The Nuptial Service
 
   The Nuptial Mass is not permitted on the following days: Feasts of the first or second class; on Sundays or holydays of obligation; within the octaves of the Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi; on Ash Wednesday; during Holy Week; on the vigils of Christmas, Epiphany or Pentecost; nor on All Soul's Day.
   The Mass is said without Gloria or Creed.
   If marriage takes place on any of the above Feasts, the Mass of the day is read; the Collect, Secret Prayers and Postcommunion of this Nuptial Mass being added to the Collect, Secret Prayer, and Postcommunion respectively of the Mass of the day; and the prayers for the bridegroom and bride after the Pater Noster, and before the blessing, are inserted also.
   The Church insists that a marriage, to be valid, must take place before the parish priest of one of the parties (or another priest by his leave) together with two witnesses.
   The parties must be free from impediment, and are bound to declare an impediment, if such exists. There are two classes of impediments: 1) Those which render the marriage null and void, and 2) those which render the marriage sinful, but not invalid. These impediments are respectively: (1) Error about the substance of the contract; solemn vows of chastity; consanguinity and affinity; public property; crime; disparity of cult, (i.e. with a non-baptized person;) grave fear; a marriage bond still existing; defect of age; clandestinity; impotency; (2) simple vows of chastity; mixed marriage (i.e. with a non-Catholic).
 
 
The Exhortation Before Marriage
from the 1961 Collectio Rituum
 
   All or part of the following exhortation may be used by the priest at the marriage rite. If it is a mixed marriage and the non-Catholic party is unbaptized, the references to the sacrament of matrimony and to the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church should be omitted.
     Dear friends in Christ: As you know, you are about to enter into a union which is most sacred and most serious, a union which was established by God Himself. By it, He gave to man a share in the greatest work of creation, the work of the continuation of the human race. And in this way He sanctified human love and enabled man and woman to help each other live as children of God, by sharing a common life under His fatherly care.
   Because God Himself is thus its author, marriage is of its very nature a holy institution, requiring of those who enter into it a complete and unreserved giving of self. [ But Christ our Lord added to the holiness of marriage an even deeper meaning and a higher beauty. He referred to the love of marriage to describe His own love for His Church, that is, for the people of God whom He redeemed by His own blood. And so He gave to Christians a new vision of what married life ought to be, a life of self-sacrificing love like His own. It is for this reason that His apostle, St. Paul, clearly states that marriage is now and for all time to be considered a great mystery, intimately bound up with the supernatural union of Christ and the Church, which union is also to be its pattern. ]
   This union then is most serious, because it will bind you together for life in a relationship so close and so intimate that it will profoundly influence your whole future. That future, with its hopes and disappointments, its successes and its failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows, is hidden from your eyes. You know that these elements are mingled in every life and are to be expected in your own. And so, not knowing what is before you, you take each other for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death.
   Truly, then, these words are most serious. It is a beautiful tribute to your undoubted faith in each other, that, recognizing their full import, you are nevertheless so willing and ready to pronounce them. And because these words involve such solemn obligations, it is most fitting that you rest the security of your wedded life upon the great principle of self-sacrifice. And so you begin your married life by the voluntary and complete surrender of your individual lives in the interest of that deeper and wider life which you are to have in common. Henceforth you belong entirely to each other; you will be one in mind, one in heart, and one in affections. And whatever sacrifices you may hereafter be required to make to preserve the common life, always make them generously. Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy; and perfect love can make it a joy. We are willing to give in proportion as we love. And when love is perfect, the sacrifice is complete. God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, and the Son so loved us that He gave Himself for our salvation. "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends."
   No greater blessing can come to your married life than pure conjugal love, loyal and true to the end. May, then, this love with which you join your hands and hearts today never fail, but grow deeper and stronger as the years go on. And if true love and the unselfish spirit of perfect sacrifice guide your every action, you can expect the greatest measure of earthly happiness that may be alloted to man in this vale of tears. The rest is in the hands of God. [ Nor will God be wanting to your needs; He will pledge you the life-long support of His graces in the Holy Sacrament which you are now going to receive. ]

The Order of Marriage
 
   The priest, in the presence of the witnesses, begins by putting the following question first to the bridegroom, who stands at the right side of the bride, and then to the woman, addressing each by name.
   N., vis accipere N., hic praesentem in tuam legitimam uxorem iuxta ritum sanctae matris Ecclesia?    N., wilt thou take N., here present, for thy lawful wife, according to the rite of our holy Mother the Church?
R. Volo. R.: I will.
   Then the priest asks the bride:
   N., vis accipere N. hic praesentem in tuum legitimum maritum iuxta ritum sanctae matris Ecclesiae?    N., wilt thou take N., here present, for thy lawful husband, according to the rite of our holy Mother the Church?
R. Volo. R.: I will.
 
