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Text of the Rite of Marriage

Following is the text of the Rite of Marriage. Click on the following link for a description and explanation of the complete order of the Rite for Celebrating Marriage During Mass.

Italics indicate the rubrics, the instructions to the presider.

Excerpts from the English translation of Rite of Marriage are copyright © 1969, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Individuals who wish to reproduce text from the Rite of Marriage for their own use (including reproduction in wedding programs) must follow the ICEL copyright permission procedures, which may be found at www.icelweb.org.


Rite of Marriage

All stand, including the bride and bridegroom, and the priest addresses them in these or similar words:

My dear friends, you have come together in this church so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church’s minister and this community. Christ abundantly blesses this love. He has already consecrated you in baptism and now he enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity. And so, in the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions.

Catholic wedding rite with Mass

The priest then questions them about their freedom of choice, faithfulness to each other, and the acceptance and upbringing of children.

(Name) and (Name), have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives?

The following question may be omitted if, for example, the couple is advanced in years.

Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?

Each answers the questions separately.

Consent

The priest invites the couple to declare their consent.

Priest:

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.

Option A

The bridegroom says:

I, (Name), take you, (Name), 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, (Name), take you, (Name), 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.

Option B

 In the dioceses of the United States, the following form may be used:

The bridegroom says:

Groom:

I, (Name), take you, (Name), 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.

Bride:

I, (Name), take you, (Name), 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.

If, however, it seems preferable for pastoral reasons, the priest may obtain consent from the couple through questions.

Option A

First he asks the bridegroom:

(Name), do you take (Name) to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?

The bridegroom: I do.

Then he asks the bride:

(Name), do you take (Name) to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?

The bride: I do.

Option B

 In the dioceses of the United States, the following form may be used:

First he asks the bridegroom:

(Name), do you take (Name) for your 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 you part?

The bridegroom: I do.

Then he asks the bride:

(Name), do you take (Name) for your 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 you part?

The bride: I do.

Receiving their consent, the priest says:

You have declared your consent before the Church. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with his blessings.

What God has joined, men must not divide.

Response: Amen.

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Option 1

Priest:

May the Lord bless these rings
which you give to each other
as the sign of your love and fidelity.

Response:

Amen.

Option 2

Priest:

Lord, bless these rings which we bless in your name.
Grant that those who wear them
may always have a deep faith in each other.
May they do your will
and always live together
in peace, good will, and love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Response:

Amen.

Option 3

Priest:

Lord, bless and consecrate (Name) and (Name)
in their love for each other.
May these rings be a symbol
of true faith in each other,
and always remind them of their love.
Through Christ our Lord.

Response:

Amen.

The bridegroom places his wife's ring on her ring finger.

He may say:

(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.

The bride places her husband's ring on his ring finger.

She may say:

(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.


Excerpts from the English translation of Rite of Marriage are copyright © 1969, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Individuals who wish to reproduce text from the Rite of Marriage for their own use (including reproduction in wedding programs) must follow the ICEL copyright permission procedures, which may be found at www.icelweb.org.

For more information

Order of a Catholic wedding ceremony during Mass
A step-by-step walk through the complete order of the Catholic wedding Mass.

Order of a Catholic wedding ceremony outside Mass
A step-by-step walk through the complete order of a Catholic wedding outside of Mass.

Order of a wedding between a Catholic and an unbaptized person
A step-by-step walk through the complete order of a wedding between a Catholic and someone who has not been baptized as a Christian.

Choosing the form of your wedding
As you begin planning your wedding, one of the first things you will discuss with the priest or deacon at your parish is which form of the Rite of Marriage you will use during your wedding. Here are the three basic options.

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