Wedding Mass Marriage Rite 23-24

The Rite puts most of its substance into the marriage rituals themselves. After the homily, the priest is instructed to give a brief address:


23. All stand, including the bride and bridegroom, and the priest addresses them in these or similar words:


My dear friends, * you have come together in this church so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church’s minister and this community. Christ abundantly blesses this love. He has already consecrated you in baptism and now he enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity. And so, in the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions.

*At the discretion of the priest, other words which seem more suitable under the circumstances, such as friends or dearly beloved or \ brethren may be used. This also applies to parallel instances in the liturgy.

This starred note in the rite is interesting, especially giving the option of addressing the couple as “brethren.”

24. The priest then questions them about their freedom of choice, faithfulness to each other, and the acceptance and upbringing of children:







N. and N., have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in mar­riage?






Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?






The following question may be omitted if, for example, the couple is advanced in years.





Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?





Each answers the questions separately.

These public questions establish in a formal way that the couple is indeed free to marry and comes to the marriage with the right intent. The ritual suggests the question is asked, and the priest elicits a response from bride and groom in turn, not together.


A note about that introduction and its mention of baptism … The only addition my wife and I requested at our wedding was an inclusion of a renewal of baptismal promises to more clearly draw out the link between the sacraments. It was at a regular weekend liturgy, and we thought the recitation of the creed–ordinarily skipped at a wedding–was something we didn’t want to lose entirely.





About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, Rite of Marriage, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Wedding Mass Marriage Rite 23-24

  1. fraustinfleming says:

    I often base my wedding homily on these three questions. I introduce this by telling the assembly that so sacred and binding is this moment that just before the exchange promises and rings, the Church instructs me to ask, “Do you know what you are doing?” That warms the assembly to a chuckle and I go from there to speaking about the three questions and how these define marriage as Christian. By using the rite in this way you can offer a fair amount of catechesis. It also has the effect of making the three questions an important, solemn piece of the rite and you find the assembly understanding the questions and waiting to hear the answers.

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