For the Happy Couple
Heavenly Father,As ecclesial notes go on the service, one significant thread is that for the first time, the UK's top tier of Catholic hierarchs will be in attendance, as Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, his predecessor Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh and the primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Séan Brady of Armagh have all been invited to the Westminster Abbey rites.
we ask your blessing
upon his Royal Highness, Prince William and Catherine
as they pledge their love for each other in marriage.
May your love unite them through their lives.
Grant them the strength to serve you, our country and the Commonwealth
with integrity and faithfulness.
Through Christ our Lord.
(With the archbishopric of Cardiff vacant until last week's appointment to it of the Westminster auxiliary George Stack, 65, the Vatican move likely came too late for Wales' top Catholic cleric to get a seat.)
On a related note, after a long, difficult road through the three centuries following the Reformation, what was arguably the church's signal moment of public reemergence into the mainstream of British life came at a prior royal wedding, as Murphy-O'Connor's predecessor at Westminster, the iconic Benedictine Cardinal Basil Hume, was invited to offer a prayer at the 1981 marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
This time, however, the lead prelates won't have speaking parts, simply looking on from inside the quire.