Secular Society

Marriage Officer Requirements

Marriage Officer Requirements

Thank you for your interest!

An officiant (or celebrant) performs secular humanist ceremonies for weddings, funerals, child naming, coming of age, and other rituals. Of these, a wedding is the only service for which the officiant must be registered; without registration, the marriage is not legal under South African law.

SASS is registered by the Department of Home Affairs to designate members as Marriage Officers under the Civil Union Act, thus providing a secular avenue for non-religious South Africans to marry.

To become a SASS Marriage Officer, you must have been a paying member of SASS for at least six months, during which you have participated in SASS activities and shown commitment to the Society.

The MO process will include an interview, supplying three character references, and passing a 2-hour DHA examination (minimum pass mark of 75%). SASS supplies the study material.
The application process to become an officiant for the South African Secular Society (SASS) is detailed below.
Before applying, ensure you have the following information:
  1. Your personal details: name, ID number, email, phone numbers, home address.
  2. A scan of your barcoded Identity Document or ID card.
  3. An electronic photo of yourself (JPG format or similar).
  4. Your reasons for wanting to be a SASS Marriage Officer.
  5. Details of your experience in public speaking (or how you are developing it, e.g. Toastmasters).
  6. The DHA office at which you want to write your exam (use the Office Locator (orange button) on, contact them and ensure they offer the Marriage Officer exam).
  7. A prepared sample marriage ceremony of 400-1000 words /2-5 minutes to present. (For word count and clarity, try the Hemingway app)
  8. A plan to keep the marriage registers safe. A photo of your safe, lockable filing cabinet, desk, or secure cupboard (JPG or similar format) with the key in the lock will suffice.

Complete and submit the questionnaire below – we will email you a copy:  please whitelist email addresses and  double-check your email address!

Please note: According to the Civil Union Act (2006), “14(2) Any marriage officer who demands or receives any fee, gift or reward for or by reason of anything done by him or her as marriage officer in terms of this Act, shall be guilty of an offense and liable on conviction to a fine or, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.”