Sacrament of Marriage & The Writ of Marriage
Philosophy of Sacramental Initiation by Holy Order of MANS
The following instructions refer primarily to what you need to do when you are marrying outside people because marriages in the Order have generally been accepted by Esoteric Council. In those cases the preparation before the marriage and the instructions have generally been given already and you need not worry about them.
However, if you are marrying outside people, it is important that you at first are sure that these two should be married. You have checked it out. You have looked at it closely. You have counseled with them together on many occasions so that they are aware, as aware as they can be, of the step they are about to take and you are sure that it is spiritually right for them to take it.
Under no circumstances should you marry any couple that has not had the required blood tests and obtained a marriage license. This is the law of the land and must be adhered to. There are no exceptions to this, and you should be sure that they have obtained this marriage license before you perform the ceremony.
It is best to perform marriages in the morning as the sun is approaching and rising toward the zenith, although it is not wrong to perform a marriage in the early afternoon when the sun is still high overhead. The mornings are generally the most auspicious time to join two people in holy matrimony.
Oftentimes a couple will want the marriage ceremony to take place at a location of their own choosing. You must be very careful about this because they may choose a place which is not the most appropriate for a marriage ceremony. You as a priest in the Holy Order of MANS are the one through whom the sacrament is being provided, and you should reserve the right to determine the appropriate place where you will perform the marriage ceremony. In most cases this will be the Holy Order of MANS chapel.
However, if you are asked to perform the marriage in another church or chapel, this would be fine. You could also perform a marriage in someone's house if the room was set up properly.
But be wary if you are asked to perform a marriage outside. In general ceremonies to be performed in the out-of-doors should be discouraged, not because we don't approve of mother nature or a natural setting, but because too often the location chosen is not very good symbolically and will not serve as a good focus or channel for the power of the sacrament.
There may be exceptions to this, but it should be your priestly prerogative to determine whether or not you would perform a marriage in such a place. And your decision should be based on your desire to preserve the marriage ritual in all its purity. As a general rule, it is advisable to stick to the chapel in the Holy Order of Mans center because here is already an established focus and channel of power, and it is very functional.
It is important that you as a priest keep control of the marriage ceremony. When you are dealing with outside people you will find that they will want to put their own rituals, their own little touches to the ceremony. They might want to read poetry, they might want to have groups of attendants, and they might want to have a rock band to perform the processional and the recessional. You should definitely let them know in advance what you will accept and what you will not accept in the ceremony.
This marriage ceremony was given to us by revelation and it is a holy thing and should not be tampered with. It is set up in a certain way because that is the way it works best alchemically, and we accept no compromises.
If you are performing the marriage ceremony in another place such as another church, you should definitely contact the pastor of that church and pay your respects and find out if any part of the ceremony rite about to be preformed would in his eyes be a sacrilege. If so, pay him the respect asking first his approval or find another place for performing the rite. You should familiarize yourself with the physical set-up and the requirements of the forms of the wedding ceremony, such as size of wedding party, sanctuary space, etc. Basically they should know what to expect from you, and you should know what to expect from them before you begin the ceremony.
Marriage processions for a large wedding, according to Emily Post:
Some of the forms may be a little archaic but will always work in situations where you must arrange the wedding party and direct them. This is the form for a one-aisle church where there are several attendants for the wedding.
The sound of music is the cue for the clergy to enter the sanctuary with the groom following right behind and the best man behind him. He can enter from the right or left, stand in the middle of the sanctuary with the groom slightly forward to his right (facing the congregation) and the best man will be slightly behind him.
1. Ushers two-by-two in order of height (four steps between.)
2. Bridesmaids two-by-two in order of height (four steps between.)
3. Maid of honor
4. Flower girl
5. Ring bearer
6. Bride and father (following eight steps behind.)
Divide at the sanctuary and stand half and half to either side of the entrance to the sanctuary in approximately a half circle. Men and woman are on both sides, ranged symmetrically. Little children in the party should have seats provided, except for the ring bearer who presents the ring to the best man and then sits down.
Groom steps forward or descends steps to meet bride and takes her arm from her father and places it through his, then proceeds to top of steps or to sanctuary. The silver cord is then tied and the father of the bride seats himself with others of the family. The maid of honor stands behind and to the side of the bride and the best man stands behind and to the left of the groom throughout the ceremony. In the marriage ritual all of the proceeding would be covered under step one.
The following is the ritual for the Holy Sacrament of marriage for the Holy Order of MANS:
Step 1. The bride and the groom and the attendants come to the entrance of the sanctuary.
Step 2. The priest approaches the altar and sanctifies himself.
Step 3. The dedication of the sacrament.
Step 4. The priest brings the bride and the groom to the kneeling bench and directs them to kneel.
Then the priest performs the regular communion service. If he has already received communion he performs it up until Step Nine, the transmutation of the wine. If he has not received communion he may perform the full communion and receive communion himself before he presents the body and the blood to the married couple.
Step 10. The challenge to the outer court. This is the cutting of the tie of both the bride and the groom from their parents and from the other ties that they may be united as one flesh in holy matrimony.
