It has been seven months since our communities shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, turning our worlds upside down. Life during a pandemic is hard. Quarantine fatigue is real. Covid burnout – we’re probably all there. Despite this, we move forward, because that is the only option. That is what we do.
For these reasons and more, we at JPus have been busy creating resources for our membership. Our goal is to help you safely and successfully navigate marriages during this time. Our situations are changing, and therefore we need to stay up-to-date and move fluidly. We strive to provide the guidance you are looking for, making sense of sometimes confusing or conflicting information.JPus’ networking events offer many benefits. The next Zoom call is on October 29th at noon. We’re in this together, and we’re here for each other.
As the leader of the ceremony, officiants have both influence and authority. This is a big deal – especially during this time. And, it comes with a hefty responsibility. For our own safety, and that of others, we can set the tone. The pastor who led the super-spreader wedding in Maine leading to at least 177 positive COVID cases and eight deaths is making international news with his defiant stance. He is the model of what not to do! On the other hand, you can be the calm voice of reason – and safety.
In fact, we need to acknowledge that the biggest source of community spread is private gatherings. Meaning, gatherings in private homes or other locations – similar to where many weddings take place. Being diligent about mask wearing and hand washing is paramount, and emphasizing outdoor events, even in the winter, is needed. Accordingly, I hope that you’ve taken our COVID training certification for marriage officiants (it is free!), so you understand steps to take to mitigate risk.
In addition to providing guidance to our members, we are promoting findaJP and providing tips for couples, too. Fortunately, contacts to members’ listings on findaJP.com have been steady. There is an inherent nature about civil officiants that invokes a feeling of trust. Not to mention, our members follow a Code of Ethics that says they’ll always act in their clients’ best interest. So, while there may be a dip in marriages overall during the pandemic, the JPs and notaries listed on findaJP are doing okay.
Marriage ceremonies have changed. They are smaller (of course), and getting creative to find safe locations with air flow is needed. The wedding industry’s general message has been to postpone, not cancel. Nonetheless, officiants have been more fortunate than many others in the business. Couples can – and do – have two weddings. A small, intimate ceremony now, and a larger celebration later, also with nuptials! It is natural that couples anguish over what to do. Our monthly blog articles focus on areas that they struggle with. Written with the bridal couple in mind, they are also a resource for our officiants. Use them for ideas as you counsel your clients, and send them to your clients when you know that they are relevant. They will appreciate it – and you.
In the meantime, know that you can rely upon us. Stay connected with updates on our website, sign up for our newsletter, follow us on social media and more. And, if you don’t see the answer you are looking for, the Justice of the Peace Association is just an email or phone call away.
Be well and safe,
★ Member support articles about managing COVID
★ JPus’ COVID-19 pages, regularly updated with resources and support for marriage officiants
★ Face masks for the officiant and marriage couple. Made by JPus’ seamstress in quality satin fabrics
★ Follow JPus’ Facebook page for coronavirus news and updates
★ Be a part of the coronavirus-management conversation with fellow officiants in JPus’ members-only Facebook group