contact the Staff at the Office at least one
year in advance.
this reason a man will leave his father
and mother and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
Ritual of Marriage
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The form for the celebration of the Sacrament
of Matrimony, as it stands in the "Rituale
Romanum" of the present day, is remarkably
simple. It consists of the following elements:
declaration of consent made by both parties
and formally ratified by the priest in the
words: "Ego conjungo vos in matrimonium
in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Amen" (I unite you in wedlock in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Ghost. Amen).
form for the blessing of the ring which
the bridegroom receives back from the hand
of the priest to place it upon the ring
finger of the bride's left hand.
short versicles and a final benedictory
prayer. This ceremony according to the intention
of the Church should be followed by
Nuptial Mass, in which there are Collects
for the married couple, as well as a solemn
blessing after the Pater Noster and another
shorter one before the priest's benediction
at the close.
this Mass also it is recommended that the bride
and bride g room should communicate. But although
here as elsewhere the "Rituale Romanum"
may be regarded as providing the form of the
Church's ceremonial, in treating of the Sacrament
of Matrimony a special rubric is inserted in
the following terms: "If, however, in any
provinces, other laudable customs and ceremonies
are in use besides the foregoing in the celebration
of the Sacrament of Matrimony, the holy Council
of Trent desires that they should be retained"
(see Decreta Conc. Trid., Sess. XXIV, De Reformatione,
reason of this exceptional tolerance here
shown towards diversity of ritual is not very
far to seek. Matrimony being a sacrament in
which the contracting parties themselves are
the ministers, it is plain that its essential
forms must be expressed not in Latin but in
the vernacular, and this fact alone at once
introduces a certain element of divergence.
Moreover, change of established tradition
in such matters is always disconcerting to
the minds of the imperfectly educated. Hence
the Church's wisdom is apparent in refraining
from interference in those countries where
certain rites and ceremonies, in themselves
free from abuse, have been immemorially associated
with this solemn contract. The effect of this
tolerance is particularly noticeable in the
British Isles. Before the Reformation a considerable
variety of local usages prevailed in England,
as elsewhere, affecting the ceremonial even
of the Mass itself, as well as other ecclesiastical
functions. The divergences of the "Use"
of Sarum, or of York or of Hereford etc.,
from the practice of Rome or Augsburg or Lyons
were not inconsiderable. When however through
the Elizabethan persecution the clergy were
forced to go abroad for their ecclesiastical
training, the distinctively English customs
of Sarum or York gradually became unfamiliar.
No attempt or hardly any was made to print
new Missals or Breviaries according to the
English rite, and Roman usages were thus everywhere
adopted by the missionary clergy. But in one
respect an exception was made. The Catholic
laity who lived on at home knew no other marriage
service than that of their forefathers. Hence
the Sarum form was in substance retained and
in 1604 and again in 1610 in the English "Rituale"
printed at Douai, under the title "Sacra
Institutio Baptizandi, Matrimonium celebrandi
etc.", the old Sarum text was reprinted
unchanged, though at a later date, e. g. in
the book of 1626 (? printed at Antwerp), certain
modifications were introduced, The form thus
modified remains in force for England, Scotland
and Ireland down to the present day. Seeing
that the Anglican marriage service has also
retained a great deal of the primitive Sarum
rite, we find ourselves confronted by the
curious anomaly that in the British Isles
the Catholic marriage service resembles the
Anglican service more nearly than it does
the form provided in the "Rituale Romanum".
Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II
Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of