How To Plan Your Catholic Wedding Ceremony
For Catholic couples, a wedding is not only the day they become husband and wife but also the day when they fulfil one of the seven holy sacraments of the Catholic Church. No wonder the ceremony for Catholic weddings is steeped with sacred rituals and religious symbolisms. If you’re planning such a wedding, it would be best to brush up on your knowledge of traditional Catholic wedding ceremonies.
Know the correct order for the processional
- The priest and groom should not walk down the aisle but rather enter through a side door and wait by the altar.
- The groomsmen and bridesmaids would march down the aisle in pairs. The best man and maid of honor would be the last pair.
- The ring bearer and flower girls would enter next.
- The bride is escorted by her father. In the absence of a father, a family member who is the closest father figure for the bride should walk her down the aisle.
Familiarize yourself with the basic parts of the ceremony
- Opening Rites - The priest begins with an opening prayer, declares the couple’s names, and asks for God’s blessings on them.
- Liturgy - Family members and close friends of the couple read significant passages from the Holy Bible, then the priest delivers a short sermon about marriage.
- Marriage Rites – The couple exchanges their vows of commitment to each other. This is usually a prescribed set of words dictated by the priest and repeated by the bride and groom.
- Exchange of Rings – The priest will bless the wedding rings and the groom and bride will take turns placing the ring on their partner’s finger while saying: Take this ring as a sign of my love in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Decide whether or not you will have mass
Celebrating the Holy Eucharist during your Catholic wedding ceremony is actually optional. If you will have mass, it will add around 20 minutes to the duration of the ceremony, to accommodate the “sign of peace” and the Holy Communion. It’s better to consult with senior family members first before deciding to forego the mass, as you might unintentionally offend a great aunt or grandmother if you skip this integral part of the ceremony.
Select the readers for the liturgy
Pick the family members and close friends who will be tasked to read Biblical passages during the liturgy. Make sure that they are well-briefed about their roles and familiar with the flow of the program to avoid delays and confusion during the actual ceremony.
Prepare gifts for the Offertory
If you can’t do it yourself, make sure to assign someone who will oversee the preparation of gifts for the offertory part of the mass. Baskets of fruits, bottles of wine, and bouquets of flowers are some of the typical offertory gifts that you can ask your family and friends to bring.
Now that you have reviewed the basics, there is no reason for your Catholic wedding ceremony not to be perfectly beautiful.