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Marriage - Rite of Marriage

This is the part in your ceremony that you will go over with the priest/deacon whom will be performing your ceremony prior to your wedding. These are otherwise thought of as your wedding vows. Unfortunately, you cannot write or customize your wedding vows, but you do have a couple different options below to choose from. The priest/deacon will go over this with you, but in most Catholic weddings, the ceremony begins the same way:

“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.”

The priest then questions the couple 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?”

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

 Both the bride and the groom will answer the questions separately.

Prayers of the Faithful

The prayer of the faithful, also known as “general intercessions,” follow immediately after the blessing and exchange of rings. The presider or a lector reads each prayer ("For. . . ; we pray to the Lord. . . .") and the assembly responds ("Lord, hear our prayer" or another appropriate response). The general intercessions used during the Sunday Mass are usually written by someone at the parish. Most parishes, however, will allow (and even encourage) couples to write their own intercessions for their wedding.

According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (#70), the series of intentions should follow:

For the needs of the Church

For public authorities and the salvation of the whole world

For those burdened by any kind of difficulty

For the local community

However, the General Instruction also provides for the intentions to "reflect more closely the particular occasion" during the Rite of Marriage. You can include a prayer for yourselves, for instance, as well as for deceased relatives and other important people in your life. Keep in mind that these prayers are the prayers of the whole Church, and as such, they should reflect some broader concerns. It would be appropriate, for instance, to pray for all married couples; for families; for the sick and the lonely; for the Church and world leaders; and for peace and justice. Your priest can assist you in composing appropriate prayers if you choose to write your own.