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Nuptial Mass

"Missa pro sponso et sponsa", the last among the votive Masses in the Missal. It is composed of lessons and chants suitable to the Sacrament of Matrimony , contains prayers for persons just married and is interwoven with part of the marriage rite, of which in the complete form it is an element. As the Mass was looked upon as the natural accompaniment of any solemn function ( ordination, consecration of churches, etc.), it was naturally celebrated as part of the marriage service. Tertullian (d. about 220; ad Uxor., II, 9) mentions the oblation that confirms marriage (matrimonium quod ecclesia conciliat et confirmat oblatio). All the Roman Sacramentaries contain the nuptial Mass (The Leonine, ed. Feltoc, 140-142; The Gelasian, ed. Wilson, 265-267; The Gregorian, P. L., LXXVIII, 261-264), with our present prayers and others (a special Hanc Igitur and Preface ). The Gelasian Sacramentary (loc. cit.) contains, moreover, the blessing now said after the Ite missa est , then said after the Communion, a Gallican addition (Duchesne, "Origines du Culte", Paris, ed. 2, 1898 n. 417). Pope Nicholas I (858-867) in his instruction for the Bulgars, in 866, describes the whole rite of marriage, including the crowning of the man and wife that is still the prominent feature of the rite in the Byzantine Church ; this rite contains a Mass at which the married persons make the offertory and receive communion (Rasp. ad cons, Bulgarorum, iii, quoted by Duchesne op. cit., 413- 414).

The present rules for a nuptial Mass are; first, that it may not be celebrated in the closed time for marriages, that is from Advent Sunday till after the octave of the Epiphany and from Ash Wednesday till after Low Sunday. During these times no reference to a marriage may be made in Mass; if people wish to be married then they must be content with the little service in the Ritual, without music or other solemnities. This is what is meant by the rubric : "claudun tur nuptiarum solemnia "; it is spoken of usually as the closed season. During the rest of the year the nuptial Mass may be said at a wedding any day except Sundays and feasts of obligation, doubles of the first and second class and such privileged ferias and octaves as exclude a double. It may not displace the Rogation Mass at which the procession is made, nor may it displace at least one Requiem on All Souls day. On these occasions its place is taken by the Mass of the day to which commemorations of the nuptial Mass are added in the last place and at which the blessings are inserted in their place. The nuptial blessing is considered as part of the nuptial Mass. It may never be given except during this Mass or during a Mass that replaces it (and commemorates it) when it cannot be said, as above. The nuptial Mass and blessing may be celebrated after the closed time for people married during it. So nuptial Mass and blessing always go together; either involves the other. One Mass and blessing may be held for several pairs of married people, who must all be present. The forms, however, remain in the singular as they are in the Missal. The Mass and blessing may not be held if the woman has already received this blessing in a former marriage. This rule only affects the woman, for whom the blessing is more specially intended (see the prayer Deus qui potestate ). It must be understood exactly as stated. A former marriage without this blessing, or the fact that children had been born before the marriage, is no hindrance. Nor may the nuptial Mass and blessing be held in cases of mixed marriages ( mixta religio ) inspite of any dispensation. According to the Con stitution "Etsi sanctissimus Dominus" of Pius IX (15 November, 1858), mixed marriages must be celebrated outside the church (in England and America this is understood as meaning outside the sanctuary and choir), without the blessing of the ring or of the spouses without any ecclesiastical rite or vestment, without proclamation of banns.

The rite of the nuptial Mass and blessing is this: The Mass has neither Gloria nor Creed. It counts as a votive Mass not for a grave matter; therefore it has three collects, its own, the commemoration of the day, and the third which is the one chosen for semi-doubles at that time of the year unless there be two commemorations. At the end Benedicamus Domino and the Gospel of St. John are said. The colour is white. The bridegroom and bride assist near the altar (just outside the sanctuary ), the man on the right. After the Pater noster the celebrant genuflects and goes to epistle side. Meanwhile the bridegroom and bride come up and kneel before him. Turning to them he says the two prayers Propitiare Domine and Deus qui potestate (as in the Missal ) with folded hands. He then goes back to the middle and continues the Mass. They go back to their places. He gives them Communion at the usual time. This implies that they are fasting and explains the misused name "wedding breakfast" afterwards. But the Communion is strict law (S.R.C., no 5582, 21 March, 1874). Immediately after the Benedicamus Domino and its answer the celebrant again goes to the Epistle side and the bridegroom and kneel before him as before. The celebrant turning to them says the prayer Deus Abraham (without Oremus ). He is then told to warn them "with grave words to be faithful to one another". The rest of the advice suggested in the rubric of the Missal is now generally left out. He sprinkles them with holy water ; they retire, he goes back to the middle of the altar, says Placeat tibi , gives the blessing and finishes Mass as usual.

