The Reign of Christ. Book Two. Chapter Twenty: The Celebration Of Nuptials
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In order that Your Majesty’s subjects may enter into marriage earnestly agreed upon and mutually approved up to the time of the marriage feast and may do so with reverence, a proper order has been prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer of this realm. But in regard of those parts of the marriage ceremony which they ought to recite, admonish, and pray, very many priests recite, admonish, and pray so coldly, confusedly, and irreligiously, and also for the most part in a voice so subdued, as in the case of other services of worship, that very few of those present, indeed, very often not even the bride and groom, are able to derive any fruit of piety from this. Meanwhile, some of the people wander around in the church and some openly gossip and amuse themselves. Since such doings involve a serious dishonor to the Divine Majesty. Your Majesty acknowledges that here also his authority and law are required in order to bring it about that his subjects so come and are present at the consecration of their nuptials, and give their attention to everything said to them by the priest, as becomes those who come into the presence and stand in the sight of God Almighty and Christ the Savior, and hear or invoke him through his minister; and the priests, as befits true ministers of Christ and faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, should read, exhort, and pray all these things with utmost dedication. For how often God is offended and how greatly his anger is provoked when in his sight and in his assembly men appear without supreme reverence and fear of him and do not share in his service with an alive penitence and an upright faith, much less if they there misbehave impiously and make sport of his majesty, this can be learned from Isa. 1:11-15 and 58:13; Jer. 7:10-11, 21-23; Ps. 50:14-23; and many other texts of the prophets and apostolic Writings.
This concludes the subject of the pious contracting of holy matrimony, and the just ratification and holy initiation and consecration of it.