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59149Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: 1530 Italian clergy and weddings

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  • Chris Laning
    Sep 21, 2012
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      George wrote:

      >*IF* the regs were the same in the 16th as in the 20th c.--which is a
      >moderately big IF; persona-wise, you and I are both pre-Council of
      >Trent, the very last big one before Vatican II--then, absent very
      >special circumstances, you were *required* to have a "nuptial" Mass for
      >your marriage.

      Um, no, though that may depend on where you are.

      Until -- if I recall correctly -- well after our period, a nuptial mass was NOT required in all countries (certainly not England). All that was necessary is that the two to be married say to each other, in the present tense (i.e. not as a future promise) "I take you for my husband/wife." While a priest's blessing was desireable (and in practice, often sought) and while witnesses were a prudent precaution in case the marriage was ever questioned, neither was required for a marriage to be legally and religiously valid. The courts of the time are full of lawsuits trying to establish exactly what words had been said between a couple to determine if they were really married or not.

      This is not to say that there were not formal church weddings; of course there were. But even so, the vows were often said in the church porch, before the couple entered the church for a formal blessing or Mass.

      Depending on the time and place of your personas, your own personal choice, and what your officiant says, you may have to do a bit more looking to find just what the requirements and ceremonies were like. The book sounds like a good recommendation.

      (Also, the Tridentine Mass as such is not present before the Council of Trent (1569): that's why it is called "Tridentine" = of Trent.)

      That said: having a period wedding and Catholic Mass (period or not) in a private part of the campground, where no one is required to participate if they don't want to, is absolutely OK at an SCA event. The prohibition is on making religious ceremonies, or implying that you are making them, *part* of the SCA event, or on holding them in the middle of everything (for instance in Court) which would force everyone to witness whether they want to or not.

      Depending on what part of the country you live in and who you know, you may or may not be able to find a Catholic priest who is amenable to doing this. I certainly have known some who would be glad to, even if you weren't a member of their parish. As George says, however, a more conservative priest would likely not agree.

      Having a pseudo-Mass with an officiant who isn't actually a priest is something that is technically possible -- since as long as modern legal forms are followed and the officiant is authorized to perform marriages, it doesn't matter to the Government what religious service goes along with it. However as George says it would likely make some people uncomfortable even if they didn't actually witness it themselves. Modern Catholics vary greatly in how they feel about non-Catholics making use of Catholic ceremonies. Some are okay with it as long as it's a sincere attempt to worship that just happens to use Catholic forms. Others are made very uncomfortable by the idea if the priest isn't a real priest. You will have to make your own decision based on what you know about SCA folks in your area.

      (Dame) Christian de Holacombe

      0 Chris Laning
      | <claning@...>
      + Davis, California
      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
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