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Stefan's Florilegium

weddings-e-art



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weddings-e-art - 5/9/94

A Elizabethan wedding ceremony reconstructed from various sources.

NOTE: See also the files: weddings-msg, p-weddings-bib, wed-FAQ, p-marriage-msg,
Ger-marriage-msg, Scot-marriage-msg.

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NOTICE -

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that
I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some
messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with
seperate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes
extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were
removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I
make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the
individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these
messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this
time. If information is published from these messages, please give
credit to the orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: Lord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org
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From: locksley@indirect.com (Joe Bethancourt)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Medieval Wedding rituals
Date: 20 Apr 1994 16:48:58 GMT

The Form of Matrimony in the Middle Ages

As reconstructed by W. J. Bethancourt III,
known in the SCA Inc. as Ioseph of Locksley

This is not intended to be represented as a true medieval marriage rite,
but rather a reconstruction (with such alterations and interpolations as
to make it acceptable in modern usages) from available references for use
within the SCA, nor is it represented as a "official" rite of any Church,
nor as an official ceremony of the SCA Inc.

The sources used were the Book of Common Prayer of HRM Elizabeth I of
England, the Sarum Rite, the York Rite, and various other lesser sources.


At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the
persons to be married shall come into the porch of the Church with
their friends and neighbors; and there standing together, the Man
on the right hand, and the woman on the left, with that person who
shall give the Woman betwixt them, the Priest shall say,

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join
together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an
honourable estate, instituted of God in Paradise, and 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.

And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he
shall say,

I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of
judgement 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, that ye confess it. For ye be well assured, that
so many as be coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are
not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

At which day of Marriage, if any man do alledge and declare any
impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by
God's Law, or the Laws of the Realm; and will be bound, and
sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a
Caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be
married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation; then the
solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be
tried. If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Priest say unto
the Man,

N., Wilt thou have this Woman to be 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?

The Man shall answer:

I will.

Then shall the Priest say to the Woman,

N., Wilt thou have this man to be 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?

The Woman shall answer:

I will.

Thus ends the formal betrothal.
They shall then advance unto the Altar, led by the Minister,
who shall then turn to the assembled company, and say:

Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?

And the person who gives the Woman shall answer, and shall place
the Woman's right hand in the hand of the Minister, and then shall
retire.

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, N., take thee N to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day
forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for fairer or fouler,
in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us depart,
according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth.

Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right
hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after
the Minister,

I N. take thee N to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this
day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness
and in health, to be bonny and buxom at bed and at board, to love and to
cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and
thereunto I plight thee my troth.

Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give
unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the Book with the
accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk.
And the Priest shall bless the Ring(s) in the following manner:

Bless these Rings, O merciful Lord, that those who wear them, that give
and recieve them, may be ever faithful to one another, remain in your peace,
and live and grow old together in your love, under their own vine and fig
tree, and seeing their children's children. Amen.

And the Priest, taking the Ring, shall deliver it to the Man, to
put it on the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand. And the
Man holding the ring there, and taught by the Priest, shall say,

With this Ring I thee wed, (here placing it upon her thumb) and with my
body I thee honor, (here placing it upon her index finger) and with all
my worldly goods I thee endow; (here placing it upon her ring finger)
In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If it be a double-ring ceremony, let the Woman do the same as the
Man, giving him the ring, and repeating the same words as he.

They both shall kneel down; and the Minister shall say,

Let us pray.

O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all
spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon
these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; +
that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons
may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made,
whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge, and may
ever hereafter remain in perfect love and peace together, and live
according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And here shall be said the "Our Father."

Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say,

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

Then shall the Minister speak unto the people.

Forasmuch as N and N have consented together in holy wedlock, and have
witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given
and pledged their troth each to the other, and have declared the same
by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I
pronounce therefore that they be Man and Wife together, in the Name of the
Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

And the Minister shall add this blessing.

God the Father, + God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and
keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so
fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live
together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life
everlasting. Amen.

And here the Minister shall turn the couple to the Company, and they
may kiss each the other, and then proceed from the Altar.

And if it be the wish of the couple to take Communion, they may do it
privately, following these ceremonies.

Here endeth the Medieval Wedding


*

The Form of SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY

Drawn From The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England

As Promulgated by Elizabeth I,

Those words in CAPITALS denote differences from the BCP of A.D. 1837 - 1901,
and those words in (parens) denote words not used in Elizabeth I's BCP.

Transcribed by Sam'l de Basset and Ioseph of Locksley


At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the
persons to be married shall come into the body of the Church with
their friends and neighbors; and there standing together, the Man
on the right hand, and the woman on the left, the Priest shall say,

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in
the face of HIS congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman
in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted OF GOD
IN PARADISE in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the
mystical union that is betwIXT Christ and his Church; which holy estate
Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that
he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be
honorable among all men: and therefore is not (by any) to be enterprised,
NOR taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy MEN's
carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding,
but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God;
duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.
ONE WAS the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear
and nurture of the Lord, and PRAISE OF GOD.
Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid
forni-cation; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might
marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and 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.

And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he
shall say,

I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of
judgement 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, THAT YE confess it. For YE BE well assured, that
so many as BE coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are
not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

At which day of Marriage, if any man do alledge and declare any
impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by
God's Law, or the Laws of the Realm; and will be bound, and
sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a
Caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be
married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation; then the
solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be
tried.
If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Curate say unto the
Man,

N., Wilt thou have this Woman to be 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?

The Man shall answer:

I will.

Then shall the Priest say to the Woman,

N., Wilt thou have this man to be 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, forsak ing all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as
ye both shall live?

The Woman shall answer:

I will.

Then shall the Minister say,

Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?

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, N., take thee N to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day
for ward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in
health, to love and to cherish, till death us DEPART, according to God's
holy ordinance; and thereto I PLIGHT thee my troth.

Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right
hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after
the Minister,

I N. take thee N to my wedded 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, cherish, and to obey, till death us DEPART,
according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give
unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the book with the
accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk. And the Priest, taking
the Ring, shall deliver it to the Man, to put it on the fourth
finger of the Woman's left hand. And the Man holding the ring
there, and taught by the Priest, shall say,

With this Ring I thee wed, (and) with my body I thee worship, and with
all my worldly goods I thee endow; In the Name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then the Man leaving the Ring upon the fourth finger of the
Woman's left hand, they both shall kneel down; and the Minister
shall say,

Let us pray.

O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all
spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon
these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name;
that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons
may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made,
(whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge,) and may
ever hereafter remain in perfect love and peace together, and live
according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say,

Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

Then shall the Minister speak unto the people.

Forasmuch as M and N have consented together in holy wedlock, and have
witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given
and pledged their troth either to (the) other, and have declared the same
by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I
pronounce that they be Man and Wife together, In the Name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

And the Minister shall add this blessing.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and
keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so
fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live
together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life
everlasting. Amen.


There after are said or sung Beati Omnes -- Ps. CXXVIII or Deus Misereatur
-- Ps. LXVII, The Glory Be, The Kyrie, The Our Father, A short Litany, &
Two Pages of Exceedingly Verbose Prayers which my laziness prevaileth upon
me NOT to transcribe. Holy Communion for the Bride and Groom is required to
be taken that same day.

--
locksley@indirect.com PO Box 35190 Locksley Plot Systems
White Tree Productions Phoenix, AZ 85069 USA CyberMongol Ltd

<the end>


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