Holy Matrimony


The Sacrament


Unlike all the other Sacraments, the ministers of Holy Matrimony, or Christian Marriage, are the people who receive it; that is, the bride and bridegroom.  It is, of course, first necessary that they should have been baptised.  Where a priest may be had, the couple should be married before a priest in order to receive the Church’s blessing and to obey the Church’s marriage rule.


The matter of the Sacrament consists of the words and signs by which the bride and bridegroom take one another as husband and wife.  So in the Church of England, if John and Mary are getting married, John takes Mary’s right hand in his and says:

“I, (John), take you, (Mary),
to be my wife,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part;
according to God's holy law. 
In the presence of God I make this vow”. 

The bride then takes the bridegroom’s right hand in hers and takes the same vow, beginning, “I, (Mary), take you, (John), to be my husband…”. (1)

The rest of the matter is the giving and receiving of the wedding ring (or rings if the bridegroom also receives one).

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