Prayers

The Order of Celebrating Matrimony between a Catholic and a Catechumen or a Non-Christian

iBreviary users note: For convenience, the Order of Celebrating Matrimony within Mass is not presented exactly as found in the Roman Ritual, but rather together with the appropriate insertion of texts and rubrics from the Roman Missal. The numbers in the text correspond with those indicated in the Roman Ritual, unless noted thus: RM [Roman Missal] or LM [Lectionary for Mass].


The Rite of Reception

Liturgy of the Word

The Celebration of Matrimony

The Consent

Form A (promises): (i) Ritual (ii) United States

Form B (questions): (i) Ritual (ii) United States

The Blessing and Giving of Rings   A     B

Nuptial Blessing

The Conclusion of the Celebration

Appendix: Readings for the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage Go to the Readings

Introduction to the Order of Celebrating Marriage Go to the Introduction


118. When Marriage is contracted by a Catholic and a catechumen or a non-Catholic Christian, the celebration takes place in a church or in another suitable place, according to the following rite.

The order provided here is to be observed by a Priest or by a Deacon who has received delegation from the local Ordinary or the pastor to assist at the celebration of Marriages and to bless them in the name of the Church.

The Rite of Reception

119. At the appointed time, the one who presides, the Priest or Deacon, wearing an alb and stole, and even a cope (or a dalmatic for a Deacon) of the same color, goes with the servers to the door of the church or to the place that has been chosen, where he receives the bridal party, and warmly greets them.

After this, the one who presides, the servers, the couple, the witnesses, and all present go to the seats prepared for each one.


120. Then in these or similar words, the one who presides addresses them to dispose them inwardly for the celebration of Marriage:

N. and N., the Church shares your joy
and warmly welcomes you,
together with your families and friends,
as today you establish between yourselves
a lifelong partnership.
For believers God is the source of love and fidelity,
because God is love.
So let us listen attentive to his word,
and let us humbly pray to him,
that he may grant you your hearts’ desire
and fulfill every one of your prayers.

121. If, however, circumstances so suggest, the Rite of Reception is omitted and the celebration of Marriage begins with the Liturgy of the Word.

The Liturgy of the Word

122. The Liturgy of the Word follows in the usual manner with texts taken from those provided from the readings indicated below (nos. 144-187). There may be one or two readings. If, however,circumstances make this more desirable, there may be only one reading. At least one reading that explicitly speaks of Marriage must always be chosen.

123. After this, there should be a homily on the sacred text, which sould be adapted to the responsibilities and situation of the couple and other circumstances.

Readings for the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage

The Celebration of Matrimony

124. Then, with all standing, including the couple and the witnesses, who are positioned near them, the one who presides addresses the couple in these or similar words.

Dearly beloved,
you have come together here
before a minister of the Church,
and in the presence of the community
so that your intention to enter into Marriage
may be strengthened by the Lord with a sacred seal,
and your love enriched with his blessing,
so that you may have strength
to be faithful to each other for ever
and to assume all the responsibilities of married life.
And so, in the presence of the Church,
I ask you to state your intentions.

The Questions before the Consent

125. The one who presides then questions them about their freedom of choice, fidelity to each other, and the acceptance and upbringing of children, and each responds separately.

N. and N. have you come here to enter into Marriage
without coercion,
freely and wholeheartedly?

The bridegroom and bride each say:

I have.

The one who presides continues:

Are you prepared, as you follow the path of Marriage,
to love and honor each other
for as long as you both shall live?

The bridegroom and bride each say:

I have.

The following question may be omitted, if circumstances suggest this, for example, if the couple is advanced in years.

Are you prepared to accept children lovingly from God
and to bring them up
according to the law of Christ and his Church?

The bridegroom and bride each say:

I have.

The Consent

126. The one who presides invites them to declare their consent:

Since it is your intention to enter the covenant of Holy Matrimony
join your right hands and declare your consent
before God and his Church.

They join their right hands.

Form A: (i) Ritual (ii) United States

Form B: (i) Ritual (ii) United States

A.

127. The bridegroom says:

I, N., take you, N., to be my wife.
I promise to be faithful to you,
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health.
to love you and to honor you
all the days of my life.


The bride says:

I, N., take you, N., to be my husband.
I promise to be faithful to you,
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health,
to love you and to honor you
all the days of my life.


Go to The Reception of the Consent

[In the dioceses of the United States], the following alternative form may be used:

The bridegroom says:

I, N., take you, N., for my lawful 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
until death do us part.


The bride says:

I, N., take you, N., for my lawful husband,
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
until death do us part.


Go to The Reception of the Consent

Form B

128. If, however, it seems preferable for pastoral reasons, the one who presides may obtain the consent of the contracting parties through questioning.
First the one who presides asks the bridegroom:


N., do you take, N. to be your wife?
Do you promise to be faithful to her
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health,
to love her and to honor her
all the days of your life?

The bridegroom replies: I do.

Next, the one who presides asks the bride:

N., do you take, N. to be your husband?
Do you promise to be faithful to him
in good times and in bad,
in sickness and in health,
to love him and to honor him
all the days of your life?

The bride replies: I do.

Go to The Reception of the Consent

[In the dioceses of the United States] the alternative form may be used:

First the one who presides asks the bridegroom:


N., do you take, N. for your lawful wife,
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do you part?

The bridegroom replies: I do

Next, the one who presides asks the bride:

N., do you take N. for your lawful husband,
to have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do you part?

The bride replies: I do.

The Reception of the Consent

129. Then, receiving their consent, the one who presides says to the bride and bridegroom::

May the Lord in his kindness strengthen the consent
you have declared before the Church,
and graciously bring to fulfillment his blessing within you.
What God joins together, let no one put asunder.

Or:

May the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
the God who joined together our first parents in paradise,
strengthen and bless in Christ
the consent you have declared before the Church,
so that what God joins together, no one may put asunder.

130. The one who presides invites those present to praise God:

Let us bless the Lord.

All reply:

Thanks be to God.

Another acclamation may be sung or said.

The Blessing and Giving of Rings

131. If circumstances so suggest, the blessing and giving of rings may be omitted. If they are included, however, the Priest (or Deacon) says:

May the Lord bless + these rings,
which you give to each other
as a sign of love and fidelity.
R. Amen.

