"Such gestures should not be included..."

Dear Fr Bloom:

I read the question on your website about using a unity candle at Catholic weddings.

Apparently the folks who produce the Liturgical Library website put the question to the Congregation for Divine Worship and received the following reply:

"At the discretion of the Conference of Bishops and at the time of their approval of the Rite of Marriage for their territory, certain rites having roots in the tradition of a particular people, and which authentically express Gospel values pertaining to marriage, may be inserted at appropriate points in the Rite of Marriage. Such gestures should not be included within the celebration of the rite if they do not appear at least as an option within the Rite of Marriage for which is approved by the Bishops and published with the recognitio of the Holy See for the territory in which the marriage is celebrated. It is possible that other gestures might be carried out after the completion of the Rite and the final blessing, or at a non-liturgical ceremony, such as a reception. To insert into the Rite gestures which are not approved by the Conference of Bishops with the recognitio of the Holy See, constitutes an abuse, even if perhaps well-intentioned."

The url for this text is: http://www.catholicliturgy.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/LawText/In dex/6/SubIndex/133/LawIndex/34

Hope this is helpful. Thanks for all the hard work you put into your site. I often read your homilies and find them very helpful.


Fr Randy Oswald, OMI


Dear Fr. Randy,

Appreciate you sending the reply from Congregation for Divine Worship. Do you know if any dioceses have sent out directives? It seems to me the pastoral problem is how to implement the instructions in one parish if all the neighboring parishes allow it. I have a hard time deciding which barricade to die on. Do you know what I mean?

Thanks for the kind word about the site and homilies.

All the best,

Fr. Phil Bloom

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