Nuptial Mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Hope all is well! Reaching out since I made great use of your book, Inseparable Love, to choose the most traditional/ancient prayers for my upcoming Nuptial Mass; just wanted to say that your book was an invaluable resource, and I’m extremely grateful for your work.

I have a question on the Universal Prayer; I know that the bride and groom are able to write their own intentions, but are they similarly able to write the introduction or closing collect? Of course, I have no intention of composing something new, but was wondering if I could make use of more ancient texts – or possibly use the ‘Propitiáre’ as a collect like one of the council fathers suggested. Do you think that would be acceptable?

Also, for the standard closing collect (i.e. ‘Graciously pour out upon this…’), would you happen to know if that’s an entirely new composition, or is it actually based on one from an older Sacramentary?

Of course, any insights you’re able to share on this subject, or any recommendations for imparting a more traditional character to the Universal Prayer (or the Nuptial Mass in general), would be greatly appreciated. Regardless, however, thank you for taking the time, and hope you had an excellent Easter!


A: Congratulations on your engagement! Thanks for your kind remarks about my book.

The introduction and closing prayer for the Universal Prayer may be locally composed for a wedding, as they may be for any celebration of the mass. I suggest you write up what you prefer and offer it to your priest for his approval.

I see no problem using the Propitiar as the conclusion to the Universal Prayer. However, the collect for the introductory rites of the mass must be drawn from one of the approved texts. (The word “collect” properly refers to the prayer that concludes the Introductory rites, not the prayer that concludes the Universal Prayer.)

Regarding the prayer “Graciously pour out,” which concludes the first example of the Universal Prayer (OCM 216), I have no other information on its origins. It is not the same as the one that concludes the sample prayers for a wedding that the Vatican produced in 1966. I suspect that someone wrote it for the second edition of the OCM in 1990.

Be assured of my prayers for you and your fiancé.