Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: "New" marriage service

New marriage service QUESTION from Elizebeth April 1, 2001 Dear Brother Ignatius,
Recently I read a news clipping at Belief Net about Vatican II changes to the wedding liturgy about 30 years ago. It mentioned two specific changes - the woman is not given away by her parents, and the couple say their own vows under blessing from the priest. It said most Catholics do not even know about these changes. I'm one of them, and as my fiance and I are going to be married this year, I would like to know more.
Thank you and blessings.
Elizebeth
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 23, 2001 Dear Miss Elizebeth:
First off: Belief Net is not a Catholic website. Do not trust ANYTHING they have to say about the Catholic Church.
I would ask your priest about the specifics.
Here are excerpts from the Rite of Marriage during Mass (1970 Missal)
If there is a procession to the altar, the ministers go first, followed by the priest, and then the bride and the bridegroom. According to local custom, they may be escorted by at least their parents and the two witnesses. Meanwhile, the entrance song is sung.
...
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.
If, however, it seems preferable for pastoral reasons, the priest may obtain consent from the couple through questions.
In the 1962 Missal the Consent was done by the Priest Questioning the couple. In the current Rite the couple may say these vows alone, or may have the priest question them.
The reason for this is that the minister of the Sacrament in the case of marriage is NOT the priest, but the couple. The Priest is there to affirm, witness, and represent the Church.
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