So, after the Liturgy of the Word, the next part of the Catholic Ceremony is the Rite of Marriage. It goes a little something like this:
Instruction: After the homily, the priest will give a short “instruction” on marriage. This usually flows right from the homily and can even be based on the readings, just as the homily is.
Statement of Intentions/Consent: The priest will ask the bride and groom publicly to state their intentions concerning:
* the freedom of their decision to marry
* the permanence of their commitment
* the commitment to their family life
Usually, this will be a series of questions that goes like this:
[Name] and [Name], have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? [We answer yes, or we do.]
Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives? [We answer yes, or we do.]
Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church? [We answer yes, or we do.]
Exchange of Vows: Ah, the moment! This could actually be considered part of Consent, as we are asked to join our right hands and “declare your consent before God and his Church” (and then we say our vows). Technically, we are supposed to memorize our vows, but we have chosen to repeat them after the priest, for various reasons: we like that style better than memorizing, and we want to account for any nerves any of us might have!
Here are what our vows will be (!!!!):
Groom: I, Dr. Groomy, take you, Amy, to be my lawful 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.
Bride: I, Amy, take you, Dr. Groomy, to be my lawful 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.
I LOVE THEM. I always knew we would have traditional vows. While I love the idea of heartfelt, handwritten vows, there is just something about repeating words that have been said by many others, generations before us, that gets me every time. This is one area where tradition just feels…so RIGHT to me. My heart beats fast just writing the vows down here!
Blessing & Exchanging of Rings: After the vows, the wedding rings are blessed and exchanged. Each person says the following, while placing the ring on the other’s finger:
[Name], take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
General Intercessions: Then comes the general intercessions. This is also known as the Prayer of the Faithful, or petitions. We have written prayers based on a specific model that are shared with the assembly as a whole. After each prayer is read, the assembly responds with “Lord, hear our prayer.” You can read our intercessions here!
Nuptial Blessing: The last part of the Rite of Marriage is the Nuptial Blessing. It can either be sung by the cantor (the person who leads the singing throughout mass) or spoken aloud by the priest. We have chosen to have our blessing spoken aloud instead of sung. You can read what our nuptial blessing will be here.
And with that, we will be married…but our mass is only about half over! Stay tuned for part three, where we celebrate the Eucharist and finish up mass, followed by part four, where I discuss our music and some interesting Catholic dos and don’ts.
What kind of vows did you have?
Missed the first part of my Catholic Wedding Crash Course?
Catch up here.