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comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
12. In whose sight are they gathered together?
In the sight of God, and in the face of the congregation. we are all here present before God." (Acts x. 33.)
13. For what purpose are they gathered together?
To join together the man and woman in holy matrimony, according to the injunction of the holy apostle, "Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Cor. vii. 2.)
14. What sort of an estate is matrimony?
15. Shew that it was instituted in the time of man's innocency. "And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. ii. 18. 21-24.)
16. Relate the circumstances attending the marriage which Christ adorned and beautified with his presence.
"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there, and both Jesus was called and his disciples to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto them, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water; and they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bear it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was; (but the servants which drew the water knew ;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and said unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John ii. 1, 2, 3. 7—11.)
17. Since then Jesus attended the public celebration of a marriage, at which, in all probability, there was a religious ceremony, may we not conclude that such ceremonies are proper?
18. What is St. Paul's opinion of marriage?
"Be ye not unequally
yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. vi. 14.)
20. How is marriage to be undertaken?
Reverently, discreetly, advisedly, &c. “A prudent wife is from the Lord." (Prov. xix. 14.) "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." (Prov. xii. 4.)
21. For what causes was matrimony ordained?
1st. For the procreation of children to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy name. "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Gen. i. 28.) 'Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. vi. 4.) "To
2ndly. For a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication. avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1 Cor. vii. 2.)
3rdly. For the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Gen. ii. 18.) "Isaac took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." (Gen. xxiv. 67.)
22. What is the priest to say to the parties that shall be married? ¶ And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he shall
I REQUIRE and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.
23. Why does he thus charge them?
Because the Church, in her care to prevent unlawful marriages, not only requires the publication of banns, but also by giving a strict charge to the parties themselves, endeavours to discover whether there be any lawful impediment to hinder the marriage.
24. Shew from Scripture that the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed at the dreadful day of judgment.
"God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Eccl. xii. 14.)
25. If they know any impediment why they may not be lawfully joined together in matrimony, what are they exhorted to do? To confess it. "For he that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Prov. xxviii. 13.)
26. What does the priest tell them they may be well assured of? That so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's word
doth allow, are not joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful. "Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest thou not be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us?" (Ezra ix. 14.)
27. If any man do declare any impediment, and will be bound with sufficient sureties to the parties, what must be done?
Then the solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth may be tried.
28. If no impediment be alleged, what shall the curate say unto the man?
M. WILT thou have this Woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
29. Why does he put this question?
Marriage being a solemn compact or agreement, we first ask the mutual consent of the parties, without which the marriage cannot be good.
30. Shew that the holy estate of matrimony is after God's ordi
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Gen. ii. 24.)
31. Shew that it is the duty of the man to love and comfort his wife.
"So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." (Eph. v. 28, 29.)
32. Shew that he should honour her.
"Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel." (1 Pet. iii. 7.)
33. Shew that he should keep her in sickness and in health.
This is included in St. Paul's words, "nourisheth and cherisheth," (Eph. v. 29,) which shews that he should afford her all necessaries in every condition.
34. Shew that he is to forsake all other, and to keep only unto his wife, as long as they both shall live.
"And let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away." (Mal. ii. 15, 16.) "Let not the husband put away his wife." (1 Cor. vii. 11.)
35. Repeat the question which the priest puts to the woman.
N. WILT thou have this Man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
36. Give an instance from Scripture where it is proposed to a woman whether she would have the man to her wedded husband.
"And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go." (Gen. xxiv. 57, 58.)
37. Shew that the wives should obey, serve, and love their husbands.
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Titus ii. 4, 5.)
38. Shew from Scripture that they should keep them in sickness and in health.
"She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life." (Prov. xxxi. 12.)
39. Shew that the wives should keep only unto their husbands as long as they both shall live.
"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth." (1 Cor. vii. 39.)
40. What is the answer to be made both by the man and woman? If they be willing to undertake the duties just mentioned to them, and are persuaded they can each of them love the other, and that for ever, and in all conditions of life, each should answer as the Church directs them-"I will."
41. In what part of the Scripture do we find the description of a virtuous wife?
In Prov. xxxi. 10-31.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth
the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." (Prov. xxxi. 10-31.)
42. What does the minister now say?
Then shall the Minister say,
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
43. What part of the ceremony is that which now follows called? It is termed the mutual stipulation or covenant which they make with one another, and which is introduced with two very significant rites, viz. the father's or friend's giving the woman in marriage, and the joining of hands.
44. Why is the woman thus given in marriage?
1st. Because the weaker sex is always supposed to be under the tuition of a father or guardian, whose consent is necessary (if the woman be not of full age), to make their acts valid.
2ndly. This shews that the parent doth agree to this marriage, and make her free to engage in her own name.
3rdly. This shews that the woman doth not seek an husband, but is given to one by her relatives, herein following their wishes.
45. Repeat the next Rubric, and the stipulation made by the
¶ Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner. The Minister, receiving the Woman at her father's or friend's hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth,
I M. take thee N. to my wedded 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 ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.
46. Why does the father or friend deliver the woman up to the priest?
To commit her as it were to God's disposal, and he in God's presence joins their right hands, and causeth them to make a stipulation or solemn vow and engagement to each other, which each is to repeat with their own lips.
47. Is not this vow the most essential part of the marriage ceremony?
Yes; for to make the marriage legal and binding, the parties must not only be able and willing to contract, but they themselves must actually contract in the form required by the laws of the Church.
48. How long does the man promise to take the woman for better for worse, &c.?
Till death part them. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband." (Rom. vii. 2.)
49. What is the meaning of, I plight thee my troth?