The preface in the newly-adopted rite for Holy Matrimony, adopted by ACNA bishops

From here:

Concerning Preparation for Holy Matrimony
Marriage is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, binding both to self-giving love and exclusive fidelity. The rite of Holy Matrimony is a worship service of the Church, in which the couple exchanges vows to uphold this covenant. They do this before God and in the presence of witnesses, who pray that God will bless their life together.

The covenantal union of man and woman in marriage signifies the communion between Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, and the Church, his holy bride (Ephesians 5:32). While all do not marry, Holy Matrimony symbolizes the union all Christians share with their Lord.

In Holy Matrimony, God establishes and blesses the covenant between husband and wife, and joins them to live together in a communion of love, faithfulness and peace within the fellowship of Christ and his Church. God enables all married people to grow in love, wisdom and godliness through a common life patterned on the sacrificial love of Christ.

Great care should be taken to prepare all candidates for Holy Matrimony.

In preparing couples for Holy Matrimony, the clergy should comply with their Provincial and Diocesan Canons, and any Diocesan Customaries. The canons expect that both candidates are baptized. It is also the responsibility of the clergy to understand local law and to consult with the Bishop should they believe themselves compelled by law to act in a manner contrary to the teaching or canons of this Church.

Banns of Marriage
The ancient custom of announcing the wedding publicly at least three times, also known as the “Banns of Marriage,” bids the prayers and support of the community. This speaks to the great necessity for the whole body of Christ to support those joined in Holy Matrimony and their witness in Church and in society.

If the Banns are published, it shall be in the following form: “I publish the Banns of Marriage between N.N., and N.N., and I bid your prayers on their behalf. If any of you know cause, or just impediment, why these two persons should not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are to declare it. This is the first [second or third] time of asking.”

Declaration of Intention
The text of the Declaration of Intention, to be signed and dated by both parties prior to the marriage, reads as follows:

“We, N.N. and N.N., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We believe it is established by God for the procreation of children, and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord; for their mutual joy, and for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; to maintain purity, so that husbands and wives, with all the household of God, might serve as holy and undefiled members of the Body of Christ; and for the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom in family, church, and society, to the praise of his holy Name. We do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God’s help thereto.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

5 comments on “The preface in the newly-adopted rite for Holy Matrimony, adopted by ACNA bishops

  1. David Keller says:

    Is this declaration the declaration the only one? With all due respect to Sarah and Elizabeth, what if two people in their 60s or 70s (or older) were marrying–I doubt it would be “for the procreation of children”!

  2. David Keller says:

    Well, I just went and looked on the ACNA website and this is the only one. The writers might want to rethink that. Certainly, in global terms marriage is all the things the declaration says it is, but there are different circumstances. Obviously an older couple, but also a younger person, someone who is unable to have children due to things like having to have a hysterectomy due to cancer. I am not saying we need to be like TEC and make everything optional, but for most older people this will be a big chuckle and for some younger ones it could be an impediment to being a married in the Church.

  3. Stephen Noll says:

    Like the 1662 BCP, the Preface states the God-ordained norm for marriage. The Prayers make provision for the various conditions whereby the norm may not be fulfilled: “Bestow upon them, if it be your will, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.” Older or infertile couples – take Abraham and Sarah, for example – still enter into Holy Matrimony with the acceptance of its comprehensive design.

  4. David Keller says:

    I get the overall big picture of the theology of marriage, and I believe in the doctrine. I still don’t get why a couple who can’t have children need to sign a declaration that they are entering into marriage for the purpose of procreation. Couldn’t ACNA let common sense prevail instead of being pointlessly dogmatic? If we insist that couples sign a declaration, then why can’t it say “we believe in the basic theology of marriage” rather than saying they are marrying for a reason they aren’t? My personal preference would be for the Rubric to say the phrase can be omitted when not appropriate, then you get good theology and common sense all rolled into one.

  5. dwstroudmd+ says:

    A nit to pick at, eh? Well, it is Anglican.