   Having obtained their mutual consent, the priest bids the man and the woman join their right hands. Then they pledge themselves each to the other as follows, repeating the words after the priest.
   The man says:
   I, N. N., take thee, N. N., for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
   Then the woman says:
   I, N. N., take thee, N. N., for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
 
   The priest then says:
   Ego conjugo vos in matrimonium, in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.    I join you together in marriage, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
R. Amen. R. Amen.
 
   He sprinkles them with holy water. This done, he blesses the ring, saying:
V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini. V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
R. Qui fecit caelum et terram. R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam. V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with you.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with Thy spirit.
   Oremus. -- Bene dic, Domine, anulum hunc, quem nos in tuo nomine bene dicimus: ut, quae eum gstavrit, fidelitatem integram suo sponso tenens, in pace et voluntate tua permaneat atque in mutua caritate semper vivat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.    Let us pray -- Bless, O Lord, this ring, which we bless in Thy name, that she who shall wear it, keeping true faith unto her spouse, may abide in Thy peace and in obedience to Thy will, and ever live in mutual love. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
 
   Then the priest sprinkles the ring with holy water in the form of a cross; and the bridegroom, having received the ring from the hand of the priest, places it on the third finger of the left hand of the bride, saying:
   With this ring I thee wed and I plight unto thee my troth.
   Then the priest says:
   In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.    In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
 
   This done, the priest adds:
V. Confirma hoc, Deus, quod operatus es in nobis. V. Confirm, O God, that which Thou hast wrought in us.
R. A templo sancto tuo quod est in Jerusalem. R. From Thy holy temple, which is in Jerusalem.
V. Kyrie eleison. V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christe eleison. R. Christ, have mercy.
V. Kyrie eleison. V. Lord, have mercy.
   Pater noster (secreto)    Our Father (inaudibly)
V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. Sed libera nos a malo. R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Salvos fac servos tuos. V. Save Thy servants.
R. Deus meus, sperantes in te. R. Who hope in Thee, O my God.
V. Mitte eis, Domine, auxilium de sancto. V. Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place.
R. Et de Sion tuere eos. R. And defend them out of Sion.
V. Esto eis, Domine, turris fortitudinis. V. Be unto them, Lord, a tower of strength.
R. A facie inimici. R. From the face of the enemy.
V. Domine exaudi orationem meam. V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. Dominus vobiscum. V. The Lord be with you.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit.
   Oremus. -- Respice, quaesumus, Domine, super hos famulos tuos: et institutionis tuis, quibus propagationem humani generis ordinasti, benignus assiste; ut qui te auctore iunguntur, te auxiliante serventur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.    Let us pray.--Look down with favor, O Lord, we beseech Thee, upon these Thy servants, and graciously protect this, Thine ordinance, whereby Thou hast provided for the propagation of mankind; that they who are joined together by Thy authority may be preserved by Thy help; through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
 
   Then, if the Nuptial Blessing is to be given, the Mass for the Bridegroom and Bride follows.

The Mass
 
INTROIT ¤ Tob. 7. 15; 8. 19
   Deus Israel conjungat vos: et ipse sit vobiscum, qui misertus est duobus unicis: et nunc, Domine, fac eos plenius benedicere te. -- Beati omnes qui timent Dominum: qui ambulant in viis ejus. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Deus Israel conjungat . . .    May the God of Israel join you together: and may He be with you, who was merciful to two only children: and now, O Lord, make them bless Thee more fully. -- (Ps. 127. 1). Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, that walk in His ways. V.: Glory to the Father . . . -- May the God . . .
 
