“The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1639
Welcoming people officially, putting them at ease, and making them feel welcome. Preparing to listen to God's word.
Procession (with music)
Entrance Hymn/Song (optional)
Greeting and words of welcome
It is not recommended that you have congregational singing during the bride and grooms entrance, think of all the emotions.
Everyone wants their entrance to be a special moment. Discuss your options with the priest.
Candle Ceremony - lighting the family candles
A popular addition and a great way to involve members of your family without the pressure of reading.
Giving the bride away
Giving the bride away is not a Catholic tradition as the bride has to enter into the marriage of her own free will. However we do have "introducing the bride and groom to each other" which allows parents to have their moment in the spot light.
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Listening to the scriptures and responding. When the scriptures are read, God speaks to his people, and you speak to your guests by the scripture choices you have made.
Old Testament or New Testament Reading
Responsorial Psalm (spoken or sung)
Gospel Acclamation (spoken or sung)
Practice makes perfect!
Make sure your readers are given ample time to practice, preferably in church using the microphone. Ensure they have the words written down to read from, no matter how good you are at remembering weddings have a special way of turning your mind to mush.
During Lent the Gospel Acclamation begins and ends with "Praise and Honour to you Lord Jesus Christ" at all other times it will be "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia"
Search gospel acclamations on the internet or ask your priest to help you choose one.
Readings that are recommended are show below. Just click on the item and the text will be displayed. You may choose other passages of scripture that speak to you but they must be related to marriage and the union of husband and wife. Discuss this with your priest to ensure they meet the criteria for marriage readings.
THE CELEBRATION OF MATRIMONY
This part of the Rite of Marriage determines the bride and grooms intensions and consent and includes the following:
Address and Statement of Intentions
Exchange of consent
Blessing and giving of rings
Blessing and giving of Arras (optional)
Blessing and lighting of Unity Candles (optional)
Hymn or Canticle of praise may be sung (optional)
Prayers of the Faithful
Profession of Faith (only on Sundays or days of solemnity)
This is by far the most personalised part of the mass. Take your time and discuss with your priest what you want to have here to make your ceremony unique and special to you both.
The Unity Candle represents the bringing together or two families and the flame of love growing stronger in that unity.
“It needs to be stressed that these words [of consent] cannot be reduced to the present; they involve a totality that includes the future: ‘until death do us part.’”
– Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, no. 214
THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
“It is…fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice.”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1621
The Liturgy of the Eucharist brings together the couple, the congregation and God, that standard format is as follows;
Presentation and preparation of gifts
The Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord's Prayer
The Blessing and Placing of the Lazo or the Veil (optional - required in some traditions)
The Nuptial Blessing
Sign of the Peace
SIGNING OF THE REGISTER
The signing of the register is not officially part of the mass, it is therefore possible to choose music other than that of worship for this part of your ceremony. Obviously you would want your music to be tasteful and meaningful and reflect you, as a couple, and your relationship together.
The presentation of the gifts is a great opportunity for you to include the slightly younger members of your bridal party, for example those who are preparing for their First Communion or have already taken it.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE CELEBRATION
Solemn Blessing of the couple and the congregation
And now with joy, hand in hand, we dance our way into the future.