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The Tempest: Matrimony

The "Form of Solemnization of Matrimony" in the Book of Common Prayer:

Dearly beloved friends, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony . . . which holy estate . . . is commended by Saint Paul to be honourable among all men, and therefore is not to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in fear of God, duly considering the causes for which marriage was ordained. . . .

One [cause for matrimony] was, the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and praise of God. Secondly, it [matrimony] was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication, that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body [the Church]. Thirdly, for mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.

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This page last updated on 28 August 2006. © Michael Best, 2002.