The Tridentine Mass (more commonly known as the Latin Mass) was first instituted in 1570 by Pope Pius V. It was the standardisation of the form of Mass that had been in place for over a thousand years, retaining its original form while ensuring that it could be standardised the world over.
Julian and Charlene chose this form of the Mass due to their devotion and service in the local Latin Mass community. The community spared no effort in supporting them, showing up in full force together with their Chaplain, Father Augustine Tay.
Also known as the “extraordinary form” of the Mass, the Tridentine Mass has a very strong focus on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and all the rites and rituals within are focused on the adoration and reverent worship of Almighty God, in thought, word and deed. The emphasis is on the solemness of the sacrifice of Christ, and the communion of the Church Militant (the members still on earth) with the Church Triumphant (those who have passed and entered into Heaven) through Christ.
In a nuptial mass, the bride and groom march down the aisle together, showing that both are equally consenting to partake in the sacrament of Matrimony, neither party withholding or being coerced into the covenantal bond. Julian and Charlene come to partake in the forming of a new building block in the foundation of society, as the family is.
The marriage service is a solemn and moving ceremony in which the two partners pledge their word to God and to each other to be loyal and faithful. It is a vow that states in no uncertain terms that they are fully giving all that they are and all that they have to each other, unto death.
The exchange of rings is done in a symbolic fashion. Just as in many icons of Christ where three fingers are held up symbolising the Trinity, Julian slips the wedding band on each of Charlene’s three fingers while reciting his vow in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, before finally placing it on her ring finger, declaring “Amen” (meaning “so be it”).
Father Tay continues the ceremony with the prayers, blessings and admonishments. He prays that God will confirm the goodness of this union and prays for mercy for the couple – that they will be protected and blessed by God in their union. He then silently says the Lord’s Prayer.
The couple receives forewarnings and advice to overcome the difficulties of marriage and withstand the tests and temptations of the world.