Priests don't marry you?


#1

I have heard that Priests do not "marry" a couple, the couple marries each other.

What would be the correct word/phrase for what the Priest does do during the wedding? Would it be correct to say that he "celebrates" it? Or "witnesses" it? Or what?

Thanks.


#2

[quote="VeritasLuxMea, post:1, topic:317654"]
I have heard that Priests do not "marry" a couple, the couple marries each other.

What would be the correct word/phrase for what the Priest does do during the wedding? Would it be correct to say that he "celebrates" it? Or "witnesses" it? Or what?

Thanks.

[/quote]

Witness, I think.


#3

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:2, topic:317654"]
Witness, I think.

[/quote]

So the Priest is present to "witness the exchange of vows", is that correct?

And if it the wedding is a Mass, then the Priest is there to "celebrate Mass", yes?

Thank you.

Edit: if anyone can provide a link that says more about why this is an important distinction, please do so. I'm kinda wondering about it, I know the Priest at our wedding noted the distinction for some reason (so apparently it was important enough to mention) but now I don't recall why.


#4

The ministers are the two persons getting married, the priest is the church's witness, because it is the two who are entering into the marriage covenant.


#5

The husband and wife must validly execute the marriage contract. In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is the spouses who are understood to confer marriage on each other. The spouses, as ministers of grace, naturally confer upon each other the sacrament of matrimony, expressing their consent before the church.

This does not eliminate the need for church involvement in the marriage; under normal circumstances, canon law requires the attendance of a priest or deacon and at least two witnesses for validity (see canons 1108–1116).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_%28Catholic_Church%29

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P40.HTM


#6

[quote="VeritasLuxMea, post:3, topic:317654"]
So the Priest is present to "witness the exchange of vows", is that correct?

And if it the wedding is a Mass, then the Priest is there to "celebrate Mass", yes?

[/quote]

He's there to "offer" mass.

Lol, I haven't spoken much on the topic recently but I have a bit of a pet peeve with this whole "celebration" fad that sprung up a few decades ago. It's a sacrifice, not a party!

:p


#7

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P53.HTM

CCC 1630 The priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. the presence of the Church’s minister (and also of the witnesses) visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality.


#8

Thank you all.


#9

A priest or deacon can also be called the officiant of a wedding. Generally speaking, an officiant is a minister who leads a religious ceremony, and this term is often used in the context of weddings (Catholic and otherwise).


#10

[quote="dshix, post:6, topic:317654"]
He's there to "offer" mass.

Lol, I haven't spoken much on the topic recently but I have a bit of a pet peeve with this whole "celebration" fad that sprung up a few decades ago. It's a sacrifice, not a party!

:p

[/quote]

There is a highly significant sacrificial element to the Mass, but the Mass also is the re-enactment of the meal our Lord shared with his disciples, and a celebration of our Lord's Resurrection.


#11

[quote="RyanBlack, post:10, topic:317654"]
There is a highly significant sacrificial element to the Mass, but the Mass also is the re-enactment of the meal our Lord shared with his disciples, and a celebration of our Lord's Resurrection.

[/quote]

Oh, I understand that and agree, but the word "celebration" didn't come into Church vocabulary until relatively recently.


#12

[quote="dshix, post:11, topic:317654"]
Oh, I understand that and agree, but the word "celebration" didn't come into Church vocabulary until relatively recently.

[/quote]

How recent is the twenty-second session of the Council of Trent?

CHAPTER II.
That the Sacrifice of the Mass is propitiatory both for the living and the dead.
And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propritiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the [Page 155] grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreebly to a tradition of the apostles.

peace
steve


#13

I did hear a convincing theological argument once that it was in fact God who marries a couple.


#14

[quote="Spudbynight, post:13, topic:317654"]
I did hear a convincing theological argument once that it was in fact God who marries a couple.

[/quote]

Marriage is a sacrament and it is God who dispenses His sacraments through His ministers. It happens that the ordinary ministers of the sacrament of holy matrimony are the husband and wife, and the sacrament is consummated with the marital embrace when two become one flesh. Which is why there can be no such thing as "same sex marriage", as two persons of the same sex cannot, physiologically, become "one flesh". (the sex act is the only physiological process that requires both a man and a woman to accomplish, so this also has a scientific basis, something often overlooked in that debate, but I digress).


#15

I guess the Book of the Apocalypse’ reference to the “Banquet of the Lamb” is relatively recent? What is a banquet but a celebration.


#16

In Eastern Catholicism, the priest actually does marry the couple as opposed to the couple presenting the Sacrament to each other.


#17

Would someone be so inclined to clarify something for me?

I am wondering: why is it that the couple are the ministers of this particular sacrament, and not the Deacon or Priest? I mean, theologically, why is that? Priests and Deacons seem to be the ministers of all of the other sacraments, so I'm wondering why this particular sacrament is an exception.

I was thinking it had something to do with the importance of consent for this sacrament. But then, consent is also very important for confirmation as well and yet the confirmed are not the ministers of their own confirmation. So it doesn't sound like consent is the main reason.


#18

[quote="thenobes, post:12, topic:317654"]
How recent is the twenty-second session of the Council of Trent?

[/quote]

It was only translated that way. The actual Latin was

Et quoniam in divino hoc sacrificio, quod in missa peragitur,...

ccel.org/ccel/schaff/creeds2.v.i.i.ix.html


#19

The priest or deacon is the Presider, not officiant or celebrant. Some documents also use the term Priest/Celebrant. But we all celebrate the Mass when we gather for the prayer. It is the Rite of Marriage that says that the couple are met at the door of the church by the priest/deacon and they process TOGETHER to the altar (not groom waiting at the front). (The Rite of Marriage also says that the procession is an option.) The priest or deacon witnesses the vows on behalf of the Church and the state.


#20

[quote="VeritasLuxMea, post:17, topic:317654"]
Would someone be so inclined to clarify something for me?

I am wondering: why is it that the couple are the ministers of this particular sacrament, and not the Deacon or Priest? I mean, theologically, why is that? Priests and Deacons seem to be the ministers of all of the other sacraments, so I'm wondering why this particular sacrament is an exception.

I was thinking it had something to do with the importance of consent for this sacrament. But then, consent is also very important for confirmation as well and yet the confirmed are not the ministers of their own confirmation. So it doesn't sound like consent is the main reason.

[/quote]

Byzantine theology holds that the priest is the minister of the Sacrament, but of course, consent is still necessary. In the Byzantine wedding ceremony, the couple do not exchange vows. I've always struggled a bit with this seeming incompatibility between the two approaches, but I've just come to accept that, in both cases, the Sacrament occurs through the ministry of the Church.


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