Continuing our look at the revised rite for weddings.
So somehow we got ourselves in the church, have been warmly welcomed, and have made down the aisle and to our places. The Sign of the Cross has been made and one of the greetings from the Roman Missal (The Lord be with you . . . ) has been exchanged.
Here is another change (one that I greatly appreciate) but one that may go largely unnoticed by most folks. There is an opening address to be given by the celebrant. I am TERRIBLE about speaking extemporarily. All the words and ideas I have carefully thought out all go running to my mouth at the same time and create a log jam so that what comes out is either lacking, confused, or diarrhetic. So there are two opening “scripts” if you will designed to invite the congregation to prepare themselves inwardly for the celebration.
However, for eloquent and capable speakers, there is another option. The rubric says, “These or similar words,” which means he may use his own words. But this are not the warm words of welcome, which has already taken place, nor the greeting offered with the, “Peace be with you,” these words have their own special function of preparing those gathered inwardly for what is about to take place ALTHOUGH I WILL ADMIT that the second prepared option does say again, “The Church warmly welcomes you,” which is why at least one priest I know uses this particular paragraph for the warm welcome when greeting the couple at the door.
WHILE I LIKE THIS, one thing that I don’t like (personal opinion here - you may completely disagree - certainly the bishops of the United States do) it seems that this particular rite is so very wordy. About half way through the rite I find myself thinking, “Am I still speaking? Even I am getting tired of hearing me speak.” But nobody asked me so I will be an obedient son.