Inter Oecumenici on the Rite of Marriage (70-75)

The Rite of Marriage gets six sections in our document. Let’s tune in and see what the Consilium said …

70. Unless there is some good, excusing reason, marriage shall be celebrated within Mass, after the gospel and homily. The homily is never to be omitted.

A Mass for the Rite of Marriage is the norm. Other bits of information touch upon the practice of the votive Mass, the role of particular clergy, instructions within the celebration if not a Mass, and a rather liberal application of the use of the vernacular avoiding Roman approval.

71. Whenever marriage is celebrated within Mass, the Missa votiva pro sponsis shall always be celebrated, even in closed times, or a commemoration made from it, in keeping with the rubrics.

72. As far as possible, the pastor himself or the one he delegates to assist at the marriage shall celebrate the Mass; if another priest assists at the marriage, the celebrant shall not continue the Mass until the rite of marriage has been completed.

The priest who only assists at the marriage but does not celebrate the Mass shall be vested in surplice and white stole and, if it is the local custom, also in cope; he shall also give the homily. But the celebrant is always to give the blessing after the Pater noster and before the Placeat.

73. The nuptial blessing shall always be given within the Mass, even in closed times and even if one or both of the spouses is entering into a second marriage.

74. In the celebration of marriage outside Mass:

  1. At the beginning of the rite, in keeping with the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam no. V, a brief instruction shall be given, not a homily but simply an introduction to the celebration of marriage (see SC 35, § 3), After the reading of the epistle and gospel from the Missa pro sponsis, there shall be a sermon or homily based on the sacred text (see SC 52). The order of the whole rite, then, is to be as follows: the brief instruction, reading of the epistle and gospel in the vernacular, homily, celebration of marriage, nuptial blessing.
  2. For the reading of the epistle and gospel from the Missa pro sponsis, if there is no vernacular text approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority, it is lawful for the time being to use a text approved by the local Ordinary.
  3. Singing is allowed between the epistle and gospel. After the rite of marriage and before the nuptial blessing it is most desirable to have the prayer of the faithful in a form approved by the local Ordinary and incorporating intercessions for the spouses.
  4. Even in closed times and even if one or both of the spouses is entering a second marriage, they are to receive the nuptial blessing, according to the formulary in the Rituale Romanum tit. VIII, cap. 3, unless local rituals provide a different one.

75. If marriage is celebrated during closed times, the pastor shall advise the spouses to be mindful of the proper spirit of the particular liturgical season.

“Closed times” refers to Lent, ember days, and presumably Advent. Any thoughts or comments?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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