupa. This will be the pick-up point of the Pastor. Should the officiant be the Lay Minister, his pick-up point is in SM Muntinlupa as he resides in Muntinlupa. The same car transport shall bring the Pastor or Lay Minister to the same pick-up point. Further details shall be exchanged during the email transaction.

Should the Pastor or Lay Minister decide to commute (this is not a guarantee), the couple shall reimburse their transportation back and forth including any toll gate fees.

Travel Pass by Government

The couple is responsible to find out if the city or province of their venue and all other cities going to their city of venue will require a travel pass. If a travel pass is required, the couple shall be responsible in obtaining a travel pass for the Pastor or Lay Minister, together with all associated cost in obtaining such a travel pass including if the pass requires a Covid-19 test.

Venues in Other Islands or Provinces Starting January 2022

For weddings that will be in other islands or provinces starting January 2022, you will be responsible for all related transportation cost for land and air travel going to your venue and going back to the residence of the Pastor. You will also be responsible for all the meals and other necessary expenses of the Pastor and Assistant during the duration of the travel and their entire stay with the couple. We may require 1 night of accommodation for the Pastor and Assistant.

Remote Venue that requires multiple travels and prolonged travel time

If the venue of the wedding for example in Cebu, Bohol or other places may require an extensive travel time and several transportations (example: Bantayan Island, Cebu where from after landing in Cebu City, there is another 3-hour land travel and then 1-hour boat ride), we will determine if we can accept the wedding given the exhausting travel and transport to get to and get out of the venue of the couple. Should we accept the wedding in such a venue, we may require a more spaced out travel plan where the minister will arrive in the city airport and spend the day there to rest and then travel the next day to the venue of the couple. You will be responsible for booking the flights and accommodations of the Pastor/lay-minister and Assistant. We will not accept any money and will not book any flights or hotel for you.

For air-travel, we require that you include in the ticket an air-travel insurance for the Pastor and Assistant on both flights; flight going to the venue and flight going back to Manila.

Assistant is Required and Non-Negotiable

It’s understood that the Pastor or Lay Officiating Minister will have 1 Assistant to join him for security and safety purposes. This is non-negotiable. There is a possibility that the Pastor may decide not to bring an Assistant, but this is the Pastor’s discretion and cannot be requested by the couple.

Meal allowance: We may also require a meal allowance for the Pastor and Assistant as they travel to the venue and another meal allowance as they travel back to Manila.

Higher Fee, Higher Costs

If your wedding is in an Island or far away province and will take 2 days and 1 night, the fee would be PhP 7,400.

Depending on the circumstance of the venue and how to travel to get there, and how many days the entire wedding may consume, the fee maybe appraised higher.

The main principle and idea here is to be aware that if your wedding venue and situation is farther (mas malayo), harder and longer to travel, you may expect to have a higher cost to ensure that the Pastor/Lay Minister and the Assistant are able to travel as safely and as comfortable as possible mitigating the impact of the travel to their health and overall well-being.

Travel Pass: Similarly, for Weddings that require air-travel, the couple shall be responsible for determining and obtaining whether the province or city of the venue will require government travel pass. Couple will also be responsible for all the costs relating to obtaining a travel pass for the Pastor and Assistant.

7. Cost, Reservation, and Payment

The fee of Holy Union was determined and approved by the Church Board of Open Table MCC. The fee has been determined as fair and equitable between the couple and the Church. The fee is received in our official bank account and together with all the other donations, offerings, tithes and pledges – are pooled together and are used for the ministry and operations of Open Table MCC.

In this sense, the couple actually shares and contributes to the ministry of the Church.

Standard Wedding Fee: PhP 6,400
For Weddings in Faraway Islands / Remote Areas: PhP 7,400

Other possible fees and expenses: As previously mentioned, if the venue of your wedding has a complicated and extensive travel situation, we may appraise the wedding fee at a higher amount and we may require other allowances, fees, insurance, returnable bonds, other logistical requirements and transportation remunerations.

You will be given a breakdown of the total cost and financial requirements during the process of securing your reservation. All financial requirements shall be discussed and agreed upon through the email thread that was started through the submission of the application.