Or: [194]

Bless, O Lord, these rings,
which we bless + in your name,
so that those who wear them
may remain entirely faithful to each other,
abide in peace and in your will,
and live always in mutual charity.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Or: [195]

Bless + and sanctify your servants
in their love, O Lord,
and let these rings, a sign of their faithfulness,
remind them of their love for one another.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

The one who presides sprinkles the rings, if appropriate, and gives them to the bride and bridegroom.

132. The husband places his wife’s ring on her ring finger, saying, if appropriate:

N.
, receive this ring
as a sign of my love and fidelity.

If he is a Christian, he may add:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

Likewise, the wife places her husband’s ring on his ring finger, saying, if appropriate:

N.
, receive this ring
as a sign of my love and fidelity.

If she is a Christian, she may add:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

The Blessing and Giving of the Arras

133. If the occasion so suggests, the rite of blessing and giving of the arras (coins) may take place following the blessing and giving of rings.

The one who presides says:


Bless, + O Lord, these arras
that N. and N. will give to each other
and pour over them the abundance of your good gifts.

The husband takes the arras and hands them over to his wife, saying:

N.
, receive these arras as a pledge of God’s blessing
and as a sign of the good gifts we will share.


The wife takes the arras and hands them over to her husband, saying:

N.
, receive these arras as a pledge of God’s blessing
and as a sign of the good gifts we will share.


134. Then a hymn or canticle of praise may be sung by the whole community.

The Universal Prayer


135. The Universal Prayer then takes place.
a) first, the one who presides says the invitation to prayer;
b) the invocations of the Universal Prayer with the reponse of the faithful follow, but in such a way that the individual invocations should be consistent with the Nuptial Blessing, yet should not duplicate it;
c) then the concluding prayer is ommitted and the one who presides invokes upon the bride and bridegroom God’s blessing, which is never omitted.

[216]

The one who presides begins:


Dear brothers and sisters,
as we call to mind the special gift of grace and charity
by which God has been pleased to crown and consecrate
the love of our sister N. and our brother N.
let us commend them to the Lord.

Minister:

That these faithful Christians, N. and N.,
newly joined in Holy Matrimony,
may always enjoy health and well-being,
let us pray to the Lord.
R. Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer.

Or another appropriate response of the people.

That he will bless their covenant
as he chose to sanctify marriage at Cana in Galilee,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

That they be granted perfect and fruitful love,
peace and strength,
and that they bear faithful witness to the name of Christian,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

That the Christian people
may grow in virture day by day
and that all who are burdened by any need
may receive the help of grace from above,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

That the grace of the Sacrament
will be renewed by the Holy Spirit
in all married persons here present, let us pray to the Lord. R.

The one who presides concludes:


Graciously pour out upon this husband and wife, O Lord,
the Spirit of your love,
to make them one heart and one soul,
so that nothing whatever may divide those you have joined
and no harm may come to those you have filled with your blessing.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

[217]

The one who presides begins:


Dear brothers and sisters,
let us accompany this new family with our prayers,
that the mutual love of this couple may grow daily
and that God in his kindness
will sustain all families throughout the world.

Minister:

For this bride and groom,
and for their well-being as a family,
let us pray to the Lord.

R. Lord, we ask you, hear our prayer.

Or another appropriate response of the people.

For their relatives and friends,
and for all who have assisted this couple,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

For young people preparing to enter Marriage,
and for all whom the Lord is calling to another state in life,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

For all families throughout the world
and for lasting peace among all people,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

For all members of our families
who have passed from this world,
and for all the departed,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

For the Church, the holy People of God,
and for unity among all Christians,
let us pray to the Lord. R.

The one who presides concludes:

Lord Jesus, who are present in our midst,
as N. and N. seal their union
accept our prayer
and fill us with your Spirit.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

136. After the invocations, the one who presides continues:

God the Father wills that his children be of one heart in charity;
let those who are Christian call upon him
in the prayer of God’s family,
which our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us:

And all the Christians continue:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.


The Blessing and Placing of the Lazo or the Veil

137. According to local customs, the rite of blessing and imposition of the lazo (wedding garland) or of the veil may take place before the Nuptial Blessing. The spouses remain kneeling in their place. Then if it is convenient to do so, the lazo may be placed at this time, or else, a veil is placed over the head of the wife the the shoulders of the husband, thus symbolizing the bond that unites them.

The one who presides says:


Bless, + O Lord, this lazo (or: this veil),
a symbol of the indissoluble union
that N. and N. have established from this day forward
before you and with your help.

The lazo (or the veil) is held by two family members or friends and is placed over the shoulders of the newly married couple.


Nuptial Blessing

138. As a rule, the Nuptial Blessing is said over the bride and bridegroom. Nevertheless, if circumstances suggest this, it may be omitted and, in this case, the prayer provided in no. 140. is said in the place of the Nuptial Blessing.

The bride and bridegroom kneel at their place, if circumstances suggest this.

Then, the Priest (or Deacon) continues, with hands joined:


Now let us humbly invoke God’s blessing
upon this bride and groom,
that in his kindness he may favor with his help
those on whom he has bestowed the Sacrament of Matrimony.

And all pray in silence for a while.

139. Then the Priest (or Deacon), standing and turned the bride and bridegroom with hands extended over them, says continues:

Holy Father, maker of the whole world,
who created man and woman in your own image
and willed that their union be crowned with your blessing,
we humbly beseech you for these your servants,
who are joined today in the Marriage covenant.

May your abundant blessing, Lord,
come down upon this bride, N.,
and upon N., her companion for life,
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
set their hearts aflame from on high,
so that, living out together the gift of Matrimony,
they may be known for the integrity of their conduct
(and be recognized as virtuous parents)

In happiness may they praise you, O Lord,
in sorrow may they seek you out;
may they have the joy of your presence
to assist them in their toil,
and know that you are near
to comfort them in their need;
and after a happy old age,
together with the circle of friends that surrounds them,
may they come to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

140. If, because of circumstances, the Nuptial Blessing is omitted, this prayer is spoken over the bride and bridegroom:

Be attentive to our prayers, O Lord,
and in your kindness uphold
what you have established for the increase of the human race,
so that the union you have created
may be kept safe by your assiatance.
Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.