In the cases in which the "Missa pro sponso et sponsa" may not be said but may be commemorated, the special prayers and blessing are inserted in the Mass in the same way. But the colour must be that of the day. During the closed time it is, of course, quite possible for the married people to have a Mass said for their intention, at which they receive Holy Communion. The nuptial Blessing in this Mass is quite different thing from the actual celebration of the marriage which must always precede it. The blessing is given to people already married, as the prayers imply. It need not be given (nor the Mass said ) by the parish priest, who assisted at the marriage. But both these functions (assitance and blessing ) are rights of the parish priests, which no one else may undertake without delegation from him. Generally they are so combined that the marrige takes place immediately before the Mass; in this case the priest at the marriage in Mass vestments, but without the maniple. In England and other countries where a civil declaration is required by law, this is usually made in the sacristy between the marriage and the Mass. Canon Law in England orders that marriages be made only in churches that have a district with the cure of souls (Conc. prov. Westm. I, decr. XXII, 4). This implies as a general rule, but does not command absolutely, that the nuptial Mass also be celebrated in such a church.

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Ni 70

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Niger, Peter George

(NIGRI, German SCHWARTZ) Dominican theologian, preacher and controversialist, b. 1434 at ...

Nigeria

A colony of British East Africa extending from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad (from 4° 30' ...

Nihilism

The term was first used by Turgeniev in his novel, "Fathers and Sons" (in "Russkij Vestnik", Feb., ...

Nihus, Barthold

Convert and controversialist, b. at Holtorf in Hanover, 7 February, 1590 (according to other ...

Nikolaus von Dinkelsbühl

Theologian, b. c. 1360, at Dinkelsbühl; d. 17 March, 1433, at Mariazell in Styria. He ...

Nikon

Patriarch of Moscow (1652-1658; d. 1681). He was of peasant origin, born in the district of ...

Nilles, Nikolaus

Born 21 June, 1828, of a wealthy peasant family of Rippweiler, Luxemburg ; died 31 January, ...

Nilopolis

A titular see and a suffragan of Oxyrynchos, in Egypt. According to Ptolemy (IV, v, 26) the ...

Nilus the Younger

Of Rossano, in Calabria; born in 910, died 27 December, 1005. For a time he was married (or ...

Nilus, Saint

( Neilos ) Nilus the elder, of Sinai (died c. 430), was one of the many disciples and ...

Nimbus

(Latin, related to Nebula, nephele , properly vapour, cloud), in art and archaeology signifies ...

Nimrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...

Ninian, Saint

(NINIAS, NINUS, DINAN, RINGAN, RINGEN) Bishop and confessor ; date of birth unknown; died ...

Nirschl, Joseph

Theologian and writer, b. at Durchfurth, Lower Bavaria, 24 February, 1823; d. at ...

Nisibis

A titular Archdiocese of Mesopotamia, situated on the Mygdonius at the foot of Mt. Masius. It is ...

Nithard

Frankish historian, son of Angilbert and Bertha, daughter of Charlemagne ; died about 843 or ...

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Noah

[Hebrew Nôah , "rest"; Greek Noah ; Latin Noah ]. The ninth patriarch of the ...

Noah's Ark

The Hebrew name to designate Noah's Ark, the one which occurs again in the history of Moses' ...

Noailles, Louis-Antoine de

Cardinal and bishop, b. at the Château of Teyssiére in Auvergne, France, 27 May, ...

Nobili, Robert de'

Born at Montepulciano, Tuscany, September, 1577; died at Mylapore, India, in 1656. He entered the ...

Noble, Daniel

Physician, b. 14 Jan., 1810; d. at Manchester, 12 Jan, 1885. He was the son of Mary Dewhurst and ...

Nocera

DIOCESE OF NOCERA (NUCERINENSIS) Diocese in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, near the sources of the ...

