The engagement of a Christian couple is a special occasion for their families, who should celebrate it together with prayer and a special rite. In this way, they ask God’s blessing that the happiness promised by the engagement will be brought to fulfillment.
When the engagement is celebrated within the circle of the two families, one of the parents should preside.
When the families have gathered, all make the sign of the cross.
The leader greets those present in the following words:
Brothers and sisters, let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Let us bless him now and forever.
R/. Blessed be God forever.
In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing.
We know that all of us need God’s blessing at all times; but at the time of their engagement to be married, Christians are in particular need of grace as they prepare themselves to form a new family.
Let us pray, then, for God’s blessing to come upon this couple: that as they await the day of their wedding, they will grow in mutual respect and in their love for one another; that through their companionship and prayer together they will prepare themselves rightly and chastely for marriage.
One of those present or the leader reads from sacred Scripture.
Listen to these words from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians:
I Corinthians 13:4-13
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
R/. Thanks be to God
The intercessions are then said.
Leader: God our Father has so loved us that in Christ he makes us his children and the witnesses of his love before the entire world. Let us, therefore, call upon him in all confidence, saying:
R/. Lord, help us to remain always in your love.
God our Father, you willed that your true children, brothers and sisters in Christ, should be known by their love for one another. R/.
You place upon us the sweet demands of love so that we may find happiness by responding to them. R/.
You call N. and N. to the communion of life and love that binds the Christian family together, mind and heart. R/.
The engaged couple may exchange rings or some other gift
that signifies their love to each other.
One of the parents may bless these gifts:
N. and N., in due course may you honor the sacred pledge symbolized by these gifts which you now exchange.
The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined.
We praise you, Lord,
for your gentle plan draws together your children,
N. and N.
in love for one another.
Strengthen their hearts,
so that they will keep faith with each other,
please you in all things,
and so come to the happiness of celebrating the sacrament of their marriage.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The leader concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross
May the God of love and peace abide in you, guide your steps,
and confirm your hearts in his love,
now and forever.
The blessing may conclude with a suitable song.
--From Book of Blessings