Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

First Pastafarian celebrant can help couples get noodley knotted

The church is represented by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Picture / Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster New Zealand
The church is represented by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Picture / Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster New Zealand

New Zealand's Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has its first marriage celebrant.

Members of the church call themselves Pastafarians and sometimes wear upside-down colanders on their heads.

While some have dismissed the group's claims as satire, in December New Zealand officials recognised the group as suitable to officiate weddings.

Now, the group has had a member qualify as a marriage celebrant, who was added to a Department of Internal Affairs database this week.

The news was also announced on the church's Facebook page, although the first couple due to walk down the aisle got cold feet.

"Births, Deaths and Marriages team at DIA has been fantastic at processing and communicating with our Top Ramen [chief office bearer] during a busy time," the Facebook post announced.

"Our Happy Couple made the Wise Decision (after travelling together for several weeks) to not tie the noodley knot - a wise decision noted the Ministeroni: 'Tis always better to be alone, wishing you were knotted, than to be knotted and wishing you weren't'.

"So if there are any couples out there wanting a Kiwi Pastafarian wedding (we have the noodley vows and ceremony ready), give us a shout on our website."

Pastafarians have a serious message about the separation of church and state. The group was formed in 2005 as a protest against efforts in Kansas public schools to teach not only evolution but also "intelligent design" - the idea that the universe must have had a creator.

Jeff Montgomery, New Zealand's registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages, noted the group's philosophies on issues like human rights and spiritual diversity in approving it to officiate weddings.

"While some claim this is a 'parody organisation', members have rebutted this on a number of occasions," he wrote in his decision.

"Most approved organisations are faith-based and cluster around well-known religious views, however, a number have what might be considered an 'alternative philosophy'. These include Yoga, Wicca, Scientology, Heathen, Druid, Humanist, Spiritual Healing and Reiki followers."

- NZ Herald

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