OCM 59: The Minister Addresses The Couple

After the homily, the minister gives a brief address:

59. With all standing, including the couple and the witnesses, who are positioned near them, the Priest addresses the couple in these or similar words:

Dearly beloved,
you have come together in the house of the Church,
so that in the presence of the Church’s minister and the community
your intention to enter into Marriage
may be strengthened by the Lord with a sacred seal.
Christ abundantly blesses the love that binds you.
Through a special Sacrament,
he enriches and strengthens
those he has already consecrated by Holy Baptism,
that they may be faithful to each other for ever
and assume all the responsibilities of married life.
And so in the presence of the Church,
I ask you to state your intentions.

This is very sound theology, and covers quite a bit of ground. I would be hesitant that the average sacramental minister could improve on it, even though “similar” words are possible. Too often “similar” is interpreted as “different.”

  • First, I notice the setting is the “house of the Church,” an upgrade from the simple “church” of the 1970’s translation.
  • “Seal” is rendered as a noun here, another upgrade from the verb(s), “the Lord may seal and strengthen your love” in the old version.
  • “duties of marriage” is now rendered “responsibilities of married life.” Long-time readers here certainly know I approve of the notion of “responsibility” as a complement to the principle of human rights. Any adult person has a “right” to marry a beloved. But that choice brings with it some necessary changes in attitude and behavior–a whole orientation toward another human being not oneself.

The text cited in red and bold black is from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony © 2013, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

About catholicsensibility

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