Nocera dei Pagani

(NUCERIN PAGANORUM; dei Pagani ="of the Pagans") Diocese in Salermo, Italy, at the foot of ...

Nocturns

( Nocturni or Nocturna ). A very old term applied to night Offices. Tertullian speaks of ...

Nogaret, Guillaume de

Born about the middle of the thirteenth century at St. Felix-en-Lauragais; died 1314; he was one ...

Nola

(NOLANA) Diocese ; suffragan of Naples. The city of Nola in the Italian Province of Caserta, ...

Nola, Giovanni Marliano da

Sculptor and architect, b., it is said, of a leather merchant named Giuseppe, at Nola, near ...

Nolasco, Saint Peter

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at ...

Nollet, Jean-Antoine

Physicist, b. at Pimpré, Oise, France, 19 November, 1700; d. at Paris, 25 April, 1770. His ...

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

These terms are used to designate the theories that have been proposed as solutions of one of the ...

Nomination

The various methods of designating persons for ecclesiastical benefices or offices have been ...

Nomocanon

(From the Greek nomos , law, and kanon , a rule) A collection of ecclesiastical law, the ...

Non Expedit

("It is not expedient"). Words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the ...

Non-Jurors

The name given to the Anglican Churchmen who in 1689 refused to take the oath of allegiance to ...

Nonantola

A former Benedictine monastery and prelature nullius , six miles north-east of Modena ...

Nonconformists

A name which, in its most general acceptation, denotes those refusing to conform with the ...

None

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Origin of None; II. None from the ...

Nonnotte, Claude-Adrien

Controversialist; b. in Besançon, 29 July, 1711; d. there, 3 September, 1793. At nineteen ...

Nonnus

Nonnus, of Panopolis in Upper Egypt (c. 400), the reputed author of two poems in hexameters; ...

Norbert, Saint

Born at Kanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, c. 1080; died at Magdeburg, 6 June, ...

Norbertines

(C ANONICI R EGULARES P RÆMONSTRATENSES ). Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert at ...

Norcia

(NORSIN). A diocese and city in Perugia, Italy, often mentioned in Roman history. In the ...

Norfolk, Catholic Dukes of

(Since the Reformation) Under this title are accounts only of the prominent Catholic Dukes of ...

Noris, Henry

Cardinal, b. at Verona, 29 August, 1631, of English ancestry; d. at Rome, 23 Feb., 1704. He ...

Normandy

An ancient French province, from which five "departments" were formed in 1790: ...

Norris, Sylvester

( Alias SMITH, NEWTON). Controversial writer and English missionary priest ; b. 1570 or ...

Norsemen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

North Carolina

One of the original thirteen States of the United States, is situated between 33° 53' and ...

North Dakota

One of the United States of America , originally included in the Louisiana Purchase. Little was ...

Northampton

(NORTANTONIENSIS) Diocese in England, comprises the Counties of Northampton, Bedford, ...

Northcote, James Spencer

Born at Feniton Court, Devonshire, 26 May, 1821; d. at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, 3 March, ...

Northern Territory

(Prefecture Apostolic) The Northern Territory, formerly Alexander Land, is that part of ...

Northmen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

Norton, Christopher

Martyr ; executed at Tyburn, 27 May, 1570. His father was Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, ...

Norway

Norway, comprising the smaller division of the Scandinavian peninsula, is bounded on the east by ...

Norwich, Ancient Diocese of

(NORDOVICUM; NORVICUM). Though this see took its present name only in the eleventh century, ...

Notaries

( Latin notarius ). Persons appointed by competent authority to draw up official or authentic ...

Notburga

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notburga, Saint

Patroness of servants and peasants, b. c. 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn; d. c. 16 September, 1313. ...

Nothomb, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notitia Dignitatum

(Register of Offices). The official handbook of the civil and military officials in the later ...

Notitia Provinciarum et Civitatum Africae

(List of the Provinces and Cities of Africa). A list of the bishops and their sees in the ...

Notitiae Episcopatuum

The name given to official documents that furnish for Eastern countries the list and hierarchical ...

Notker

Among the various monks of St. Gall who bore this name, the following are the most important: ...

Noto

(NETEN). Noto, the ancient Netum and after the Saracen conquest the capital of one of the ...

