Parental Consent to Marriage in Geneva

Wedding 1

In most cultures parental involvement in a child’s marriage was a given. Children assumed that the approval, especially of the father, was good and in ┬ámany cases necessary for a marriage to move forward. Geneva was no different. Eight of the first ten articles in Geneva’s 1546 Marriage Ordinance were devoted to parental consent. The prominence of parental consent issues in this document show the importance of the doctrine to John Calvin. Here is a summary of those eight articles.

1. Any son under twenty and daughter under eighteen years of age had to have the father’s consent to marry. After that age they were free to marry whom they wished though the father’s consent was still desirable. Continue reading