Q: When The Priest Says “Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace” And Someone Objects, What Happens?

This phrase, which dates back to the sixteenth century, is rarely used anymore. It was originally asked during wedding ceremonies to ensure the wedding was lawful and could proceed without issue. The “issues” of the time included incest, bigamy, lying about age or identity, etc. Any issues similar to these are generally found out in today’s world when the couple applies for a marriage license.

Most pastors and officients do not include this phrase anymore unless the couple specifically requests it. Lawful marriages do not require asking those in attendance this question, because all it will do is possibly ruin what is supposed to be a very happy day.

If the phrase IS included because the couple insisted and someone does object, the pastor will probably talk over the person and keep going with the ceremony. Anyone who is nutty enough to interrupt a wedding probably has no qualms about saying whatever they are feeling, no matter how inappropriate or out-of-place.

The moral here? Don’t use this archaic phrase in your wedding, and try not to invite any wing nuts who will spoil your Big Day. Do both and enjoy saying “I do” instead of worrying someone will stand up and object!