O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Friday, April 29, 2011

How To Do A Wedding

I found this on CatholicVote. It is the introduction to the wedding ceremony in the Church of England. For the record, the title of this post supports the words of the Anglican ceremony specifically, independent of the royal wedding itself (which obviously prompted this). The royal wedding is protestant, so it is largely off my radar, but the Anglicans really got it right with the wording of their ceremony. The Roman Ritual has no introduction whatsoever, it begins immediately with the vows. Not even an Adiutorium nostrum. Nothing. Rather disappointing and crudely done, at least the beginning of it. We're capable of better.

This is what the Anglican clergy say (my emphases and comments):
“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here, in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; [Note the word "holy". It's more than just "matrimony".] which is an honorable estate, instituted of God himself, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle which he wrought, in Cana of Gallilee, and which is commanded in holy writ to be honorable among all men, and therefore it is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; [I posted earlier that a couple needs an actual vocation from God to get married.] but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

[Note that the reasons for Holy Matrimony are listed. It is important to be constantly reminded of them, since society distorts Holy Matrimony so much.] First, it was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God, [not the will of human passions] and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of His holy Name. [i.e. parents must pass on the faith, which requires that they actually know and practice it themselves. Therefore, since faith is required for a proper marriage, it should be no surprise that marriage is a sacrament.]
Secondly, it was ordained that the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, should be hallowed and directed aright; [Natural urges have a purpose. That is to fuel an expression of marital love that uses pleasure to procreate. We call this expression "sex".] that those who are called of God [again: vocation] to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living. [Purity continues well into marriage. Sex is never about pleasure, not even in marriage. It is an expression of love for the purpose of procreation.]

Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, health, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and in adversity. [i.e. the spouses mutually support one another through the highs and lows of life. At the root of being in love is wanting the companionship of the other through life.]

[To the congregation:]
Therefore, if any man can shew any just cause why they may not be lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

[To the couple:]
I require and charge you both, [NB:] as ye will answer on the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be well assured, [NB:] that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.[Marriage is not about doing what you want as a couple to be happy. It's about obeying God's will for your life. Homosexuality is never God's will. Holy Matrimony is never about lust or romance. It is about family. Dating couples have romance; only the married may have families. Families are not to be created outside of holy matrimony. Marriage is a vocation and a sacrament. Ergo, God is the One in charge of it and we can't pretend that we are in charge in any way. All we can do is obey God's will for our lives and control our passions and desires. It's really quite simple: God can give us a much happier life than we can give ourselves, just because He's God. We can give ourselves some pretty happy stuff, but He can give us even happier stuff. That's why we need to obey Him. That and we'll go to Hell if we don't obey Him. That's important too. If anyone enters marriage for dishonest reasons, that will be revealed on the day of judgement. Speaking of the day of judgement, I agree with CV when he says that the NO needs language like that.]
I think that this (or something similar) should be inserted at the beginning of the Catholic ceremony, because we need a proper beginning to our ceremony and these things need to be said anyway. They also need to be said from the pulpit on top of that.