M. Luther* was influenced by Christian marriage ceremonies of the late Middle Ages. In Ein Traubüchlein für die einfültigen Pfarrherr (1529) he divided the rite into (1) pub. of banns (see Marriage, III), (2) marriage proper in front of the church, (3) benediction by God's Word and prayer before the altar. This order for solemnizing marriage was gen. accepted as fundamental. The text and basic order remained even when the whole ceremony took place at the altar. But many ch. orders then placed the lessons first, followed by the marriage ceremony proper, prayers, and benediction. Luths. in Am. use many different, but basically similar, marriage ceremonies.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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