Catholic Wedding Ceremony: Procedure ...
Planning on having a Catholic wedding ceremony? You need to be adequately prepared for the norms and practices of the Catholic Church. Here are some of them.
Wedding program is not mandatory in every marriage, but there are certain situations in which it is necessary to have such arrangements in practice. For example, if you are holding a traditional religious wedding or a very large ceremony with guests from several cultures or ethnicities, it is always a good idea to let your guests now what to expect via well-constructed wedding program.
A traditional catholic wedding program gives the bride and groom a wonderful opportunity to remember and thank family and friends for the support and love in making the wedding day memorable. Here is all what you should know about a catholic wedding program (full mass).
The front cover can be simple or wordy, depending upon your preferences as a couple. The essential information on any wedding program cover include, the name of the couple, date and venue of the event ( name of chapel/ church; city/ state) and a picture of couple (optional) to make it a more personalized wedding souvenir for your guests. However, some couples may decide to not put the ceremony related information on the cover, in which case the names of bride and groom and a personalized photo is all you need to make a classy front cover of wedding program.
A simple demonstration would be something like this:
“A Celebration of Marriage
Adrienne Christopher Donalds
On Sunday, the Twelfth of May
Two Thousand Sixteen
in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at
Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
Wedding is a union of two families and it is quite likely that there will be plenty of guests at both ends who don’t know each other. A traditional catholic wedding program (full mass) can be a great platform for the new couple to introduce their near and dear friends and family members who will at the forefront of the wedding event.
For example, a basic layout can be:
Officiate of the Wedding: Father Charles Patrick
Parents of the Bride: James and Catherine Dalton
Parents of the Groom: Graham and Sandra Campanella
Matron of Honor: Sarah Edwards
Bridesmaids: Amy Lovato, Candara Paulson, Amy Jackson, Mary Diaz
Best Man: Mark Erickson
Groomsmen: Dan Darrick, Ethan James, Erik Patman, Leonard Hawks
Ushers: Eddie Williams, Mark Webb
Ring Bearer: Rita Levinson
Flower Girl: Rosemary Damion
Organist: Alex Hayward
Musicians: Elton Pernitone and band
If you want to keep it classy and stylish, choose a monogram to keep it consistent across the program. The inside is usually reserved for details (such as order and timing) of the wedding day event. Make sure to put vital information (such as time, date and venue of ceremony) on top of the order of event if you choose not to disclose this information on the front cover.
A traditional catholic wedding program must have the order and timing of these events:
Prelude: Immaculate Mary
(You can put the name of composer and other information as well about the prelude music besides the name).
"Trumpet Voluntary" (Purcell)
(Please stand as the bride enters)
Liturgy of the Word:
Opening Prayer (Father Charles Patrick)
First Reading (eg: A Reading from the Old Testament, Genesis 2:19-21 by Amy Lovato)
Second Reading (eg: A Reading from the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 11:30-13:8 by Rosemary Woods)
Gospel Acclamation ("Alleluia")
Gospel (John 15:9-12)
The Rite of Marriage
Exchange of vows by bride and groom
Exchange of rings and blessings
Example of what will be said:
“A circle symbolizes perfection, purity and wholeness. We wish and pray that just like circles, the bond of love Adrienne and Edward share will stay strong and complete. We are here to confirm and celebrate the growing companionship and love these two share and may its strength grow stronger as they age”.
Lighting of Unity Candle (name of song and singer)
Example of what will be said:
“Adrienne and Edward are going to light the Unity Candle, which symbolizes their love and evolving relationship. The light represents their strong faith, family values and wisdom which they have received from their parents. As the light remains undivided and radiant, so shall their union and love for each other.
May the radiance of their relationship brighten the life of those around them.”
Prayer of the Faithful by Candara Underwood
(Response: Lord Hear Our Prayer)
Liturgy of the Eucharist:
Preparation and Presentation of the Wedding Gifts
"Come to the Feast" Hymnal #333.
Please Kneel Down for:
Sanctus (Holy, Holy) Hymnal #782 - 784.
Please stand up.
The Lord’s Prayer
The Nuptial Blessings
Sign of Peace
As part of this, you are called upon to exchange a sign of peace which could be a handshake or embrace, while saying "Peace be with you."
Please kneel down for:
Lamb of God (Hymnal #782)
"A Song of Hope" (Hymnal #229)
Presentation of flowers to the Mother of Bride
Please sing or say Amen when indicated by cantor.
"Wedding March" (Mendelssohn)
“We would like to say generous thanks to our beautiful family and supportive friends. We are so pleased to have you all join us, to share our special moments with your blessings and prayers.
Bride's name & Groom's name
Special thanks to The Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
Note: be sure to design your catholic wedding program (full mass) with your own choice of readings, songs, etc. And make sure to design in a clear to read way. Below is a simplified sample but with clear structure:
Besides giving a brief idea to your guests regarding the events of the ceremony, you can also share relevant information regarding religious or ethnic traditions. In addition, feel free to add your creative and personalized touch such as:
Add a couple of pictures of the couple from pre-wedding shoots.
Share a small story of how you and your partner first met and fell in love.
A “special thankyou note” for your friends and/or family members.
A small map to the venue.
However, experts recommend NOT filling in too much information as these wedding programs are designed to give the guests an idea about the ceremony and what to expect after each event. Therefore, an ideal catholic wedding program shouldn’t take more than a few moments to go through the entire plan.
If you are looking to learn ways on how to create a catholic wedding program, outside of mass, follow this link to learn basic essentials.