Wedding Mass Marriage Rite 25-26: Consent

The next two sections outline how the couple is to publicly consent to marriage, through either a stated intention by a ritual formula, or by a response to a single (but long) question offered by the priest:

 


25. The priest invites the couple to declare their consent:

 

 

 

 

 

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and his Church.

 

 

 

 

They join hands.

 

 

The bridegroom says:

 

 

I, N., take you, N., to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

 

 

The bride says:

 

 

I, N., take you, N., to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

It’s interesting that the option of repeating these vows after a presider’s prompting is not given. Yet that is the most common form, at least in the US. Even more interesting is the usual choice of mic’ing the presider rather than the couple for the consent, especially when the “repeat after me” option is used.

 

 

 

After some urging, I convinced my wife to memorize this form of consent. The pastor was ready with the ritual book in case either of us forgot. That might be a tough step to take for parish priests, but it seems more in keeping with the rite.

 

If, however, it seems preferable for pastoral reasons, the priest may obtain consent from the couple through ques­tions.

 

First he asks the bridegroom:

 

 

N., do you take N. to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?

 

 

The bridegroom:

 

 

I do.

 

 

Then he asks the bride:

 

N., do you take N. to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?

The bride:

 

I do.

 

 

If pastoral necessity demands it, the conference of bishops may decree, in virtue of the faculty in no. 17, that the priest should always obtain the consent of the couple through questions.

American couples may choose another expression of the consent:

 

 

In the dioceses of the United States, the following form may also be used:

 

I, N., take you, N., for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

 

 

I, N., take you, N., for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

 

 

If it seems preferable for pastoral reasons for the priest to obtain consent from the couple through questions, in the dioceses of the United States the following alternative form may be used:

 

 

N., do you take N. for your lawful wife (husband), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?

 

 

The bride (bridegroom):

 

I do.

After the couple gives consent, the priest mentions the role of the Lord in the marriage: as a locus of strength for the human commitment and the source of blessing.

26. Receiving their consent, the priest says:

You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings.

 

What God has joined, men must not divide.

 

Amen.

In my experience, it has been some time since the last couple requested to compose their own vows. This is just about always a good thing.

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.

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