The Celebration of Christian Marriage

Professor J J von Allmen

J J von Allmen notes that the opportunity to revise existing marriage liturgies is one that is being taken up in many churches. This opportunity is one that is linked to the renewal of Biblical theology which, given the absence of any established liturgical order, has led to the renewal of the spirituality of marriage. Von Allmen seeks to establish “under what conditions the members of the early Church could contract marriage”. Thereafter, he establishes the following: 1) “the fiancés must not be of the same sex” 2) they must marry “in the Lord” with a member of the Church 3) the relationship should not be incestuous, and 4) ‘they must be free to contract a marriage’. Von Allmen affirms that, theologically speaking, the Church ‘is entitled to solemnize marriage’, and, given the absence of a narrative of institution, the Church requires to frame its liturgy so that it reflects what she believes about marriage. Thereafter, von Allmen offers a reflection on the sacramental character of marriage and links this to a discussion on the indissolubility of marriage. Further, von Allmen affirms that the liturgy ought to emphasize the Christian character of marriage to its fullest extent.

Volume 01, Number 01 May 1971, p1