The following Press release was issued by the Bishops’ Conference on 30 November 2015.
The Sacraments of Confirmation and Marriage mark a new stage of life for those who receive them. The celebration of these sacraments are joyful occasions when families and friends come together to pray and give thanks with those who are to be confirmed and those who are beginning their married life together.
The Bishops of England and Wales have received the Holy See’s recognitio for the rites of Confirmation and Marriage. These will be published in January 2016 and will be used from Easter 2016.
The Order of Confirmation is the text to be used for the liturgical celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the liturgy those who have been baptised profess their faith, are then anointed with the oil of Chrism, which is accompanied by the laying on of the bishop’s hands, and are strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Order of Celebrating Matrimony is the text to be used for the celebration of marriage in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Although it is a new translation, it retains familiar texts from the English tradition. These have helped shape our understanding of marriage as a lifelong bond between man and woman. Amongst the best loved words are:
To have and to hold
from this day forward
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish
till death do us part.
Speaking of the new translation, the Chair of the Department of Christian Life and Worship, Archbishop George Stack, said:
‘These new translations explore the riches of the scriptural, theological and pastoral implications of the beautiful moments of life in which we encounter God in deeper ways in Confirmation and in Marriage.
‘They reflect the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew.13:51) I pray that those who study, pray and use them will “…know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).’