Reservation deposit is PhP 3,000. Must be deposited upon the confirmation of the Holy Union Committee that the date you are reserving is available. Upon making the deposit or transfer, please write or indicate your name and date of union in the deposit slip or transaction notes then send us via email the photo of the deposit slip or transfer receipt. If your bank or transfer app charges fees for transfer or deposit, you are responsible for those charges and should not be taken out from the fee you are paying.

The reservation deposit is non-refundable.

We will inform you the date when the final payment of PhP 3,400 (or other amount for other weddings) must be deposited.

The final payment is non-refundable if the couple cancels the wedding 5 days before the ceremony.

If the final payment has been paid and the couple cancels ahead of time. Only half of the final payment maybe refunded to the couple. The refund is not guaranteed. The board officers will decide if a refund can be approved.

All payments for Holy Union shall be deposited to our official Church bank account ahead of time. WE DO NOT RECEIVE Fee payments in person or through any personal name via LBC-Padala, Palawan Express or Cebuana.

Stipend for officiating minister – A stipend is a financial token of appreciation of the couple for the Pastor or Lay Minister for officiating the wedding ceremony. It is not required and should the couple give a stipend, the amount is decided by the couple on how much they will give.

Should the couple decide to give a certain amount as a stipend, the couple should put it in a white envelope and give it to the Pastor or Lay Minister after the ceremony.

If in case the Lay Minister of Pastor decides to commute to the venue of the wedding, the couple will have to put on a separate envelope the transportation reimbursement. The Pastor of Lay Minister will inform the couple or their coordinator the cost of commute once he is on his way to the venue.

Open Table Metropolitan Community Church is registered in the SEC as Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City (MCCQC). In October of 2018, MCCQC decided to rebrand itself as Open Table MCC while retaining its history and historical identity as MCCQC. Hence, the bank account of Open Table MCC remains under the name of MCCQC:

China Bank Account
Account Name: Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City Inc
Account No.: 240-000-9434

8. Documentary Requirements

  • Photocopy of Birth Certificates
  • Photocopy of Valid Government IDs
  • Registration Form (will be provided)
  • Health Declaration form of the Couple (will be provided)
  • Holy Union Agreement of the Couple (will be provided)
  • Health Declaration of guests (will be provided)
  • Agreement of Guests to Witness (will be provided)

We will provide the above forms and agreements. All of the above are required to be submitted to the Pastor on the day of the wedding ceremony. Some of them maybe requested to also be submitted with a soft copy via email.

Other documents:

Should one of both couple have been previous legally married in the Philippines, we require documentary proof of annulment or legal separation. Should one or both of the couples have been legally married in another country, we require documentary proof of Divorce, Legal Separation or Annulment.

Should one or both of the couples have had a non-legally binding Holy Union ceremony in another LGBT-Affirming Church, we require that the couple obtain from the previous church a certificate of dissolution or certificate of lifting of vows.

9. Cancellation and Rescheduling

If National or Local Government Declares Restrictions

The Church may re-schedule at a later time the wedding should the government declare travel and gathering restrictions on the month or date of the wedding.

Couple’s Decision:

For whatever reason, the couple may decide and therefore inform Open Table MCC that they are re-scheduling their wedding

Cancellation by the Couple:

If the couple cancels for whatever reason, the reservation deposit of PhP 3,000 is forfeited.

If the couple cancels 5 days before the wedding ceremony, the final payment of PhP 3,400 shall be forfeited. Should couple cancel ahead of time, only 50% of the final payment maybe considered for refund approval. A refund is not guaranteed.

Should a refund be approved, any bank or transfer fees shall be taken from the refundable amount. We can only transfer via bank transfer or GCash.

Acts of Nature:

Couples should also consider the venue and date of their wedding, especially during the months of June to early September as these are the Typhoon and Monsoon months in the Philippines. Should any typhoon or monsoon threated the security and safety of our Pastor or Lay Minister, we may decide to re-schedule your wedding ceremony at a later date.

Rude and Disrespectful Behavior:

Should the couple or anyone representing them proved to be rude, disrespectful or are being difficult to work with, Open Table Church reserves the right to reject an application or cancel an existing reservation with no liability on the part of the Church or any of its officers and leaders.

10. Submitting an Application

Towards the end of this web-page is the online application form. It is connected with our official email address. Please fill out with the complete information including each of your complete legal names.

