(WYTV)- “Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

We used to hear that at weddings, it’s uncommon today and if it’s said at the altar, most of the time it’s just a formality, a throwaway line. But why did we say it to begin with?

It came from a Christian marriage ceremony in the Middle Ages. It was difficult for people to communicate with one another during medieval times, especially if they lived in different towns. The word went out for three Sundays in row before the ceremony that so and so would marry so and so on a given day in a given town.

Then during the actual wedding ceremony, priests said “speak now or forever hold your peace” in case anyone had information that challenged the legitimacy of a couple’s union. Do wedding objections still happen? Yes, but it’s very rare that someone seriously objects.

If the objection happens out of the blue, the officiant can note it and move on with the ceremony. Some couples may say stop, let’s work this out in private then go on with the ceremony. And what happens to the person who objects?

He or she has broken a huge etiquette rule, after all. They could sit through the rest of the ceremony or leave, what does the couple want? Can the wedding go on if someone objects?

Absolutely, but there may be some tension, as everyone takes a deep breath. Keep in mind the people on the guest list are there to watch the union, not object to it.