Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Wedding According to the Philippine Rituale

The Church has always embraced a wide variety of proper customs and rituals attached to the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony; as we have noted previously, the Philippine Islands has preserved in the local Rituale a number of customs which originated in the Mozarabic liturgy, then passed over into the Roman Rite, and were eventually brought there by the Spanish. The excellent blog Dei praesidio fultus recently published some photographs of a wedding celebrated in this tradition; you can see more photos and a complete explanation of the particular details of the ceremony over there. A post from 2013 gives links to the full text of the Philippine wedding rite in both Spanish and Latin; my thanks to reader RM for letting me know about this. Best wishes to the happy couple, and our thanks to Fr. Michell Zerudo, spiritual director of Una Voce Philippines, for helping to maintain these beautiful local customs. Ad multos annos!

The wedding itself is celebrated before the doors of the church, rather than inside.

The bride and groom are asked by the priest to give their consent to the Matrimony three times, rather than once as in the Rituale Romanum. In addition to the rings, the priest blesses 13 coins called arrhae, the Latin word for "pledges", which are then given by the husband to the wife. They symbolize temporal prosperity and fruitfulness, as well as the husband's promise to care for his wife materially.

Towards the end of the Epistle, the spouses receive lit candles which they hold for the chanting of the Gospel. After the priest reads the Offertory, he receives the candles from them, and then offers them a crucifix, and which they kiss while he gives them a blessing. (This would seem to be imitated from the Mass of the Purification.)

After the Sanctus, a veil is placed over the wife's head, extending over to the husband's shoulders. A cord in the form of a figure 8 is then laid over it upon the shoulders of them both, symbolizing the bond of matrimony. According to the notes on the original post, the original edition of the Philippine Rituale prescribed either a red or white veil, but the red fell out of use, and was only restored in the final pre-Conciliar edition in 1961. 

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: