Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: 1530 Italian clergy and weddings
- On 9/21/2012 1:36 PM, Chris Laning wrote:
> George wrote:Like I said: IF!!! ;->
>> >*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
> + Davis, California
> http://paternoster-row.org -http://paternosters.blogspot.com
Thank you, good Dame.
I did of course know what was required for validity. I was stating what
I thought--incorrectly, it seems--might be required for licitness, viz.,
what the Church told you to do back then.
I had always heard that the folks who routinely married themselves and
waited for the priest to show up after the kid was born were those who
lived too far away to HAVE a local priest easily and immediately
available. Certainly not people who had a church porch to stand on.
Again, time seems greatly to have changed things!
I did carefully say that I'm guessing the Tridentine Mass wouldn't have
been way different from the versions right before Trent, NOT that
they're the same. (Frankly, I don't see that today's Novus Ordo Missae
is all that different from the Tridentine, but I've just found more than
one Net site eager to explain in detail how wrong I am.) I proposed it
as having the very strong advantage of being a celebration comparatively
easily arranged for and actually both licit and valid under current
Note that there ARE regulations on how you can get validly and licitly
married in the Church in the early 21st, and those apparently differ
significantly from the 16th. This may be utterly irrelevant to the
original poster, but having gone to the trouble of finding out, I'm
gonna dump my data here, to be attended to or ignored as the reader desires.
I just talked to my own pastor, and he says no priest he'd ever heard of
would marry a couple if neither of them were Catholic. Moreover, if only
one were Catholic, you'd need a dispensation from the bishop himself for
"disparity of faith". To be married outside of the Catholic's
territorial parish, i.e., the one where the person lives and functions
as a Catholic, you'd need permission in writing from that parish's
priest. To do it outside a church requires the bishop's permission,
which would not be lightly given. (You'd have to convince His
Excellency, or more likely his vicar general, that a) the location
wasn't reducing the sense of sacramentality and b) you had a really,
really good reason not to get married in a church.)
I suspect much of the above would be much less relevant to a celebration
in which only a recommitment was made, but I'm not going to be dogmatic
Incidentally, if the couple weren't BOTH Catholic, there would be no Mass.
Mildly relevant thoughts I had on this subject while at the gym:
* In the 20th, the liturgical color for nuptial Masses--and I believe
all other non-penitential sacraments is white. I doubt that's changed in
the last few centuries, but I stand ready to be corrected. The
appropriate liturgical color would be the main but not the only color of
whatever vestments you'd make--if any.
* A set of well-made set of vestments compatible w/ both the 16th c. and
the 21st would make a very nice thank-you gift to a priest. (He'd
presumably stuff the maniple and maybe the amice in the back of a
drawer.) My pastor says you'd be grossly ill-advised to place your arms,
monograms, whatever, on any vestment where they could be seen during
use. Names of donors listed on a label, arms concealed inside the
garment, no problem. A case, I suppose, of differences in sensibilities
between the centuries.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- In the past month, a lot has happened towards the wedding. We are holding separate SCA and mundane weddings. The mundane wedding is May 4, 2013 (may the fourth be with you!), while the SCA wedding is January 5, 2013. Because we will not be legally married until May 4, I do not have to worry about finding an officiant or clergy willing to dress in garb. This frees up the wedding for all sorts of interesting things. After debating ideas back and forth, we finally came up with something that suits our personalities, our venue, and our audience.
We have decided to do the wedding ceremony as a commedia dell'arte (a period form of improv with stock characters) performance. We will be performing a scene in which the lovers are married. Wedding between the innamorati, or lovers (stock characters in period commedia), was a common scene. Of course we will attempt to dress all players appropriately. I feel our performance of a period subject in a period style will be no more offensive than any other wedding scene in any other play. As of right now, it is possible that our wedding improv performance could be worked into the event as afterfeast entertainment. Because commedia lends itself well to short 5-15 min scenes, it seems the perfect way to wrap up a dessert course.
Thank you all so much for your insight into how to dress and how to conduct the wedding. It was a nice surprise in my inbox this morning to see that my thread was picked back up with new information.
Ylaire Sainte Claire
Sent from my iPad
- Congratulations! Your wedding sounds absolutely wonderful! My husband and I would have loved to have a period wedding but finances and time constraints made it impossible. So, we decided to have it for our 10 year anniversary (which is in 4 years). We are also doing 1540's England. Let me know how your progress goes :)
--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Ylaire Sainte Claire <ylairesainteclaire@...> wrote:
> In the past month, a lot has happened towards the wedding. We are holding separate SCA and mundane weddings. The mundane wedding is May 4, 2013 (may the fourth be with you!), while the SCA wedding is January 5, 2013. Because we will not be legally married until May 4, I do not have to worry about finding an officiant or clergy willing to dress in garb. This frees up the wedding for all sorts of interesting things. After debating ideas back and forth, we finally came up with something that suits our personalities, our venue, and our audience.
> We have decided to do the wedding ceremony as a commedia dell'arte (a period form of improv with stock characters) performance. We will be performing a scene in which the lovers are married. Wedding between the innamorati, or lovers (stock characters in period commedia), was a common scene. Of course we will attempt to dress all players appropriately. I feel our performance of a period subject in a period style will be no more offensive than any other wedding scene in any other play. As of right now, it is possible that our wedding improv performance could be worked into the event as afterfeast entertainment. Because commedia lends itself well to short 5-15 min scenes, it seems the perfect way to wrap up a dessert course.
> Thank you all so much for your insight into how to dress and how to conduct the wedding. It was a nice surprise in my inbox this morning to see that my thread was picked back up with new information.
> Ylaire Sainte Claire
> Sent from my iPad
- I'll start by saying I am not a Catholic.
I have to politely disagree with Michael Gerard Curtememoire that reenacting a 16th century wedding is, "somewhere between blasphemy and atrociously bad taste." Unless you were purposely making a mockery of the Catholic Church with I do not believe that is what the couple are intending to do. The purpose of our organization is the research and reenactment of medieval life and Catholic weddings are a part of that medieval life. The ceremony is not an actual wedding. The couple are getting married several weeks later. It is merely a reenactment. I for one would love to witness it. Not from a religious point of view but from a historical one. The 16th century catholic church (especially Italian!) gave the royalty a run for their money when it came to sumptuous and lavish clothing and decor. That said if the couple wanted to omit part of the traditional ceremony (for the sake of time or so as not to offend any Catholics in attendance), I'm sure that would be fine. You might want to have a handout or something with the outline of your ceremony vs. what a traditional ceremony would have. So that those in attendance can learn what to expect if it were an actual 16th century Catholic ceremony.
Good Luck with your ceremony!
PS: The Council of Trent was December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 so it would be irrelevant for the couple who are reenacting a 1530's wedding.
--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "George A.Trosper" <gtrosper@...> wrote:
> Felicitations on your marriage! And congratulations on making it public
> to the Society.
> *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.
> Now, that is pretty well right out for having IN an SCA event, because
> it pushes people into attending a religious ceremony. So let's begin by
> supposing that you want to have a Mass nearby DURING the event. First,
> realize that even w/o singing, incense, and wedding vows, and even a
> very short homily (sermon equivalent), a Mass takes at least a half hour
> to do w/o rushing, so yours would be likely about an hour, like the
> ordinary Sunday Mass at my parish. And except for the wedding ceremony
> itself and the homily, it's totally in Latin.
> Then let me point out that as an actual 21st-c. Catholic, I'd be
> extremely uncomfortable if you did that w/ a fake priest and acolytes.
> Even assuming they could handle the language smoothly, it would feel
> like a mockery to me. And I'm sure at least some of the 21st-c.
> Catholics in attendance, if there are any, or who heard about it, would
> find a fake Mass somewhere between blasphemy and atrociously bad taste.
> On the other hand, IF you're actual Catholics and can find a priest
> who's friendly to the old (16th-20th c.) Tridentine Mass in Latin, which
> would be very much like a period Mass for y'all, and is not horrified by
> the idea of SCA garb, there would be other problems. I'd worry about
> 20th-c. time-&-place Church & state regs on marriages, including whether
> your legal names would have to be used in the ceremony. (I suppose I'd
> be just barely okay w/ "George Alfred Trosper, known in the Society for
> Creative Anachronism as Michael Gerard Curtememoire, do you take this
> woman ...")
> On the third or gripping hand, real marriage recommitment ceremonies are
> often held during real 21st-c. Masses for couples' 25- or 50-year
> anniversaries, so I don't see why y'all couldn't do the same a week or
> six after your real wedding, having no problems w/ either Church or
> state. And the neatest thing would be that the priest could probably
> find 21st-c. vestments that would be authentic for the 16th-c., if not
> in his own parish then by asking around the diocese. (You'd want to
> provide him pictures for that task.)
> But assuming you're in fact NOT 21st-c. Catholics, no faithful priest
> could celebrate a nuptial Mass for you as tho you were.
> On the last assumption: You should look thru Dean & Lowe for a suitable
> ceremony to publicly *confirm* your marriage, it being assumed to have
> been previously performed at a Mass celebrated somewhere else, about
> which y'all could enthuse at length to anyone interested. I'm
> practically certain your officiant for it in the 16th would have been a
> priest or deacon (PLEASE let me know if your research finds out I'm
> wrong!), so you'd have to hold that ceremony where no one at the SCA
> event would be pushed into attending.
> THAT fake religious ceremony wouldn't trigger my "It's a mockery!"
> response. I think that's because it would be intended as a real
> confirmation of a marriage, whereas a fake Mass would involve a fake
> Consecration and distribution of fake Holy Communion ... and just be
> gut-feeling WRONG, I'm not entirely sure why. But the confirmation thing
> would be okay by me. For one thing, in Catholic theology the actual
> ministers of the sacrament in any Christian marriage (Catholic or not)
> are the couple, to each other; the officiant is just a required witness.
> And y'all would be a real bride and groom.
> Finally, getting to your original question: IF I'm right above about who
> your officiant would be, then the clothes you'd want to make him would
> be early-16th-c. Mass vestments for a priest or deacon, presumably (for
> the priest) omitting the chasuble, since it wouldn't be a Mass. (That's
> the 20th-c. style for many non-Mass sacraments and other sacred ceremonies.)
> --Michael Gerard Curtememoire, mka George A. Trosper
> On 7/13/2012 11:48 AM, trephinelabro wrote:
> > Ylaire,
> > There is an edited book published in 1998 entitled "Marriage in Italy, 1300-1650." The editors are Trevor Dean and K. Lowe, ISBN 0-521-55402-0. It's an academic-type book written by historians and published by Cambridge U Press. The major sections of the book are 1) Ceremonies and Festivities, 2) Interventions by Church and State, 3) Patterns of Intermarriages, and 4) Consequences and Endings. If you can ILL the book it might answer some of your questions, plus I think it is really interesting as cultural/historical studies of the rite of marriage.
> > HTH,
> > Trephine la Broderesse
> > (back to lurking!)
> > --- Ylaire Sainte Claire <ylairesainteclaire@> wrote:
> >> I am getting married at an SCA event. I have italian outfits planned for the groom and I from 1520-1540. I am wondering what I should make for my officiant.
> >> Also, I am interested in speaking with anyone who is especially knowledgeable about weddings, court, and pomp.
> >> Ylaire Sainte Claire
> >> 304.951.5694
- First, I apologize for taking over-long to get back to this.
Second, I thank KaraM for her clear and helpful disagreement--not merely
labeled polite but actually being so. However, I must point out that my
extreme discomfort was never over the theoretical event being a wedding
or non-wedding, but over its being a non-MASS.
Third, I've been well aware of the date for Trent. My point (I hope more
clearly this time than before) was that I couldn't imagine any priest
who'd say a real PRE-Tridentine Mass, assuming that such a thing could
even be valid and/or licit in 2012 Gregorian. So I offered Tridentine as
the best near-authentic compromise in our compromise-laden SCA society.
Fourth, and most emphatically not least, I want to belatedly
congratulate Ylaire Ste. Claire and husband for developing a really good
event idea, and offer my best wishes, too, for their marriage!
And finally: Perhaps selfishly, I'm hoping this message will stimulate a
post-event, post-honeymoon report.
- It might be worth checking into, though. I do know of an instance where a
priest was able to get a dispensation to do a Latin Mass at a Civil War
event, it might be possible to get permission for a pre-Tridentine Mass, if
one could find a interested priest and present the idea appropriately to
the higher ups.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
I've heard of earlier-style masses done in Spain, for "historic reasons".
According to wikipedia these are not rare occurrances. See the last two
In the Spanish version of the article that part is a bit clearer. It does
also mention that Pope John Paul II held such a mass in Rome in 1992.
Honestly, I think that if done in good faith as a historic recreation, not
a replacement or a mockery it might well find even official support. But
then, I'm only "culturally" catholic ;)
Marianne / Leonor
2012/11/1 Katherine Throckmorton <katherine.throckmorton@...>
> It might be worth checking into, though. I do know of an instance where a[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> priest was able to get a dispensation to do a Latin Mass at a Civil War
> event, it might be possible to get permission for a pre-Tridentine Mass, if
> one could find a interested priest and present the idea appropriately to
> the higher ups.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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