What Is The Meaning Of Marriage And Types Of Marriage?

Social Studies

Table Of Contents

  • Meaning Of Marriage
  • Types Of Marriage

Meaning Of Marriage

Marriage is a universal institution which perpetuates society and sustains mankind. It is a religious injunction hence respected by all religions. Marriage is a union of a man and woman as husband and wife to start a new family. Marriage confers rights and duties on the couple and their offsprings. Society accords great esteem and recognition to marriage, hence looks somehow on persons, who spend out their lives without getting married.

Types Of Marriage

There are three main types of marriage in Nigeria:

1. Traditional or Customary Marriage.

2. Religious Marriage which can be subdivided into Christian marriage and Islamic marriage.

3. Ordinance Marriage.

1. Traditional Marriage

It is a form of marriage that follows a purely traditional process according to the customs of the particular society. It takes many stages that involve the families and friends of the couple to be. There is usually an intermediary or “go_between” and the elders of both families of the intending couple. Different ethnic groups even communities have various traditional marriage rites.

2. Religious Marriage – This can be divided into Christian and Islamic Marriages

a. Christian Marriage

Christian marriage or church wedding usually takes place after the traditional marriage ceremonies have been completed. By customs and tradition, Christian religious marriage is the last act in marriage rites. Without traditional marriage, Christian marriage is incomplete because customary rites are fulfilled during the traditional marriage. Usually, the Christian marriage takes place in the presence of the parents, relatives, friends and well wishers of the bride and bridegroom as witnesses. The Christian marriage is monogamous in nature, and preaches one man, one wife.

Christian marriage is characterized by exchange of the vow of fidelity by the couple. It is conducted in a church with priest or bishop officiating.

b. Islamic Marriage

The Islamic marriage is solemnized by an Imam in a Mosque. It can also take place in a private home with the families, friends and well wishers of both the bride and bridegroom as witnesses. Islamic marriage is of two types. The Islamic marriage involves dowry to be presented by the bridegroom to the bride’s family. Under the Islamic marriage, a man can marry upto four wives.

3. Ordinance Marriage

This form of marriage takes place in a court registry before a court registrar, a magistrate or a senior local government official. It is known as statutory marriage. It is conducted in the presence of a few witnesses. Here the bride and the groom take a legal vow and they are given a marriage certificate.

It should be noted that court marriage is not an indigenous marriage practice to Nigeria.

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