The Conclusion of the Celebration

141. Then, the Priest (or Deacon) blesses the people, saying:

May almighty God bless all of you, who are gathered here,
the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

142. It is a praiseworthy practice to end the celebration with a suitable chant.

143. When the celebration is concluded, the witnesses and the one who presides sign the Marriage record. The signing may take place either in the vesting room or in the presence of the people; however, it is not to be done on the altar.


Readings for the Conferral of the Sacrament of Marriage

Go to the Responsorial Psalms

Go to the New Testament Readings

Go to the Gospel Acclamations

Go to the Gospel Readings

Go to the Celebration of Matrimony


Readings from the Old Testament

1 Genesis 1 Male and female he created them

2 Genesis 2 The two of them become one body

3 Genesis 24 Rebekah and Isaac

4 Tobit 7 The marriage between Tobiah and Sarah

5 Tobit 8 The prayer of Tobiah and Sarah

6 Proverbs 31 The woman who fears the Lord

7 Song of Songs 2/8 Stern as death is love

8 Sirach 26 The beauty of a virtuous wife

9 Jeremiah 31 The new covenant

801.1 [LM] Gen 1:26-28, 31a
Male and female he created them.

A reading from the Book of Genesis

Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
   the birds of the air and the cattle,
   and over all the wild animals,
   and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

God created man in his image;
      in the image of God he created him;
      male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
   “Be fertile and multiply;
   fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
   and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.

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801.2 [LM] Gen 2:18-24
The two of them become one body.

A reading from the Book of Genesis

The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.
   I will make a helper suited for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
   various wild animals and various birds of the air,
   and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
   whatever the man called each living creature was then its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
   all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;
   but none proved to be a helper suited to the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
   and while he was asleep,
   he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman
   that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:

      “This one, at last, is bone of my bones
         and flesh of my flesh;
      This one shall be called ‘woman,’
         for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother
   and clings to his wife,
   and the two of them become one body.

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801.3 [LM] Gen 24:48-51, 58-67
In his love for Rebekah, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother.

A reading from the Book of Genesis

The servant of Abraham said to Laban:
“I bowed down in worship of the LORD,
   blessing the LORD, the God of my master Abraham,
   who had led me on the right road
   to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son.
If, therefore, you have in mind to show true loyalty to my master,
   let me know;
   but if not, let me know that too.
I can then proceed accordingly.”

Laban and his household said in reply:
   “This thing comes from the LORD;
   we can say nothing to you either for or against it.
Here is Rebekah, ready for you;
   take her with you,
   that she may become the wife of your master’s son,
   as the LORD has said.”

So they called Rebekah and asked her,
   “Do you wish to go with this man?”
She answered, “I do.”
At this allowed their sister Rebekah and her nurse to take leave
   with Abraham’s servant and his men.
Invoking a blessing on Rebekah, they said:

   “Sister, may you grow
      into thousands of myriads;
   And may your descendants gain possession
      of the gates of their enemies!”

Then Rebekah and her maids started out;
   they mounted their camels and followed the man.
So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.

Meanwhile Isaac had gone from Beer-lahai-roi
   and was living in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening he went out ... in the field,
   and as he looked around he notices that camels were approaching.
Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him,
   she alighted from her camel and asked the servant,
   “Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?”
“That is my master,” replied the servant.
Then she covered herself with her veil.

The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
   he married her and thus she became his wife.
In his love for her Isaac found
   solace after the death of his mother Sarah.

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801.4 [LM] Tb 7:6-14
May the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.

A reading from the Book of Tobit

Raphael and Tobiah entered the house of and greeted him.
Raguel sprang up, kissed Tobiah, shedding tears of joy.
But when he heard that Tobit had lost his eyesight,
   he was grieved and wept aloud.
He said to Tobiah:
   “My child, God bless you!
You are the son of a noble and good father.
But what a terrible misfortune
   that such a righteous and charitable man
   should be afflicted with blindness!”
He continued to weep in the armsof his kinsman Tobiah.
His wife Edna also wept for Tobit;
   and even their daughter Sarah began to weep.

Afterward, Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
   and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat,
   Tobiah said to Raphael, “Brother Azariah,
   ask Raguel to give me my kinswoman Sarah.”
Raguel overheard the words;
   so he said to the boy:
“Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
   for no man has a greater right to marry my daughter Sarah
   than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
   because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very.
I have given her in marriage to seven men
   all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
   and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”
Tobiah answered, “I will eat or drink nothing
   until you set aside what belongs to me.”

Raguel said to him: “I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman
   from now on you are her love,
   and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
   “Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses she is your wife.
Take her and bring her safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”
He then called her mother and told her to bring a scroll,
   so that he might draw up a marriage contract
   stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
   according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
   and he drew up the contract,
   to which they affixed their seals.
Afterward they began to eat and drink.

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801.5 [LM] Tb 8:4b-8
Allow us to live together to a happy old age.

A reading from the Book of Tobit

On their wedding night Tobiah rose from bed and said to his wife,
“Sister, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord
   to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.”
Sarah got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
They began with these words:

   “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers;
      praised be your name forever and ever!
   Let the heavens and all your creation
      praise you forever.
   You made Adam, and you gave him his wife Eve
      to be his help and support;
      and from these two the human race descended.
   You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
      let us make him a partner like himself.’
   Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
      not because of lust,
      but for a noble purpose.
   Call down your mercy on me and on her,
      and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”

They said together, “Amen, amen!”

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801.6 [LM] Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

A reading from the Book of Proverbs

When one finds a worthy wife,
   her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
   has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
   all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
   and makes cloth with skillful hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
   and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
   and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
   the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors,
   and let her works praise her at the city gates.

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801.7 [LM] Sg 2:8-10, 16a; 8:6-7a
Stern as death is love.

A reading from the Song of Songs

Hark! my lover—here he comes
   springing across the mountains,
   leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
   or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
   gazing through the windows,
   peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
   “Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
   in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
   let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
   and you are lovely.”

