OCM 62-63: Exchanging Consent

What couples and ministers once (or continue) to term as “wedding vows” is listed as “Consent” in the revised rite.

62. The bridegroom says:

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

The bride says:

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

Line 2 used to be rendered “I promise to be true to you.” I’m not sure that the new form of consent is an improvement. In popular parlance, “faithfulness” implies sexual loyalty. But not always. My wife and I repeat this consent somewhat often; I doubt either of us can be convinced to change our words–they are too ingrained in habit and meaning.

The “American option” is still on the table:

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

Another choice beckons:

63. If, however, it seems preferable for pastoral reasons, the Priest may obtain the consent of the contracting parties through questioning.

And either form of the consent in OCM 62 is reworded in the form of a single question.

Folded into these possibilities are the most usual form: repeating after the clergy cites the consent line by line. Once in awhile, I’ve encountered a priest who uses a personal microphone to amplify his words and the couple goes unmic’ed. More usually, a hand-held device amplifies the couple’s repeating of a quiet cleric. I’ve also noticed a couple reading vows from a ritual book. Least popular seems memorization. Questions are scarce also–but these observations are all my own experience.

In my wife’s and my liturgy, I persuaded her to memorize. But she insisted on practicing frequently during our engagement. Still, when the moment arrived, I needed a small prompt from our pastor. But then I was in the zone, so to speak.

Any thoughts?

The indented text 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 Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to OCM 62-63: Exchanging Consent

  1. Liam says:

    That shift in translation from the Latin is LA at work.

    N., vis accípere N. in [uxórem//marítum] tuam et promíttis te illi fidem servatúrum, inter próspera et advérsa, in ægra et in sana valetúdine, ut eam díligas et honóres ómnibus diébus vitæ tuæ?

    It should be noted that this is not actually part of the pre-conciliar Roman Ritual as such. In the pre-conciliar Roman Ritual, the exchange of consents was in response to the following question below, and any mutual pledge that followed was merely a matter of local custom (I believe that the Sarum Use practice in that regard was what Cranmer adapted for the BOCP and thereby became the default reference point in the English-language Protestant liturgical churches, but I could be wrong about that) – and it’s the older American Catholic form of that which remains a provided for alternative in the ritual now:

    “N., do you take N., here present, for your lawful [husband/wife] according to the rite of our holy mother, the Church?”

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