The other day I was walking Sebastian. He is getting older and a bit more docile and also seemingly more obedient. For a couple of years now he has been this way. People comment how wonderful he is in that he just seems to walk by my side. I was lulled into a false sense of security.
It’s “spring like” outside. He’s getting a little randy and I should have picked up on that. A couple of days ago while he was off of his leash he decided that he wanted to go say hello to somebody and no amount of me calling him back would do the trick.
So it is with this Rite of Matrimony we have been following. Since last we posted, nothing has really changed. We enter into the Liturgy of the Word per usual and then slip into the homily just as we always have. Then we hit the actual marriage rite. Like most priests, I think, after awhile you pretty much have the wording of the rites memorized. This is nice since, although you have the book in front of you for reference if you get distracted (I’ve seen it happen with disastrous results when a guy would completely rely on his memory and then blank) you can make eye contact with the blushing couple.
But the wording has changed now. And it isn’t completely re-written, it is re-focused; a reconstructed sentence, a clarifying word used - all to make it better understood exactly what is going on. Because it is just “sort of” different, one cannot be lulled into thinking they know the rite. One must pay close attention for fear of slipping into old verbiage.
OLD: You have come together in this church . . .
NEW: You have come together in the house of the church . . .
I suppose that is to emphasize that, in general, Catholics don’t get married at ball games or on the beach.
OLD: He has already consecrated in baptism and now He enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity.
NEW: Through a special Sacrament, He enriches and strengthens those He has already consecrated by Holy Baptism, that they may be faithful to each other for ever and assume all the responsibilities of married life.
The first somewhat sounds like a manual I suppose. “When this screen pops up, click on the button at the bottom of the screen.” And in our modern era, responsibilities are a little easier to swallow that duties. (And how is special? Is it just more focused for this particular lifestyle like a special wrench meant only for plumbing?)
This changes will continue next week . . . Stay tuned.