My lover belongs to me and I to him;
   He says to me:

“Set me as a seal on your heart,
   as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love,
   relentless as the nether world is devotion;
   its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
   nor floods sweep it away.”

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801.8 [LM] Sir 26:1-4, 13-16
The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

A reading from the Book of Sirach

Blessed the husband of a good wife,
   twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
   peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
   bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
   and a smile is ever on his face.

A gracious wife delights her husband,
   her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech,
   and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
   priceless her chaste person.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
   indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the LORD’S heavens,
   the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.

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801.9 [LM] Jer 31:31-32a, 33-34a
I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah

The days are coming, says the LORD,
   when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
   and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers:
   the day I took them by the hand
   to lead them forth from the land of Egypt.
But this is the covenant which I will make
   with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
   I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
   how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD.


Readings from the New Testament

1 Romans 8 Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

2 Romans 12 Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice

3 Romans 15 Welcome one another

4 1 Corinthians 6 Your body is a temple of the Spirit

5 1 Corinthians 12/13 Love is patient

6 Ephesians 5 This is a Great Mystery

7 Philippians 4 The God of peace will be with you

8 Colossians 3 Put on love

9 Hebrews 13 Let marriage be honored

10 1 Peter 3 Be of one mind

11 1 John 3 Love in deed and in truth

12 1 John 4 God is love

Revelation 19 The Wedding of the Lamb

802.1 [LM] Rom 8:31b-35, 37-39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
   but handed him over for us all,
   will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
   who also is at the right hand of God,
   who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
   or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?

No, in all these things, we conquer overwhelmingly
   through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
   nor angels, nor principalities,
   nor present things, nor future things,
   nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
   nor any other creature will be able to separate us
   from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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802.2 [LM] Rom 12:1-2, 9-18
Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God,
   to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
   holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
   but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
   that you may discern what is the will of God,
   what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Let love be sincere;
   hate what is evil,
   hold on to what is good;
   love one another with mutual affection;
   anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
   be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
   endure in affliction,
   persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
   exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
   bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
   weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
   do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
   do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil;
   be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.
If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.

Or: [Short Form]

I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God,
   to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
   holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
   but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
   that you may discern what is the will of God,
   what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Let love be sincere;
   hate what is evil,
   hold on to what is good;
   love one another with mutual affection;
   anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
   be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
   endure in affliction,
   persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
   exercise hospitality.

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802.3 [LM] Rom 15:1b-3a, 5-7, 13
Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
We ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves;
   let each of us please our neighbor for the good,
   for building up.
For Christ did not please himself;
May the God of endurance and encouragement
   grant you to think in harmony with one another,
   in keeping with Christ Jesus,
   that with one accord you may with one voice
   glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
   for the glory of God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
   so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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802.4 [LM] 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20
Your body is a temple of the Spirit.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
   and the Lord is for the body;
   God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
   but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
   is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
   whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore, glorify God in your body.

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802.5 [LM] 1 Cor 12:31-13:8a
If I do not have love, I gain nothing.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues
   but do not have love,
   I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
   and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
   if I have all faith so as to move mountains
   but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
   and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
   but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
   it is not inflated, it is not rude,
   it does not seek its own interests,
   it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
   it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
   but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
   hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

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802.6 [LM] Eph 5:2a, 21-33
This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us
   and handed himself over for us.

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
   just as Christ is head of the Church,
   he himself the savior of the body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
   so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
   even as Christ loved the Church
   and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
   cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
   that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
   without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
   that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
   but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
   even as Christ does the Church,
   because we are members of his Body.

   For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
      and be joined to his wife,
   and the two shall become one flesh.


This is a great mystery,
   but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
   and the wife should respect her husband.

Or: [Short Form]

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us
   and handed himself over for us.
Husbands, love your wives,
   even as Christ loved the Church
   and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
   cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
   that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
   without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
   that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
   but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
   even as Christ does the Church,
   because we are members of his Body.

   For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
      and be joined to his wife,
   and the two shall become one flesh.


This is a great mystery,
   but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
   and the wife should respect her husband.

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802.7 [LM] Phil 4:4-9
The God of peace will be with you.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
   by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
   make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
   will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
   whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
   whatever is just,
   whatever is pure,
   whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
   if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,
   think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
   and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

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802.8 [LM] Col 3:12-17
And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
   heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
   bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
   if one has a grievance against another;
   as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
   that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
   the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
   as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
   singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
   with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
   do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
   giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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802.9 [LM] Heb 13:1-4a, 5-6b
Let marriage be held in honor by all.

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews

Brothers and sisters:
Let mutual love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
   for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
   and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
   for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
   and the marriage bed be kept undefiled.
Let your life be free from love of money
   but be content with what you have,
   for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:

      The Lord is my helper,
      and I will not be afraid.


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802.10 [LM] 1 Pt 3:1-9
Be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Peter

Beloved:
You wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that,
   even if some disobey the word,
   they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct
   when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior.
Your adornment should not be an external one:
   braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes,
   but rather the hidden character of the heart,
   expressed in the imperishable beauty
   of a gentle and calm disposition,
   which is precious in the sight of God.
For this is also how the holy women who hoped in God
   once used to adorn themselves
   and were subordinate to their husbands;
   thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him “lord.”
You are her children when you do what is good
   and fear no intimidation.

Likewise, you husbands should live with your wives in understanding,
   showing honor to the weaker female sex,
   since we are joint heirs of the gift of life,
   so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic,
   loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.
Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult;
   but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called,
   that you might inherit a blessing.

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802.11 [LM] 1 Jn 3:18-24
Love in deed and in truth.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint John

Children: let us love not in word or speech
   but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
   and reassure our hearts before him
   in whatever our hearts condemn,
   for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
   we have confidence in God
   and receive from him whatever we ask,
   because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
   we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
   and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
   and the way we know that he remains in us
   is from the Spirit that he gave us.

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802.12 [LM] 1 Jn 4:7-12
God is love.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint John

Beloved, let us love one another,
   because love is of God;
   everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
   God sent his only Son into the world
   so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
   not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
   and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
   and his love is brought to perfection in us.

