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Site ministers to those seeking ordination

Want to get married? There are at least 150 students ordained on campus through the Universal Life Church Monastery who could perform the ceremony.

The Universal Life Church Monastery is a non-profit organization that provides a free online ordination service.

Nationwide, the ULC has ordained about 500,000 people since the mid-2000s and ordained about 4,000 people last week alone, said Andy Fulton, a ULC intern working in public relations and marketing.

Anyone over the age of 18 can be ordained, Fulton said.

To Tony Boris, a second-year in international studies and security intelligence, getting his ordination began as a joke.

“My roommate and I were sitting and joking about things and decided to do it,” said Boris, who received his online ordination in the middle of Winter Quarter.

Boris said he and his roommate thought it would be funny if one of them married someone to someone else.

Boris said he is a religious person.

“If I feel like something bad is going to happen, I do pray. I am praying about retaliations on the U.S. now,” Boris said.

He said he attends a Byzantine Catholic church at home.

“They (the church) would probably find it a little offensive,” Boris said. “They may get used to it.”

He said the Catholic Church wants you to go through the seminary to be ordained.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus was not available for comment.

“I don’t think they’d be mad, at least not my priest because we’re close,” Boris said. “He might be annoyed and not take it as the joke I meant it to be.”

Boris said he sometimes regrets his decision to become ordained as a joke.

“I think there should be a process. I don’t think people should do it as a joke like I did,” Boris said. “I don’t really feel right in the back of my mind.”

Jim Fitz, a fourth-year in environmental science, said getting ordained was something cool to do.

He received his ordination in December 2009 and said he had almost forgotten about his minister status.

“It’s kind of silly that not everyone can perform weddings, officiate funerals. I think everyone should be able to,” Fitz said.

Although Fitz became ordained on a whim, others said they chose to go through the process with a specific wedding in mind.

Chris Costic, who graduated from Ohio State in spring 2009, took advantage of the free ordination service for his cousin’s wedding.

“My cousin and his fiancé wanted someone that they knew. I was the first person they thought of,” Costic said.

He was 24 when he performed the wedding ceremony.

“I’m not really much of a spiritual person,” Costic said.

But Fulton said the ordination is a legal matter and not a religious one.

“Religion plays no impact whatsoever,” Fulton said. “It’s ridiculously informal, but it’s legally binding.”

According to themonastery.org, the ordination is not religiously binding, as people of any faith can be ordained. It does give those who are ordained the legal status to preform ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, funerals and even exorcisms.

Although Costic did not perform a religious ceremony, he said, “You never really think about the minister’s perspective.”

He said it was a unique experience to perform his cousin’s wedding and control the happiest day of their lives.

Fulton said one thing he likes about his job is hearing the stories.

He said even though the ordination process is only legally binding and has no religious merit, it gives some people the ability to get married that might not have had the chance.

A young Indian couple from southern California was wondering if they could have their old Indian pastor from India come to the U.S. and get ordained to perform the wedding, Fulton said.

“I can’t think of any other way that would be possible,” he said.

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