Has anyone EVER heard "Speak now or forever hold your peace?" at a Catholic wedding?


So I was reading one of those Facebook articles about stories where THE QUESTION was asked: If anyone knows any reason why this couple should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace." There were some amusing stories (and some that definitely sounded made up) but I was surprised how many stories actually claimed to have taken place in a Catholic wedding.

I said I didn’t believe that a Catholic priest would ask this question and doubted the truth of the stories that claimed they were Catholic weddings, and posted a link about things that don’t happen in a Catholic wedding (i.e. giving the bride away, etc.) because they are not part of the Catholic rite of matrimony and was slammed by people claiming that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and that their friend got married in a Catholic wedding ceremony and the priest asked the question, etc. etc.

I have a brother-in-law who’s been a priest for 25 years and he’s NEVER used that question in the ceremony (“That’s all covered in pre-Cana and marriage prep… if there’s a reason, they wouldn’t be at the altar!”) In all the years I’ve attended numerous Catholic weddings (including my own) the question has never come up.

So have I been exceptionally sheltered? Has anyone here ever heard the question asked at a Catholic wedding?


I haven’t. I wouldn’t think it would very often as that’s why Banns are published 3 times.


That’s if they publish banns. We’ve only done so once in the 20 years I’ve been in this parish and that one time was at the request of the marrying parish 2 provinces away. It served no purpose for, although the groom had been baptized in our parish, nobody knew who he or his parents were. It’s the nature of our parish which has a very transient population.


My dear OP, didn’t you know that every non-Catholic is better informed about the Church than the Pope and every is atheist is, like, this total Bible scholar with about twelve PhD’s in Biblical studies?


I did get that impression, though one accused me of knowing EVERYTHING (which I don’t, which is why I posted a link from foryourmarriage.org, while they only had anecdotes, but apparently that’s all they need to be an expert!)

I did hear a priest friend say once that he’d been asked to include the question in a ceremony (it wasn’t during a Mass) because the bride had always dreamed of one of those weddings like in a movie (she also wanted him to ask “Who gives this woman?” as her father gave her away and he refused that, too.) He never saw the couple again and wondered if they had ever gotten married at all or if they’d found someone who was willing to fulfill her movie wedding fantasy.


From the US Bishops


Well, since that question is not in the Catholic marriage rite, these claims are false claims.

Some people just want to be ignorant, despite the evidence. Hence: flat earth society

No. You are on target. You can read the Rite of Marriage for yourself online. You can trust your priest BIL who knows what he’s talking about. The Catholic Church publishes banns prior to the marriage. The Rite of Marriage does not ask the question about whether anyone knows just cause why the two should not be married.

Also not done at Catholic weddings:
Women don’t promise to obey
No one gives the bride away


No matter what they think or say
Catholic form is here to stay.


NO that is why in the “old days” the “Banns” of a wedding couple were announced in the Church bulletin for a few weeks. That way if anybody saw they were getting married and had a reason they shouldn’t they could contact the Priest and tell him the issue. Not done any more


Surprisingly, I’ve actually never been to a Catholic wedding, so no I have not heard that phrase.


I’ve only been to one Catholic wedding in my life and that was mine.

I’ve only been to four weddings total in my life.


I call BS. They don’t say that in Catholic weddings.


I was pretty sure that no one here had ever heard it. I was simply astounded by the claims of so many people–“Oh, my friend was married in a Catholic ceremony and the priest asked the question.” I can only assume that they THOUGHT they heard it because it was such a common thing at TV and movie weddings. Or else they found a priest willing to humor them because some people will do anything to inject an element of drama into a solemn ceremony.

But everyone on the internet is an expert. I left them with the link and let them call me names. You can’t argue with people like that. The facts aren’t nearly as interesting.


That’s about it.

I never heard any non-catholic presiders at a wedding ask that either- not saying the never do.

In movies and TV programs, you also see, when someone dies, everyone gathering at the lawyer’s office for the Reading of the Will.

That doesn’t happen either, very much anyhow, in real life.

These things are just dramatic devices, which are essential to the plot.


It appears in Anglican wedding liturgies. We still use it in the CofE and the Banns are read on three occasions prior to the wedding.

The ‘speak now’ impediment clause appears to be retained in the wedding liturgy of the Ordinariate, whilst the promise to obey is optional.
The admonition and scrutiny in the Ordinariate liturgy closely follows that of The Book of Common Prayer which retained the impediment clause from the pre-Reformation Use of Sarum . The giving of the bride appears in Common Prayer and comes from the pre-Reformation Use of York but seems to be omitted in the Ordinariate rite.


Although not in the Catholic wedding Mass, I just love that line from the fateful moment in Jane Eyre!!


I’d be more likely to say that people THINK they have heard it at Catholic weddings because they have seen it in a movie or on TV, because they don’t realize that some High Church Protestants are not Catholic, or because Joe’s grandma’s hairdresser’s cousin said it happens.


Best moment EVER.


Thank you, at least now we know it wasn’t invented by hollywood


The best version to me is the one with Toby Stevens. He did a GREAT portrayal.

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