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802.13 [LM] Rev 19:1, 5-9a
Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

A reading from the Book of Revelation

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice
   of a great multitude in heaven, saying:
      “Alleluia!
   Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,

A voice coming from the throne said:

   “Praise our God, all you his servants,
      and you who revere him, small and great.”

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude
   or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder,
   as they said:
      “Alleluia!
   The Lord has established his reign,
      our God, the almighty.
   Let us rejoice and be glad
       and give him glory.
   For the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
      his bride has made herself ready.
   She was allowed to wear
   a bright, clean linen garment.”
(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)

Then the angel said to me,
   “Write this:
   Blessed are those who have been called
   to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

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Responsorial Psalms

Psalm 33

Psalm 34

Psalm 103

Psalm 112

Psalm 128

Psalm 145

Psalm 148

803.1 [LM] Ps 33:12 and 18, 20-21, 22

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
   the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
But see the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
   upon those who hope for his kindness.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
   who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
   in his holy name we trust.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

May your kindness, O LORD,
   be upon us who have put our hope in you.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

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803.2 [LM] Ps 33:12 and 18, 20-21, 22

R. (2a) I will bless the Lord at all times,
  or:
R. (9a)
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
   his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
   the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times,
  or:
R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Glorify the LORD with me,
   let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
   and delivered me from all my fears.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times,
  or:
R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
   and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
   and from all his distress he saved him.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times,
  or:
R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

The angel of the LORD encamps
   around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
   blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

R. I will bless the Lord at all times,
  or:
R.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

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803.3 [LM] Ps 103:1-2, 8 and 13, 17-18a

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
  or:
R. (See 17)
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
   and all my being bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
   and forget not all his benefits.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
  or:
R.
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
   slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
  or:
R.
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
   to eternity toward those who fear him.
And his justice towards children’s children
   among those who keep his covenant.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
  or:
R.
The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

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803.4 [LM] Ps 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7b-8, 9

R. (see 1) Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
   who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
   the upright generation shall be blessed.

R. Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
   his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
   he is gracious and merciful and just.

R. Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Well for the man who is generous and lends,
   who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
   the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear.

R. Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
   till he looks down upon his foes.

R. Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Lavishly he gives to the poor;
   his generosity shall endure forever;
   his horn shall be exalted in glory.

R. Blessed is the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

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803.5 [LM] Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (see 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
  or:
R. (4)
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
   who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
   blessed shall you be, and favored.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
  or:
R.
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
   in the recesses of your home;
Your Children live olive plants
   around your table.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
  or:
R.
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Behold, thus is the man blessed
   who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
   may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
   all the days of your life.

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
  or:
R.
See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

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803.6 [LM] Ps 145:8-9, 10 and 15, 17-18

R. (9a) The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
   slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
   compassionate toward all his works.

R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
   and let your faithful ones bless you.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you
   and you give them their food in due season.

R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

The LORD is just in all his ways
   and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
   to all who call upon him in truth.

R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

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803.7 [LM] Ps 148:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-13a, 13c-14a

R. (13a) Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens,
   praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels,
   praise him, all you his hosts.

R. Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Praise him, sun and moon;
   praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens,
   and you waters above the heavens.

R. Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

You mountains and all you hills,
   you fruit trees and all you cedars;
You wild beasts and all tame animals,
   you creeping things and winged fowl.

R. Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
   the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
   old men and boys,
Praise the name of the LORD,
   for his name alone is exalted.

R. Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

His majesty is above earth and heaven,
   and he has lifted his horn above the people.

R. Let all praise the name of the Lord.
  or:
R.
Alleluia.

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Alleluia and Verse before the Gospel

Alleluia Verse and Verse before the Gospel

804.1 [LM] 1 Jn 4:7b

Everyone who loves is begotten of God and knows God.

804.2 [LM] 1 Jn 4:8b, 11

God is love.
If God loved us, we also must love one another.

804.3 [LM] 1 Jn 4:12

If we love one another,
God remains in us
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

804.4 [LM] 1 Jn 4:16

Whoever remains in love,
remains in God and God in him.

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Gospel Readings

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Matthew 5 Rejoice and be glad

Matthew 5 You are the light of the world

Matthew 7 Built on rock

Matthew 19 What God has united

Matthew 22 The first and greatest commandment and the second

Mark 10 No longer two, but one flesh

John 2 The Wedding at Cana

John 15 Remain in my love

John 15 Love one another

John 17 That they may be brought to perfection as one

805.1 [LM] Mt 5:1-12a
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
   and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

   “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
   Blessed are they who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
   Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the land.
   Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be satisfied.
   Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
   Blessed are the clean of heart,
      for they will see God.
   Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called children of God.
   Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
   Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
      and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
   Rejoice and be glad,
      for your reward will be great in heaven.

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805.2 [LM] Mt 5:13-16
You are the light of the world.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
   but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
   it is set on a lamp stand,
   where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
   that they may see your good deeds
   and glorify your heavenly Father.”

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805.3 [LM] Mt 7:21, 24-29
A wise man built his house on rock.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
   will enter the kingdom of heaven,
   but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
   will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
   and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
   but does not act on them
   will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
   and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
   the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
   for he taught them as one having authority,
   and not as their scribes.

Or: [Short Form]

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
   will enter the kingdom of heaven,
   but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
   will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
   and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse;
   it had been set solidly on rock.”

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805.4 [LM] Mt 19:3-6
What God has united, man must not separate.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
   the Creator made them male and female and said,
   For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
   and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

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805.5 [LM] Mt 22:35-40
This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

One of the Pharisee, a scholar of the law, tested Jesus by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
   “You shall love the Lord, your God,
   with all your heart,
   with all your soul,
   and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
   You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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805.6 [LM] Mk 10:6-9
They are no longer two, but one flesh.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus said:
“From the beginning of creation,
   God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
   and be joined to his wife,
   and the two shall become one flesh.

So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
   no human being must separate.”

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805.7 [LM] Jn 2:1-11
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

There was a wedding in Cana in Galilee,
   and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
   the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
   “Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
   “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
   each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
   “Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
   “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
   without knowing where it came from
   (although the servers who had drawn the water knew),
   the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
   and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
   but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee
   and so revealed his glory,
   and his disciples began to believe in him.

