More rubrics. Let’s get to them:
77. At the end of Mass, the Priest, with hands extended over the bride and bridegroom, prays the Solemn Blessing.
A priest friend of mine once objected to this second blessing. It seemed to repeat the intent of the Nuptial Blessing. It occurs to me that a married couple needs all the supernatural grace the Church can muster. Recalling my wedding day, I might ask, “Only two?”
78. When the Mass is concluded, the witnesses and the Priest sign the Marriage record. The signing may take place either in the vesting room or in the presence of the people; however, it is not to be done on the altar.
This is an interesting bit. Note that the rite is not talking about the marriage license, which I have seen signed on the actual altar, and during Mass. The institution has gotten more attentive and meticulous about record-keeping in the past few decades. One unfortunate feature of the 70s was laxity. (I could tell stories.) To be honest, it’s more a function of clergy personality than ideology. I had another priest friend who leaned strongly traditional. The man was horrid at keeping up with details, and expected the liturgist and the secretary to read his mind, record his doings, and cover his butt. My role ended with the forging of signatures, however.
The text cited in red are rubrics and bold black are ritual text from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony © 2013, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.