COLLECT
   Exaudi nos, omnipotens et misericors Deus: ut, quod nostro ministratur officio, tua benedictione potius impleatur. Per Dominum nostrum, Iesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.    Hear us, almighty and merciful God: that what is performed by our ministry may be abundantly fulfilled with Thy blessing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
 
EPISTLE ¤ Ephes. 5. 22-33
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians.
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Ephesios.
[The mutual duties of man and wife, by the example of Christ and of the Church.]
   Fratres: Mulieres viris suis subdiatae sint, sicut Domino: quoniam vir caput est mulieris: sicut Christus caput est Ecclesiae: ipse salvator corporis eius. Sed sicut Ecclesia subiecta est Christo, ita et mulieres viris suis in omnibus. Viri, diligite uxores vestras, sicut et Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et seipsum tradidit pro ea, ut illam sanctificaret, mundans lavacro aquae in verbo vitae, ut exhiberet ipse sibi gloriosam Ecclesiam, non habentem maculam, aut rugam, aut aliquid huiusmodi, sed ut sit sancta et immaculata. Ita et viri debent diligere uxores suas ut corpora sua. Qui suam uxorem diligit, seipsum diligit. Nemo enim unquam carnem suam odio habuit: sed nutrit et fovet eam, sicut et Christus Ecclesiam, quia membra sumus corporis eius, de carne eius et de ossibus eius. Propter hoc relinquet homo patrem et matrem suam, et adhaerebit uxori suae, et erunt duo in carne una. Sacramentum hoc magnum est, ego autem dico in Christo et in Ecclesia. Verumtamen et vos singuli, unusquisque uxorem suam sicut seipsum diligat: uxor autem timeat virum suum.    Brethren: Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. He is the savior of His body. Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it: that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life; that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it; as also Christ doth the Church: for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great Sacrament, but I speak in Christ and in the Church. Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular love his wife as himself, and let the wife fear her husband.
 
GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 127. 3
   Uxor tua sicut vitis abundans in lateribus domus tuae. V.: Filii tui sicut novellae olivarum in circuitu mensae tuae.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Mittat vobis Dominus auxilium de sancto: et de Sion tueatur vos. Alleluia.
   Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine on the sides of thy house. V.: Thy children as olive plants round about thy table.
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 19. 3): May the Lord send you help from the sanctuary, and defend you out of Sion. Alleluia.
 
   After Septuagesima the Alleluia and the Verse Mittat . . . are omitted and the following is said:
TRACT ¤ Ps. 127. 4-6
   Ecce sic benedicetur omnis homo, qui timet Dominum. V.: Benedicat tibi Dominus ex Sion: et videas bona Jerusalem omnibus diebus vitae tuae. V.: Et videas filios filiorum tuorum: pax super Israel.    Behold thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. V.: May the Lord bless you out of Sion; and mayest thou see that good things of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. V.: And mayest thou see thy children's children: peace upon Israel.
 
   During Eastertide, the Gradual is omitted and the following Alleluia is said:
   Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Mittat vobis Dominus auxilium de sancto: et de Sion tueatur vos. Alleluia. V.: Benedicat vobis Dominus ex Sion: qui fecit coelum et terram. Alleluia.    Alleluia, alleluia. V.(Ps. 19. 3): May the Lord send you help from the sanctuary, and defend you out of Sion. Alleluia. V.:(Ps. 133. 3). May the Lord out of Sion bless you: who hath made heaven and earth. Alleluia.
 
GOSPEL ¤ Matthew 19. 3-6
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.
[Christ declares matrimony to be indissoluble.]
   In illo tempore: Accesserunt ad Iesum Pharisaei tentantes eum, et dicentes: Si licet homini dimittere uxorem suam, quacumque ex causa? Qui respondens, ait eis: Non legistis, quia qui fecit hominem ab initio, masculum et feminam fecit eos? Et dixit: Propter hoc dimittet homo patrem et matrem, et adhaerebit uxori suae, et erunt duo in carne una. Itaque iam non sunt duo, sed una caro. Quod ergo Deus coniunxit, homo non separet.    At that time: The Pharisees came to Jesus, tempting Him and saying; It is lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Who answering said to them, Have ye not read, that He who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? and He said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore, now they are not two but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
 
OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 30. 15-16
   In te speravi, Domine: dixi: Tu es Deus meus: in manibus tuis tempora mea.    In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: I said, Thou art my God; my times are in Thy hands.
 
SECRET
   Suscipe, quaesumus Domine, pro sacra connubii lege munus oblatum: et cuius largitor es operis, esto dispositor. Per Dominum nostrum, Iesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.    Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered for the sacred law of marriage: and do Thou dispose according to Thy will, that which is instituted by Thy bounty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
 
PREFACE
The Common Preface
   Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes:    It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them, we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
 