Email instructions

GMAIL ONLY: Please use only Gmail – email. If you do not have a Gmail, please create one. Other email platforms like yahoo causes error in our system or sometimes goes to our spam mail, thereby causing serious delay or error. We only transact and have a conversation through the application you sent us and the email thread we have started with each other.

Other details: If you have other questions, special information or things you want to inform us for consideration, please indicate on the box ‘other details’.

RESPONSE TIME: When you submit your application, it takes 24 to 48 hours during weekdays for us to reply to your initial application. If you submit your application or send your questions/clarifications on a Friday Afternoon and the weekend, or on a holiday, you may expect to receive a response from us the next available working day.

We also do not respond to applications and emails during our Christmas break of December 22 – January 3.

The people managing our Holy Union process are all volunteers. We ask for your patience, kindness and understanding. Should the response take too long, you may send follow-up email or message us in our official Facebook page.

Be mindful also of the time difference if in case you are currently located outside the Philippines. We work and respond under Philippine Standard Time.

REPLY ONLY: Once you have an email thread with us. Please send all your future questions, clarifications and concerns by replying only through the email thread you have with us. DO NOT SEND A NEW APPLICATION and DO NOT SEND A NEW AND DIFFERENT EMAIL. We need all emails connected under one email thread.

11. Receiving the initial Confirmation and Official Transaction

After sending your online application, you will receive a confirmation email from us whether your date and venue of wedding is available.

If it is available, you will be instructed to already make your reservation deposit. The registration form and other forms or agreements will also be attached on that email together with other instructions.

If your date is not available, our Union Committee will work with you to find the best possible and available date for your desired wedding.

The initial response may also include some questions and clarifications on our part.

Please be advised that all agreements, negotiations and instructions are ONLY coursed through our official email and under the email thread you have with us. We do not transact in Facebook or other social media platforms even if they are our official accounts. We also do not transact in person or through the personal social media accounts of any person. We will not honor anything outside of the official application and email you sent through this website.

12.  Couples Who Cannot Afford The Holy Union Fee

If the couple cannot afford the Holy Union fee, please reach out to us by sending an application and information us of your financial and life situation. We will not deprive a couple of the sacramental rite of Holy Union if the only reason is lack of funds. We will work with you on the best possible way we can bless your relationship and officiate your wedding ceremony. Please submit an application in the other web page for weddings in our Chapel.

The above policies, process and protocols may change without prior notice.


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 Philippine 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.
  • Why do you charge a cost or fee for Holy Union?
    Answer: Back in 2013 there has a been a debate within the Church leadership on the need to charge a cost for the Union.
    The decision is to the charge a cost of Union because of several reasons:
    1. The charge appropriately provides a certain degree of financial maturity for the couple. Also in a subtle way, it forces the couple to think about their readiness for a long time or life long relationship that entails the reality of shared finances. The cost of Union helps to a certain degree a sense of planning and thinking in terms of the realities of a relationship.
    2. Many couples who wish to have a Union ceremony are willing to spend a lot of money for the venue, the food, the sound system, the photography, the clothes and many others. It is but fitting that the primary instrument and institution by which the Union will transpire is also given due respect and importance through a financial contribution to its ministry and operations.
  • Why 6,400? Who determined the cost and why?
    Answer: The PhP 6,400 Union Charge was determined by the Local Church Administrative Board (LCAB) of Open Table MCC. This amount was deemed practical and reasonable given the operational and ministry needs of the Church as well as the reasons provided above of the couple’s contribution to the Church and an amount that actually sets financial priorities and readiness for the Couple. The Funds collected from the Union Ceremony are primarily used for the ministry and operations of the Church, namely: liturgical supplies, electricity and water bills, Pastoral and staff support, HIV/AIDS ministry, communication costs, retreats and other Church activities.
  • What if we cannot afford the PhP 6,400 Cost of Union?
    Answer: Talk to us and be as honest and as open as possible. We are willing to make arrangements with the couple as how we can best provide the Holy Union ceremony and not having the financial difficulty be a hindrance to a sincere request for a Union Ceremony.
  • What does the Holy Union Cost 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 Open Table MCC. The Union Certificate, depending on the embassy or immigration office of a particular country, MAY consider the certificate as proof of togetherness.
  • 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.

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.


    Last Updated: 22 October 2020