QUAERITUR: Nuptial blessing during a TLM

Nuptial MassFrom a reader:

For a traditional Latin Solemn High Nuptial Mass with three priests, are there any known restrictions on which priest may administer the nuptial blessing, and which priest may deliver the homily?

In other words, may the priest acting as deacon deliver the sermon in the middle of Mass, and the priest acting as subdeacon administer the nuptial blessing before the Mass? Or must the celebrant administer the nuptial blessing and deliver the homily?

My sources indicate that the nuptial blessing at the end of Mass is to be given by the celebrant even when another priest witnessed the marriage.  Since the rubric in the 1962MR connects the blessing and the little sermon at the end before the blessing, the celebrant is to give both.

A priest acting as the deacon, could give the sermon after the Gospel reading during Mass.

A priest acting as the subdeacon could witness the marriage before the Mass.

This was an interesting question for me.  I have never married anyone in the older rite, and so I haven’t studied the rubrics very carefully.  I look forward to doing this someday.

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  1. Rich says:

    I got married in the older right. The priest first celebrated the marriage ceremony, then celebrated a Low Mass. They appeared to be two distinct ceremonies, without the marriage ceremony blended into the middle of the Mass.

  2. MJ says:

    The Old Rite Nuptial Mass is absolutely without a doubt gorgeous! I’ve been to a number of them, and in fact I just sang at one along with our polyphony choir a couple weeks ago. The marriage is at the beginning, with Mass following. How special it is that the first thing the married couple do together is attend Mass and receive Our Lord. :) I love it when, at the end of Mass, the bride gives her bouquet to Our Lady.

    At a wedding of a friend a few years ago, a guest in one of the pews in front of my sister said, at the end of Mass after the bride and groom walked out, “This was the weirdest wedding I’ve ever been to! They didn’t even kiss!” :-P

    I was still inside with the choir so I didn’t see it, but hey did outside, I was told. ;)

  3. moon1234 says:

    Here was our TLM wedding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uXURX5y4eE

    It was a High Mass with just one priest. We were married in 1999 before the MP. This was the Institute of Christ the King parish, St. Mary’s in Rockford, IL. It is almost 100% by the book. The only extra parts that were added were the commemeration of the saint of the day. This was omitted after 1955 I believe. I actually really like it as the saint of the day was Saint Boniface and we were able to have him remembered!

  4. Papabile says:

    I have been to a couple of weddings in the traditional rite.

    I did notice at one though that they held the exchange of vows in the middle of it. When I asked the Priest why, he told me the PCED pointed him to the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonii Sacramentum of April 2, 1964 as being the guiding document for proper implementation of the nuptials in the 1962 Missal.

    The only site I know that has it is: http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/TextContents/Index/4/TextIndex/12

    Is it really the case that this is permissible under SP?

  5. moon1234 says:

    I would have to say no. 1964 comes after 1962 so those prescriptions would NOT be according to the 1962 missal or the approval given in SP. I think switching the marriage ceremony to being within the Mass is a reform that interrupts Mass.

    There was very clear theology as to WHY the ceremony happened BEFORE Mass. The Mass is for God, Marriage is for US lowely humans here on earth. I think it is beautiful when the marriage happens FIRST. You then get to immediatly have your first Mass together in a very special way.

  6. David says:

    My wife and I were married this Nov 20, thanks be to God. It was a OF Mass, but in Latin and with a schola chanting the propers and ordinary.

    Of my Catholic friends from college who have married, I think 3 of 4 have had an EF nuptial Mass.

    Fortunately, in college we had a very orthodox and wonderful chaplain (Fr Tom Mullelly, happily still at Princeton). While he lacked the training to celebrate the EF himself, he was always open to it even before the motu proprio, and he encouraged us to form a schola for the main Sunday OF Mass.

  7. Fr. Basil says:

    \\For a traditional Latin Solemn High Nuptial Mass with three priests, \\

    There’s no such thing as a “Latin Solemn High Mass with three priests”, as concelebration (except at presbyteral ordinations) does not exist in the Extraordinary Form.

    There is just ONE priest in the Missa Solemnis, who is assisted by Deacon and Sub-deacon (who may be priests dressed up as those lower ministers).

  8. greasemonkey says:

    The nuptial blessing given after the Pater is done by the celebrant. The Homily may be given by anyone in at lest deacon’s orders. The nuptial blessing is not done before mass, it is given after the Pater.

  9. Joshua08 says:

    One reason the marriage is separate from the Mass, is that marriage could not be solemnized during Lent and Advent. But you could get married then. So if I married in the 2nd week of Lent, then after Easter I could have the Mass and blessing

    In the 1962 Missal the Mass for Nuptials is a 2nd class votive. It is not allowed on Sundays even of the 2nd class though. However, if a higher feast intervenes or if on Sunday, the propers of of the feast/Sunday, with the nuptial blessing given at the normal times (after the Pater and again, the shorter blessing, before the general one at the end). I am not sure if the votive Mass is commemorated (certainly if the Mass is a low Mass of a 2nd class feast it is, since that admits one privileged or ordinary commemoration). But sung Mass or a Mass of the first class only admits one commemoration which must be privileged (it also admits those that are said under one conclusion, e.g. whenever a collect of St. Peter or St. Paul is sung, the other is commemorated under one conclusion). But there may be a special rubric about a Mass wherein the nuptial blessing is given, but where the Mass is of a 1st/2nd class feast/Sundat

    Also, an oddity in the 1962 Missal. The Gloria is sung in the votive Mass for spouses. In previous rubrics it was not, nor in the Novus Ordo. When they simplified classifications a by-product was that the Gloria was said more. Not that I mind here

  10. Sorbonnetoga says:

    We had a Dominican friend solemnize the marriage and then our pastor celebrated the Nuptial Mass and thus he gave the Nuptial blessing. We had the vows before the Mass per the 1962 rubrics and we were obliged to use the texts from 1961 (Irish) Collectio Rituum, the local variant of the Roman Ritual.

    On a purely psychological point, the vows coming first is a pastorally sensitive arrangement, too. No one has the chance to get nervous; you simply walk down the aisle, get married, kneel down for Mass and never, ever have to look at the congregation until it’s all over! On a practical point, anyone who is getting married in the EF might find this booklet (free download) of use. http://www.scribd.com/doc/13893133/Wedding-Mass-Booklet-Template

  11. albinus1 says:

    My fiancee and I will be getting married in May with a TLM at Christ the King parish in Sarasota. The pastor agreed to celebrate a High Mass for us, and we are really looking forward to it.

    A good friend of mine was married a year ago Oct. The wedding was on Oct. 3, the old feast of the Little Flower. Because he and his fiancee both have a devotion to her, they had the Mass of the feast celebrated as their Nuptial Mass instead of the Mass of the Bride and Groom. The celebrant told them that this was an option — to have the Mass of the day celebrated in connection with the wedding, rather than the actual Nuptial Mass.

  12. albinus1 says:

    Sorry, I meant to add that my friend who were married on Oct. 3 of last year had a traditional wedding with a TLM, though I suppose that was clear from context. :-)

  13. wolfeken says:

    Thanks to all the commenters and Father Z on my question.

    I think the consensus appears to be: the celebrant must administer the nuptial blessing within the Mass, but the priests acting as deacon and subdeacon can conduct the order of marriage before the Mass as well as deliver the sermon assuming proper vestments are used.

    If anyone has information to the contrary, please let me know. Thanks again. Ken

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