   After the Pater Noster, the priest, standing at the Epistle corner of the altar and turning towards the bridegroom and bride, says over them the following prayers:
   Oremus. -- Propitiare Domine supplicationibus nostris: et institutis tuis, quibus propagationem humani generis ordinasti, benignus assiste; ut, quod te auctore iungitur, te auxiliante servetur. Per Dominum nostrum, Iesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.    Let us pray. -- Be gracious, O Lord, to our humble supplications: and graciously assist this Thine institution, which Thou hast established for the increase of mankind: that what is joined together by Thine authority, may be preserved by Thine aid. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
   Oremus. -- Deus, qui potestate virtutis tuae de nihilo cuncta fecisti: qui, dispositis universitatis exordiis, homini ad imaginem Dei facto, ideo inseparabili mulieris adiutorium condidisti, ut femineo corpori de virili dares carne principium, docens quod ex uno placuisset institui, numquam licere disiungi: Deus, qui tam excellenti mysterio coniugalem copulam consecrasti, ut Christi et Ecclesiae sacramentum praesignares in foedere nuptiarum: Deus, per quem mulier iungitur viro, et societas principaliter ordinata, ea benedictione donatur, quae sola nec per originalis peccati poenam, nec per diluvii est ablata sententiam: respice propitius super hanc famulam tuam, quae maritali iungenda consortio, tua se expetit protectione muniri: sit in ea iugum dilectionis et pacis: fidelis et casta nubat in Christo, imitatrixque sanctarum permaneat feminarum: sit amabilis viro suo, ut Rachael: sapiens, ut Rebecca: longeava et fidelis, ut Sara: nihil in ea ex actibus suis ille auctor praevaricationis usurpet: nexa fidei, mandatisque permaneat: uni thoro iuncta, contactus illicitos fugiat: muniat infirmitatem suam robore disciplinae: sit verecundia gravis, pudore venerabilis, doctrinis caelestibus erudita: sit foecunda in sobole, sit probata et innocens: et ad beatorum requiem atque ad caelestia regna perveniat: et videant ambo filios filiorum suorum usque in tertiam et quartam generationem, et ad optatam perveniant senectutem. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum, Iesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.    Let us pray. -- O God, who by Thine own mighty power, didst make all things out of nothing: who, having set in order the beginnings of the world, didst appoint Woman to be an inseparable helpmeet to Man, made like unto God, so that Thou didst give to woman's body its beginnings in man's flesh, thereby teaching that what it pleased Thee to form from one substance, might never be lawfully separated: O God, who, by so excellent a mystery hast consecrated the union of man and wife, as to foreshadow in this nuptial bond the union of Christ with His Church: O God, by whom Woman is joined to Man, and the partnership, ordained from the beginning, is endowed with such blessing that it alone was not withdrawn either by the punishment of original sin, nor by the sentence of the flood: graciously look upon this Thy handmaid, who, about to be joined in wedlock, seeks Thy defense and protection. May it be to her a yoke of love and peace: faithful and chaste, may she be wedded in Christ, and let her ever be the imitator of holy women: let her be dear to her husband, like Rachel: wise, like Rebecca: long-lived and faithful like Sara. Let not the author of deceit work any of his evil deeds in her. May she continue, clinging to the faith and to the commandments. Bound in one union, let her shun all unlawful contact. Let her protect her weakness by the strength of discipline; let her be grave in behavior, respected for modesty, well-instructed in heavenly doctrine. Let her be fruitful in offspring; be approved and innocent; and come to the repose of the blessed and the kingdom of heaven. May they both see their children's children to the third and fourth generation, and may they reach the old age which they desire. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
   The priest continues the Mass as usual with the prayer Deliver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord.
 
COMMUNION ¤ Ps. 127. 4, 6
   Ecce sic benedicetur omnis homo, qui timet Dominum: et videas filios filiorum tuorum: pax super Israel.    Behold, thus shall every man be blessed that feareth the Lord; and mayest thou see thy children's children; peace upon Israel.
 
POSTCOMMUNION
   Quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: instituta providentiae tuae pio favore comitare: ut quos legitima societate connctis, longaeva pace custodias. Per Dominum nostrum, Iesum Christum, filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.    We beseech Thee, almighty God, to accompany with Thy gracious favor, the institution of Thy Providence, and keep in lasting peace those whom Thou dost join in lawful union. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
 
   The prest, before giving the blessing, turns toward the bridegroom and bride, saying:
   Deus Abraham, Deus Isaac, et Deus Iacob sit vobiscum: et ipse adimpleat benedictionem suam in vobis: ut videatis filios filiorum vestrorum usque ad tertiam et quartam generationem: et postea vitam aeternam habeatis sine fine: adiuvante Domino nostro Iesu Christo, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.    May the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob be with you: and Himself fulfill His blessing on you: that you may see your children's children even to the third and fourth generation: and thereafter possess life everlasting, by the aid of our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.