The use of meetings for clearness in preparation for marriage
The proposal to hold a meeting for clearness may be initiated either:
a. by the couple themselves if they are not yet sure whether it is right for them to marry or to ask for a Quaker ceremony. They may want to consider the implications more deeply with a group of Friends prior to formal application. This may or may not involve the registering officer;
b. by the registering officer in the course of initial discussions about marriage procedures. He or she would explain to the couple how such a meeting is called and that it should be viewed as a helpful part of the preparation for marriage rather than an examination as to their fitness for it. The aim of such a meeting is to allow the couple to explore what their commitment will mean to them as they plan their future life together;
c. by the area meeting, particularly where there are special circumstances that need careful consideration, or if one or both of those asking for a Quaker marriage are not well known to the meeting (see 16.16).
Whether or not a meeting for clearness is held, all the procedures and requirements outlined in this chapter will have to be carefully considered and complied with.