Step 11. The groom presents the bride with the Bible. This is the giving of the word by the male unto the female.
The priest directs them to pray.
Step 13. The priest hands the paten with the transformed Body upon it to the groom who then serves the bride with the Body. The groom thereupon hands the paten to the bride who serves the groom, as the priest says, "I give unto you both this Body of Christ, which is the bread of earth. Share you one with the other." Notice the appropriate symbolism. The male is the first to serve the body. The female is the first to receive it. Then the female serves the male and the male receives it.
Step 14. The priest returns to the altar and blesses the water.
Step 15. The priest presents the cup of blessed water in the same manner as he did the Body, handing the cup to the male first who serves to the female that she may drink, then he hands the cup to his bride who serves him. As the priest hands the cup of water to the man he says; "Now that you have broken the Bread of Life which is the Body of Christ, now drink you the water of the Spirit that your eyes may be opened and that you may see yourselves as you really are."
This is an uniting of God-man-woman in a holy triangle; therefore their eyes must be open. They must see each other without deception and be in perfect accord in the sight of God.
Step 16. The priest in this prayer declares that the Creator is the first party of this marriage and no matter what happens, God is the primary partner and each of the partners must look to God first and then to each other. For the Presence of God, which is ever-present, is within the two of them and they must give acknowledgement to the Presence first before they acknowledge any other presence. The words of the prayer are: "Now that you have broken the bread with one another and have received of the waters of life with one another, standing here in the presence of God, knowing that His presence is within you both, who is the first party of this marriage."
Step 17. The legal profession of the marriage vows of one to the other. Here is where the man and wife must say, "I do." They must accept each other as man and wife to make it legal, but in our ceremony they not only accept each other as man and wife, they also accept that each is the Godly counterpart of the other; and they accept further that in this marriage, although they accept each other in the bonds of matrimony, they also set each other free that each may find the God within themselves and that they also give the same freedom to the offspring. So that in the marriage, although they are bound in the responsibility of love and devotion of one to the other, they are bound only in the freedom of God and in the freedom of the Spirit. This freedom, since God comes first in the marriage, must also come first and must not be abridged by the selfish desires of the parties concerned.
Step 21. The priest presents the couple with the Blood of Christ. The Prayer: "Now that you have broken bread and received the water of the Spirit and have vowed to take one another as man and wife, now drink you both of His Blood that you may exchange the essence of your experience and hold one another in ever-lasting loving respect to God and man." Again, the priest presents the chalice first to the male who gives his wife to drink. Then she takes the chalice from her husband and gives him to drink of the Blood.
We have said before that in the true marriage ceremony, the man and the wife perform the ceremony and the priest merely acts as the assistant and the one who seals it in heaven and in earth by the holy authority of the priesthood. This is shown by the preceding steps in which the man and the wife each gave each other of the Body and the Blood and of the waters of life.
This is the only time in all the sacraments in which a man and a wife who are not ordained into the priesthood are allowed to come into the Holy Sanctuary, to stand within the holy triangle of the Law and to touch and handle the sacred Body and the Blood with their hands. Because in this sacrament they act as the priest for each other.
Step 22. The priest cuts the marriage cord with the scissors which he had on the altar. This symbolized the act of freeing each other to find the God within.
Prior to marriage while an attraction is being felt, an emotional tie of attraction exists between the couple. They are as yet unfulfilled and desire to have this. It is important to cut this at the marriage so that their love can be freed of emotional desire. They are now one flesh.
Step 23. The final binding of the couple in holy matrimony. The priest says: "I, with the power of God and the legal power invested in me do pronounce you man and wife and free you to work out your destiny in all His glory." With the word of the priest the marriage sacrament is bound in heaven and on earth, and they become part of the body of Christ and tied to the sacred triangle of the Holy Family.
After the priest makes the pronouncement, in Step 24, he reaches out and ties together the two spiritual bodies of the two beings, now married with God.
Both parties kneel and the priest
gives the blessing with the sign of the Cross.
Step 26. The ring ceremony, if there is to be one. A ring is an unbroken circle and this is a token of their unity. The man puts the ring on the woman's finger first, and then the woman puts the ring on the man's finger.
Step 27. The priest says, "Now you may accept her with a kiss."
Step 28. This is the final beautiful step of the marriage ceremony in which the priest hands two long-stemmed red roses to the man and his wife, and he says to them: "Received these as the flower of love that shall from this day forward unfold."
Then he blesses them, admonishes them to go in peace and in unity and the ceremony is over.
THE WRIT OF MARRIAGE
The Writ of Marriage is to be performed for those people who are outside the Order who wish to be married by the Order and who are under twenty-eight years old.
The Writ of Marriage rite is basically similar to the Sacrament of Marriage rite with the exception that the couple does not go within the Triangle of the Law because they are not being tied to the Holy Family in the Holy Sacrament.
In the marriage writ the communion does take place but it is administered by the priest to the couple. It is not given to the couple to administer to each other. This is a marriage taking place in the sight of God, and it is not tying it into the Holy Family. Other than that the marriage ritual is basically the same.
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