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805.8 [LM] Jn 15:9-12
Remain in my love.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
   just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
   and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
   and your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

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805.9 [LM] Jn 15:12-16
This is my commandment: love one another.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
   to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
   because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
   because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
   and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
   so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”

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805.10 [LM] Jn 17:20-26
That they may be brought to perfection as one.

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Jesus raised is eyes to heaven and said:
“I pray not only for my disciples,
   but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
   so that they may all be one,
   as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
   that they also may be in us,
   that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
   so that they may be one, as we are one,
   I in them and you in me,
   that they may be brought to perfection as one,
   that the world may know that you sent me,
   and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
   that they may see my glory that you gave me,
   because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
   but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
   that the love with which you loved me
   may be in them and I in them.”

Or: [Short Form]

Jesus raised is eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for these,
   but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
   so that they may all be one,
   as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
   that they also may be in us,
   that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
   so that they may be one, as we are one,
   I in them and you in me,
   that they may be brought to perfection as one,
   that the world may know that you sent me,
   and that you loved them even as you loved me.”

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Introduction

I. THE IMPORTANCE AND DIGNITY OF THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish a lifelong partnership between themselves, [1] derives its force and strength from creation, but for the Christian faithful it is also raised up to a higher dignity, since it is numbered among the Sacraments of the new covenant.

2. A Marriage is established by the conjugal covenant, that is, the irrevocable consent of both spouses, by which they freely give themselves to each other and accept each other. Moreover, this singular union of a man and a woman requires, and the good of the children demands, the complete fidelity of the spouses and the indissoluble unity of the bond. [2]

3. Furthermore, the institution of Marriage itself and conjugal love are, by their very nature, ordered to the procreation and formation of children and find in them, as it were, their ultimate crown. [3] Children are thus truly the supreme gift of Marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves.

4. The intimate community of life and love, by which spouses “are no longer two, but one flesh,” [4] has been established by God the Creator, provided with its own proper laws, and endowed with that blessing which alone was not forfeited by punishment for original sin. [5] This sacred bond, therefore, does not depend on human choice, but rather on the Author of Marriage, who ordained it to be endowed with its own goods and ends. [6]

5. Indeed Christ the Lord, making a new creation and making all things new, [7] has willed that Marriage be restored to its primordial form and holiness in such a way that what God has joined together, no one may put asunder, [8] and raised this indissoluble conjugal contract to the dignity of a Sacrament so that it might signify more clearly and represent more easily the model of his own nuptial covenant with the Church. [9]

6. By his presence, Christ brought blessing and joy to the wedding at Cana, where he changed water into wine and so foreshadowed the hour of the new and eternal covenant: “For just as of old God made himself present to his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so now the Savior of the human race” [10] offers himself to the Church as Spouse, fulfilling his covenant with her in his Paschal Mystery.

7. Through Baptism, which is the Sacrament of faith, a man and a woman are once and for all incorporated into the covenant of Christ with the Church in such a way that their conjugal community is assumed into Christ’s charity and is enriched by the power of his Sacrifice. [11] From this new condition it follows that a valid Marriage between the baptized is always a Sacrament. [12]

8. By the Sacrament of Matrimony Christian spouses signify and participate in the mystery of unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church; [13] therefore, both in embracing conjugal life and in accepting and educating their children, they help one another to become holy and have their own place and particular gift among the People of God. [14]

9. Through this Sacrament the Holy Spirit brings it about that, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, [15] Christian spouses also strive to nurture and foster their union in equal dignity, mutual giving, and the undivided love that flows from the divine font of charity. In this way, uniting divine and human realities, they persevere in good times and in bad, faithful in body and mind, [16] remaining complete strangers to any adultery and divorce. [17]

10. The true development of conjugal love and the whole meaning of family life, without diminishment of the other ends of Marriage, are directed to disposing Christian spouses to cooperate wholeheartedly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them increases and enriches his family from day to day. [18] Therefore, trusting in divine Providence and developing a spirit of sacrifice, [19] they glorify the Creator and strive for perfection in Christ, as they carry out the role of procreation with generous, human and Christian responsibility. [20]

11. For God, who has called the couple to Marriage, continues to call them to Marriage. [21] Those who marry in Christ are able, with faith in the Word of God, to celebrate fruitfully the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church, to live it rightly, and to bear witness to it publicly before all. A Marriage that is desired, prepared for, celebrated, and lived daily in the light of faith is that which is “joined by the Church, strengthened by a sacrificial offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by Angels, and ratified by the Father. . . . How wonderful the bond of the two believers: one in hope, one in vow, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, with no separation of spirit and flesh. Indeed, they are two in one flesh; where there is one flesh, there is also one spirit.” [22]

II. DUTIES AND MINISTRIES

12. The preparation and celebration of Marriage, which above all concern the future spouses themselves and their families, belong, as regards pastoral and liturgical care, to the Bishop, to the pastor and his associates, and, at least to some degree, to the entire ecclesial community. [23]

13. It is for the Bishop, who is to take into account any norms or pastoral guidelines that may have been established by the Conference of Bishops regarding the prepara-tion of engaged couples or the pastoral care of Marriage, to regulate the celebration and pastoral care of the Sacrament throughout the diocese by organizing assistance for the Christian faithful so that the state of Marriage may be preserved in a Christian spirit and advance in perfection. [24]

14. Pastors of souls must take care that in their own community this assistance is provided especially:
1) by preaching, by catechesis adapted to children, young people, and adults, and through means of social communication, so that the Christian faithful are instructed about the meaning of Christian Marriage and about the role of Christian spouses and parents;
2) by personal preparation for entering Marriage, so that those to be married are disposed to the holiness and duties of their new state;
3) by a fruitful liturgical celebration of Marriage, so that it becomes clear that the spouses signify and participate in the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;
4) by help offered to those who are married, so that, faithfully preserving and protecting the conjugal covenant, they daily come to lead a holier and fuller family life. [25]

15. Sufficient time is required for a suitable preparation for Marriage. Engaged couples should be made aware of this necessity in advance.