Notoriety, Notorious

( Latin Notorietas, notorium , from notus , known). Notoriety is the quality or the ...

Notre Dame de Montreal, Congregation of

Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress, was born at Troyes, France, 17 April, 1620. She was the ...

Notre Dame, School Sisters of

A religious community devoted to education. In the United Sates they have conducted parish ...

Notre Dame, Sisters of (of Cleveland, Ohio)

A branch of the congregation founded by Blessed Julie Billiart. In 1850, Father Elting of ...

Notre Dame, University of

(Full name is the University of Notre Dame du Lac ). Notre Dame is located in Northern ...

Notre-Dame de Namur, Institute of

Founded in 1803 at Amiens, France, by Bl. Julie Billiart (b. 1751 d. 1816) and ...

Notre-Dame de Sion, Congregation of

Religious institute of women, founded at Paris in May 1843, by Marie-Théodore and ...

Nottingham

(NOTTINGHAMIEN) One of the original twelve English dioceses created at the time of the ...

Nourrisson, Jean-Felix

Philosopher, b. at Thiers, Department of Puy-de-Dôme, 18 July, 1825; d. at Paris, 13 June, ...

Nova Scotia

I. GEOGRAPHY Nova Scotia is one of the maritime provinces of Canada. It forms part of what was ...

Novara

(NOVARIENSIS). A diocese and the capital of the province of Novara, Piedmont, Italy, noted ...

Novatianism

Novatian was a schismatic of the third century, and founder of the sect of the Novatians; he ...

Novatus, Saint

St. Novatus, who is mentioned on 20 June with his brother, the martyr Timotheus, was the son of ...

Novello, Blessed Agostino

(Matteo Di Termini), born in the first half of the thirteenth century, at Termini, a village of ...

Novena

(From novem , nine.) A nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to ...

Novice

I. DEFINITION AND REQUIREMENTS The word novice , which among the Romans meant a newly acquired ...

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Nubia

Located in North-eastern Africa, extending from Sennar south to beyond Khartoum and including the ...

Nueva Cáceres

(NOVA CACERES) Diocese created in 1595 by Clement VIII ; it is one of the four suffragan ...

Nueva Pamplona

(NEO-PAMPILONENSIS). Diocese in Colombia, South America, founded in 1549 and a see erected by ...

Nueva Segovia

(NOVAE SEGOBIAE) Diocese in the Philippines, so called from Segovia, a town in Spain. The town ...

Nugent, Francis

Priest of the Franciscan Capuchin Order, founder of the Irish and the Rhenish Provinces of said ...

Nugent, James

Philanthropist, temperance advocate and social reformer b. 3 March, 1822 at Liverpool ; d. 27 ...

Numbers, Use of, in the Church

No attentive reader of the Old Testament can fail to notice that a certain sacredness seems to ...

Numismatics

(From the Greek nomisma , "legal currency") Numismatics is the science of coins and of ...

Nun of Kent

Born probably in 1506; executed at Tyburn, 20 April, 1534; called the "Nun of Kent." The career of ...

Nunc Dimittis

(The Canticle of Simeon). Found in St. Luke's Gospel (2:29-32) , is the last in historical ...

Nuncio

An ordinary and permanent representative of the pope, vested with both political and ...

Nunez, Pedro

(Pedro Nonius). Mathematician and astronomer, b. at Alcacer-do-Sol, 1492; d. at Coimbra, ...

Nuns

I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The institution of nuns and sisters, who devote themselves in various ...

Nuptial Mass

"Missa pro sponso et sponsa", the last among the votive Masses in the Missal. It is composed of ...

Nuremberg

(NÜRNBERG) The second largest city in Bavaria, situated in a plain on both sides of the ...

Nusco

(N USCANA ) Diocese in the province of Avellino, Italy, suffragan of Salerno ; dates from ...

Nussbaum, Johannn Nepomuk von

German surgeon, b. at Munich 2 Sept., 1829; d. there 31 Oct., 1890. He made his studies in the ...

Nutter, Robert, Ven.

English martyr ; b. at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He ...

Nuyens, Wilhelmus

Historian, b. 18 August, 1823, at Avenhorn in Holland ; d. 10 December, 1894, at Westwoud near ...

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Nyassa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

Nympha, Tryphon, and Respicius

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have ...

Nyssa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

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