What is a summary of Nuptial Blessing: A Study of Christian Marriage Rites by Kenneth Stevenson?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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This handy text truly does cover the whole history of marriage, but only from a liturgical point of view (therefore the exchanging of shoes, which is not liturgical, but based in history as well, and is the reason why we tie shoes/cans to the back of cars, is left out). Still, it is a unique bit of study work with a first focus on the early period (which is often disputed because it is part of pre-history). This early period has evidence from lots of minuscule references throughout literature, and is completely dependent on Stevenson's own ideas and opinions.

Later, Stevenson focuses on the classical texts. First, the Mass of the Marriage Rite in the Roman Catholic Church (that treated, and still treats, marriage as a "Sacrament" or sign of God's love) and, further, the changes in the rite that came about during the Protestant Reformation. Even changes to the Roman Catholic Rite happened during the Tridentine reform. Finally, there are "new liturgies" that were produced in the churches of the West in the decades of this new century.

This is an all-in-all informative pocket-size text.  Yes, it leaves out some information (such as the differences between the rite of the West and the East in Christian tradition.  However, it is a good text, nonetheless.

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