16. Led by the love of Christ, pastors are to welcome engaged couples and, above all, to foster and nourish their faith: for the Sacrament of Matrimony presupposes and demands faith. [26]

17. The engaged couple, having been reminded, if appropriate, of the fundamental elements of Christian doctrine mentioned above (nos. 1-11) should be given catechesis not only about the Church’s teaching on Marriage and the family but also about the Sacrament and its rites, prayers, and readings, so that they may be able to celebrate it thoughtfully and fruitfully.

18. Catholics who have not yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation are to receive it to complete their Christian Initiation before they are admitted to Marriage if this can be done without grave inconvenience. It is recommended to the engaged couple that in preparation for the Sacrament of Matrimony they receive the Sacrament of Penance, if necessary, and that they approach the Most Holy Eucharist, especially within the celebration of Marriage itself. [27]

19. Before a Marriage is celebrated, it must be established that nothing stands in the way of its valid and licit celebration. [28]

20. In conducting the preparation, pastors, taking into account prevailing attitudes toward Marriage and the family, should endeavor to evangelize the couple’s authentic and mutual love in the light of faith. Even the requirements of law for contracting a valid and licit Marriage can serve to promote a living faith and fruitful love between the couple, ordered toward establishing a Christian family.

21. But if every effort fails, and an engaged couple openly and expressly demonstrate that they reject what the Church intends when the Marriage of baptized persons is celebrated, the pastor of souls is not permitted to celebrate the Sacrament. Though reluctant, he must take note of the situation and convince those involved that, in these circumstances, it is not the Church, but they themselves, who prevent the celebration they are asking for. [29]

22. With regard to Marriage, it is by no means rare for special cases to arise: such as Marriage with a baptized non-Catholic, with a catechumen, with a person who is simply unbaptized, or even with a person who has explicitly rejected the Catholic faith. Those in charge of pastoral care should keep in mind the norms of the Church pertaining to these types of cases, and they should, if the occasion requires, have recourse to the competent authority.

23. It is appropriate that the same Priest who prepares the engaged couple should, during the celebration of the Sacrament itself, give the Homily, receive the spouses’ consent, and celebrate the Mass.

24. It also pertains to a Deacon, after receiving the faculty from the pastor or from the local Ordinary, to preside at the celebration of the Sacrament, [30] without omitting the Nuptial Blessing.

25. Where there is a shortage of Priests and Deacons, the Diocesan Bishop can delegate laypersons to assist at Marriages, after a prior favorable vote of the Conference of Bishops and after the permission of the Apostolic See has been obtained. A suitable layperson is to be selected, who is capable of giving instruction to those preparing to be married and able to perform the Marriage liturgy properly. [31] The layperson asks for the consent of the spouses and receives it in the name of the Church. [32]

26. Other laypersons, however, can play a part in various ways both in the spiritual preparation of the engaged couple and in the celebration of the rite itself. Moreover, the entire Christian community should cooperate to bear witness to the faith and to be a sign to the world of Christ’s love.

27. The Marriage is to be celebrated in the parish of one or other of the engaged persons, or elsewhere with the permission of the proper Ordinary or pastor. [33]

III. THE CELEBRATION OF MATRIMONY

The Preparation

28. Since Marriage is ordered toward the increase and sanctification of the People of God, its celebration displays a communitarian character that encourages the participation also of the parish community, at least through some of its members. With due regard for local customs and as occasion suggests, several Marriages may be celebrated at the same time or the celebration of the Sacrament may take place during the Sunday assembly.

29. The celebration itself of the Sacrament must be diligently prepared, as far as possible, with the engaged couple. Marriage should normally be celebrated within Mass. Nevertheless, with due regard both for the necessities of pastoral care and for the way in which the prospective spouses and those present participate in the life of the Church, the pastor should decide whether it would be preferable to propose that Marriage be celebrated within or outside of Mass. [34] The following should be chosen with the engaged couple, as the circumstances so suggest: the readings from Sacred Scripture, which will be explained in the Homily; the form for expressing mutual consent; the formularies for the blessing of rings, for the Nuptial Blessing, for the intentions of the Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful, and for the chants. Moreover, attention should also be given to the appropriate use of options provided in the rite as well as to local customs, which may be observed if appropriate.

30. The chants to be sung during the Rite of Marriage should be appropriate and should express the faith of the Church, with attention paid to the importance of the Responsorial Psalm within the Liturgy of the Word. What is said concerning the chants applies also to the selection of other musical works.

31. The festive character of the celebration of Marriage should be suitably expressed even in the manner of decorating the church. Nevertheless, local Ordinaries are to be vigilant that, apart from the honors due to civil authorities in keeping with the norm of liturgical laws, no favoritism be shown to private persons or classes of persons. [35]

32. If a Marriage is celebrated on a day having a penitential character, especially during Lent, the pastor is to counsel the spouses to take into account the special nature of that day. The celebration of Marriage on Friday of the Passion of the Lord and Holy Saturday is to be avoided altogether.

The Rite to Be Used

33. In the celebration of Marriage within Mass, the rite described in Chapter I is used. In the celebration of Marriage without Mass, the rite should take place after a Liturgy of the Word according to the norm of Chapter II.

34. Whenever Marriage is celebrated within Mass, the Ritual Mass “The Celebration of Marriage” is used with sacred vestments of the color white or of a festive color. On those days listed in nos. 1-4 of the Table of Liturgical Days, however, the Mass of the day is used with its own readings, with inclusion of the Nuptial Blessing and, if appropriate, the proper formula for the final blessing. If, however, during Christmas and Ordinary Time, the parish community participates in a Sunday Mass during which Marriage is celebrated, the Mass of the Sunday is used. Nevertheless, since a Liturgy of the Word adapted for the celebration of Marriage has a great impact in the handing on of catechesis about the Sacrament itself and about the duties of the spouses, when the Mass “For the Celebration of Marriage” is not said, one of the readings may be taken from the texts provided for the celebration of Marriage (nos. 144-187).

