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The Rite of Marriage post Vat II

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The Rite of Marriage post Vat II

Post  columba on Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:05 pm

I approach this topic the way one would do if walking bare-footed over broken glass but this has been on my mind for quite some time having attended 3 weddings in the past two years.

It seems to be a rule that if one wishes to receive a grace from God then one must ask in order to receive. This is borne out not only by the Lords own words in scripture but also by a few saints ( I can't quite remember which) who have mentioned this condition. I think it goes something like, If one is aware of a need then one is duty bound to ask it of God who will supply if it be for the good of the soul.

In light of the huge numbers of marriage breakdowns since Vat II, i was using my "armchair theologian" qualifications Smile in pondering if their be anything changed in the marrige rite since Vat II that if recovered could provide extra grace for those who take the plunge?

After studying the two rites pre and post Vat II, I discovered and omission in the vows of the latter that was present in the former that seems to fit in with the general trend of what seems to be a big problem in modern marriages. I'm talking here about the natural order of authority in the household being inverted whereby the man and woman both have equal authority. Please don't think I'm being sexist here but wasn't the order of status within a marriage determined by God Himself in the Garden of Edan?

The omitted vow I refer to is that which the woman customarily used to make at the alter before God and her husband; that is, to love honor and obey. I think you all know which one has been omitted in th new rite and it's the implications of this omission that I think might provide a clue to what's going wrong in modern day marriages.

Let me add once more (especially to all the ladies here) that I'm only trying to look at this from a purely theological perspective.
If we all recognise that we suffer from a fallen nature (both male and female) which is inclined towards disorder and, that special grace from God is needed to restore order both personally and collectively, and, if we agree that God established a certain hierarchy of authority within the home (and even in nature outside the human realm); how then can a woman hope to be subject to her husband if lacking the supernatural grace to do so which was denied her in the new rite of marriage by the refusal to have it requested as part of the sacramental grace of matrimony?

The result (as I see it) in so many cases is, with a single authoritative figure not recognized in the home, either the woman takes on the role and subjects the husband or more commonly the children themselves dictate to the parents how things should be run. The result being a very unstable and unhappy enviroment that either falls apart eventually or erxists as such til death do us part.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this or is this more contraversial than baptism of desire? Embarassed

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Re: The Rite of Marriage post Vat II

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:39 pm

Do you have links to the old text and the new text that can be compared?


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Re: The Rite of Marriage post Vat II

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:15 pm


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Re: The Rite of Marriage post Vat II

Post  columba on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:41 pm

RashaLampa wrote:Do you have links to the old text and the new text that can be compared?

Hmmm. This isn't as easy as I thought it would be. I can find a link to the New Rite but can't as yet find the pre Vat II rite. I've tried every possibility that google brought up and these only led to forums but from them I got some info.

I also asked a (semi trad) priest friend this morning if he Knew anything of the old rite vows. He said there where different vows permitted according to location but that the Irish marriage vows usually contained the word, "obey" as part of the vow the womn would make but that it was never an essential part of the marriage rite. He also remarked that the subjection of the wife to the husband was taken for granted according to Christian tradition and there was no need to explicitly require the woman to take a vow that was already implcit in the natural order of things.
However, he said that one major change in the new rite has been the omission of the reading from ephesians 5 which was always part of the old rite

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

He said that in the new rite, this reading is not even one of the suggested readings that can be chosen by the couple for their ceremony.

I came across the following exchange on CAF.
One poster had said that a priest told him that the old rite rquired that the woman would vow to obey her husband.

Your priest is smokin' something if he thinks "obey" is part of the vows that Catholics exchange. It is not now, nor has it ever been.

Not true. My wife promised to love, honor and obey during our vows. We were married at a Traditional Latin Mass. The words were there in the vows we read. My wife chose to keep them as they were.[/quote]

The following was posted on another Catholic Forum as the vows that were exchanged at their Catholic weddng.


The groom and bride join their right hands upon the Book of Gospels. The priest covers their hands with his stole and right hand and then says to the GROOM:
Repeat after me:
I, N., take you, N., to be my wife, and I promise to love you, to respect you, to be always faithful to you, and never to forsake you until death do us part. So help me God, one in the Holy Trinity, and all the Saints.
Then the priest says to the BRIDE:
Repeat after me:
I, N., take you, N., to be my husband, and I promise to love you, to respect you, to give you matrimonial obedience, to be always faithful to you, and never to forsake you until death do us part. So help me God, one in the Holy Trinity, and all the Saints.

I remember at our own pre-marriage course (in 1980) the priest joked that the ladies were no longer required to vow to obey their husbands, which led me to believe that at one time they used to make ths vow.

I will have to do more research on this when I get a free hour. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place in trying to discover the cause for whats going on all around us in Ireland. I know the media-driven, free-love clmate has much to do with it but there also must be some spiritual neglect that allows this culture to go unchallenged.
If it's nothing to do with the marriage vows then I'll look more closely at my next suspect, NFP.

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