How patriarchy ‘calls into question the validity’ of a sacrament

How patriarchy ‘calls into question the validity’ of a sacrament June 4, 2013

Religion News Service links to a Catholic Answers post on weddings that teaches me something new:

Then there are the wedding customs that actually conflict with Catholic marital theology. One significant example of this phenomenon is “giving away the bride.”

Catholics believe that the man and woman give themselves to each other in marriage. The reason why the question “Who gives this woman to this man?” never appears in a Catholic marriage liturgy is because the freedom of both parties to marry each other is so important that any suggestion that there is a lack of freedom by the bride to enter into the marriage — that she has, instead, been “given” into marriage by her father alone or by her parents together or by anyone else — could call into question the validity of the marriage.

That makes sense.

Some follow-up questions for Catholic Answers:

What other patriarchal traditions might be damaging to marriage?

What other sacraments might have their validity undermined by patriarchal traditions that actually conflict with Christian theology?


I can think of a few.

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  • Tapetum

    I realize we got off easy. We referred to our priest as “a Southern Baptist in Episcopal robes”. The homily went over like a lead balloon in front of the good-sized set of Wellesley alumnae and students who were listening to it, though. The sad thing was that where we were, the local Episcopal church was the liberal church. The rest were all worse, and my husband really wanted a church wedding – so there we were.

  • ReverendRef

    I’ll go with, “The priest was a twit.”

  • reynard61

    On Eternia, most likely. (A He-Man and The Masters of the Universe-themed wedding would be…*interesting* to say the least…)

  • reynard61

    Why not simply suggest that they make it the first song at the Reception?

  • ReverendRef

    I do. I have. And there really haven’t been any fights about it.

  • zmayhem

    At my wedding, I escorted my parents — we walked in together, me in the middle with one parent on each arm, and I set them down at their pew with hugs all around before walking the rest of the way myself. It felt good and symbolic in all the right ways; they’d accompanied me into adulthood, and I gave them love and thanks for it and then walked toward the next big moment, alone and of my own free will.

  • Jamoche

    Choir member knee-jerk reaction: They fired the organist? Do they know how rare they are?

  • Jamoche

    There’s a “Hitler rants” Game of Thrones version where one of his objections to the most recent episode is that they’ve got a GoT-themed wedding coming up…

    Big spoilers, beware:

  • mathbard

    GoT-themed wedding!? No, no, no, no, no. Way too many bad things happened at GoT weddings.

  • Tapetum

    I know! They had a very good organist, who worked for peanuts because she had a professional day job and didn’t really need the money. But her life came crashing down around her ears in the middle of tax season (multiple near family crises), and she started missing rehearsals, arriving late, and being really fragile generally. Turned out she was having absence seizures, and was hospitalized while they got her sorted out. The church fired her while she was gone (and then the vestry left her room, trooped over to her son’s hospital room with a balloon bouquet and a get-well card, and were outraged that he threw them out).

    My current church is putting up with an organist who is pissing off the entire choir and half the vestry because he’s an excellent organist and they don’t grow on trees.