35. The main elements of the celebration of Marriage are to stand out clearly, namely: the Liturgy of the Word, in which are expressed the importance of Christian Marriage in the history of salvation and the responsibilities and duties of Marriage to be attended to for the sanctification of the spouses and of their children; the consent of the contracting parties, which the person assisting asks for and receives; the venerable prayer by which the blessing of God is invoked upon the bride and bridegroom; finally, Eucharistic Communion of both spouses and of others present, by which, above all, their charity is nurtured and they are raised up to communion with the Lord and with their neighbor. [36]

36. If a Marriage takes place between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic, the rite for celebrating Matrimony without Mass (nos. 79-117) should be used. If, however, the situation warrants it, the rite for celebrating Matrimony within Mass (nos. 45-78) may be used, with the consent of the local Ordinary; but with regard to admission of the non-Catholic party to Eucharistic Communion, the norms issued for various cases are to be observed. [37] If a Marriage takes place between a Catholic and a catechumen or a non-Christian, the rite given below (nos. 118-143) is to be used, with the variations provided for different situations.

37. Although pastors are ministers of Christ’s Gospel for all, they should, nonetheless, direct special attention to those, whether Catholics or non-Catholics, who never or rarely take part in the celebration of Marriage or the Eucharist. This pastoral norm applies in the first place to the spouses themselves.

38. If Marriage is celebrated within Mass, in addition to those things required for the celebration of Mass, The Order of Celebrating Matrimony and rings for the spouses should be prepared in the sanctuary. There should also be prepared, if appropriate, a vessel of holy water with an aspergillum and a chalice of sufficient size for Communion under both kinds.

IV. ADAPTATIONS TO BE PREPARED BY THE CONFERENCES OF BISHOPS

39. It is for the Conferences of Bishops, by virtue of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, [38] to adapt this Roman Ritual to the customs and needs of the particular regions, so that, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, the edition may be used in the regions to which it pertains.

40. In this regard, it is for the Conferences of Bishops:
1) To formulate the adaptations indicated below (nos. 41-44).
2) If necessary, to adapt and supplement this Introduction of the Roman Ritual from no. 36 and what follows (in “The Rite to Be Used”), so as to achieve the conscious and active participation of the faithful.
3) To prepare versions of the texts, so that they are truly accommodated to the nature of different languages and the character of diverse cultures, and to add, whenever appropriate, suitable melodies for singing.
4) In preparing editions, to arrange the material in a form more suitable for pastoral use.

41. In preparing adaptations, the following points should be kept in mind:
1) The formulas of the Roman Ritual may be adapted and, if necessary, even supplemented (even the questions before the consent and the words of the consent themselves).
2) Whenever the Roman Ritual gives several optional formulas, it is permitted to add other formulas of the same kind.
3) Provided the structure of the sacramental rite is preserved, the order of the parts may be adapted. If it seems more appropriate, the questions before the consent may be omitted, provided the law is observed that the person assisting ask for and receive the consent of the contracting parties.
4) Should pastoral need so demand, it can be determined that the consent of the contracting parties always be sought by questioning.
5) After the giving of rings, in keeping with local customs, the crowning of the bride or the veiling of the spouses may take place.
6) Wherever the joining of hands or the blessing and giving of rings are incompatible with the culture of the people, it may be decided that these rites be omitted or replaced by other rites
7) It should be carefully and prudently considered what elements from the traditions and culture of particular peoples may appropriately be adopted.

42. In addition, in accordance with the norm of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (no. 63b), each Conference of Bishops has the faculty to draw up its own Marriage rite appropriate to the customs of the place and the people, with the decision approved by the Apostolic See, provided the law is observed that the person assisting must ask for and receive the consent of the contracting parties [39] and the Nuptial Blessing must be given. [40] The Introduction in the Roman Ritual is to be prefixed even to a proper ritual, [41] except for those points that refer to the rite to be used.

43. In the usages and ways of celebrating Marriage prevailing among peoples now receiving the Gospel for the first time, whatever is honorable and not indissolubly connected with superstition and errors should be sympathetically considered and, if possible, preserved intact, and in fact even admitted into the Liturgy itself as long as it harmonizes with a true and authentic liturgical spirit. [42]

44. Among peoples for whom the Marriage ceremonies customarily take place in homes, even over a period of several days, these ceremonies should be adapted to the Christian spirit and to the Liturgy. In this case the Conference of Bishops, in accordance with the pastoral needs of the people, may determine that the rite of the Sacrament itself can be celebrated in homes.


Endnotes

1. Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici (C.I.C.) can. 1055, §1.
2. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, no. 48.
3. Cf. ibid.
4. Matthew 19:6.
5. Cf. Nuptial Blessing.
6. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, no. 48.
7. Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
8. Cf. Matthew 19:6.
9. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, no. 48.
10. ibid.
11. Cf. John Paul 11, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, no. 13: Acta Apostolicae Sedis (A.A.S.) 74 (1982), 95; cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, no. 48.
12. Cf. C.I.C., can. 1055, §2.
13. Cf. Ephesians 5:25.
14. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:7; Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium, no. 11.
15. Cf. Ephesians 5:25.
16. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, nos. 48, 50.
17. Cf. ibid., no. 49.
18. Cf. ibid., no. 50.
19. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:5.
20. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, no. 50.
21. Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, no. 51: A.A.S. 74 (1982), 143.
22. Tertullian, Ad uxorem, II, VIII: CCL, 393.
23. Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, no. 66: A.A.S. 74 (1982), 159-162.
24. Cf. ibid.; cf. C.I.C., can. 1063-1064.
25. Cf. C.I.C., can. 1063.
26. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 59.
27. Cf. C.I.C., can. 1065.
28. Cf. ibid., can. 1066.
29. Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, no. 68: A.A.S. 74 (1982), 165.
30. Cf. C.I.C., can. 1111.
31. Cf. ibid., can. 1112, §2.
32. Cf. ibid., can. 1108, §2.
33. Cf. ibid., can. 1115.
34. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 78.
35. Cf. ibid., no. 32.
36. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam actuositatem, no. 3; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium, no. 12.
37. Cf. C.I.C., can. 844.
38. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, nos. 37-40 and 63b.
39. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 77.
40. Cf. ibid., no. 78.
41. Cf. ibid., no. 63b. 42. Cf. ibid., no. 37.

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