23 March 2015

A custom

long since fallen into desuetude among us is the announcing of betrothals at the altar in the Divine Service for prayer. The old 1881 Church Liturgy has three wonderful prayers that the congregation may offer upon betrothal. Here is the third:

Holy God, Thou art the author of the marriage covenant, and hence Thou wilt have it kept holy by us. Graciously accept, we pray Thee, the intent of these betrothed persons, to have their betrothment sanctified by Thy word, and to seek for their union the blessing Thou hast pronounced upon all them that are united by Thee. Consecrate and sanctify them Thyself, O God, that they may begin their estate with Thee, and grant them Thy grace so that in future time also they may ever joyfully remember their having been united by Thee. Enter with Thy fear into their hearts, and with Thy blessing into their house. Hear us for Jesus' sake. Amen.

I think we have lost something very precious.

1 comment:

middling said...

Precious, indeed! I didn't even know this was ever a custom. My husband and I go to a very conservative Anglo-Catholic church, and though I've heard them read the banns plenty of times, I've never heard of a betrothal blessing.