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Catholic Weddings.

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Presentation on theme: "Catholic Weddings."— Presentation transcript:

1 Catholic Weddings

2 In the Catholic Church, marriage is a sacrament – a man and a woman vow before their family, friends and, most importantly, God, that they will love and be faithful to one another for the rest of their lives. A Catholic wedding is first and foremost a religious ritual

3 General Guidelines

4 Wedding Mass? Two Catholics will normally have a “Nuptial Mass”
A Catholic marrying a non-Catholic Christian will normally not have a Mass. but may if they wish to A Catholic marrying a non-Christian may not celebrate a nuptial Mass – there is a specific rite for such a wedding that does not include the Mass

5 Locations? Catholics must celebrate their wedding in a church or chapel Traditionally, the wedding takes place in the bride’s parish Most parishes do require either the bride or groom (or their families) to be members of the parish where the wedding is taking place

6 Catholics marrying a non-Catholic Christian may get married in the non-Catholic church with their bishop’s permission Catholics marrying a non-Christian may have a non-religious wedding in a neutral location

7 Dispensation of Form – permission to get married in a non-Catholic church with non-Catholic clergy presiding. Necessary to receive this before the wedding if you wish your marriage to be considered valid in the Catholic Church.

8 When Can a Wedding Take Place?
You cannot get married on Christmas, Epiphany, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter, Pentecost, All Saints’ Day, or the Immaculate Conception Weddings during Advent and Lent are discouraged b/c they are penitential seasons Weddings taking place during Advent and Lent may face some restrictions on decorations allowed, music used and prayers chosen b/c of the penitential aspect of the season

9 Weddings taking place on important holy days (solemnities) may be required to use the readings for the day Most churches will not schedule weddings on Saturday evening or Sunday – if so, you must use the Scripture readings of the day instead of readings for a wedding

10 What is “Posting the Banns”?
Announcements made from the pulpit or in the bulletin that a couple is getting married Originated in the Middle Ages to give people an opportunity to speak up if there was a valid reason why a couple could not marry Catholic wedding ceremony does not ask if anyone knows a reason why the couple could not be married (Protestant ceremonies do)

11 Preparing for the Wedding

12 Couples are required to first approach the priest 3 – 12 months before they wish to schedule the wedding Archdiocese of Cincinnati - 6 months This is true for most religions – not just Catholicism

13 At the first meeting: Determine if the couple is able to contract a valid marriage (age, not previously married, not related within prohibited degrees, etc.) Go over parish regulations Set the date for the wedding Set dates for other meetings (3 to 6 usually)

14 Documentation Required:
Baptismal certificate Proof of confirmation For converts, copy of Profession of Faith If previously married, proof that you have obtained an annulment

15 Other requirements: Take the FOCCUS inventory – determines how well the couple knows one another and areas that may cause problems in their marriage Participate in a Marriage Preparation program such as Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter

16 The Wedding Ceremony

17 The wedding of two Catholics should normally take place within the Mass because “receiving Holy Communion together strengthens the couple’s love and lifts up all present into communion with Christ and one another.” Rite of Catholic Marriage, #6

18 The Entrance Procession
Instrumental music Anyone in the Wedding Party may walk down the aisle Two commonly used formats Opening hymn is sung once everyone is in the front of the church

19 Order of Procession: Traditional Catholic
Servers Priest Groom (and his parents?) Bridesmaids with Groomsmen Bride (with her father or both parents) * * * Congregation stands for entire procession

20 Order of Procession: Traditional American
Priest, Servers, Groom enter church from Sacristy and wait at front of altar rail Bridesmaids ( perhaps escorted by Groomsmen) Flower Girl/Ring Bearer Bride, escorted by father

21 Scripture Readings Three readings:
Old Testament Epistle Gospel There are readings that have been chosen specifically for weddings Any reading in the Lectionary may be chosen if its appropriate for a wedding

22 First two readings are always read by a lector
Gospel is always read by a deacon (if one is present) or the priest Responsorial Psalm – (between the First and Second Reading) – is usually sung May never substitute or add a non-Scriptural reading into the Mass Readings are followed by the homily – a reflection on the readings given by the deacon or priest

23 The most important part of the wedding –
Exchange of Vows The most important part of the wedding – This is the Sacrament

24 Vow Forms There are three possibilities for vows used in Catholic Weddings in the United States: Traditional Catholic Traditional American Write your own

25 Traditional Catholic Both and bride and the groom will repeat this vow: “I (name) take you (name) to be my (husband/wife.) I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”

26 Traditional American Both and bride and the groom will repeat this vow: “I (name) take you (name) for my lawful (husband/wife) , to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; until death do us part.”

27 Writing Your Own Vows May be allowed with permission from the parish priest Vows must include a promise to be faithful to one another forever

28 Blessing & Exchange of Rings
The priest will bless both rings. Groom slides ring onto bride’s hand and says: “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” The bride then takes the groom’s ring and does the same.

29 You are now married! The Mass will continue as it usually does at this point, with the – Prayer of the Faithful Offertory Procession Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer Eucharistic Prayer Our Father Sign of Peace Communion

30 Nuptial Blessing One of the oldest parts of the Catholic ceremony – it predates church weddings! Originally a blessing of the bride, although some modern forms include the groom

31 Communion Reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is the most important part of every Mass – even a wedding Bride and groom receive first Communion is always offered to everyone – not just the wedding party

32 The Mass concludes with:
A final blessing of the bride and groom The final blessing of the congregation A closing song (if you wish)

33 Recessional Bride and groom first Bridesmaids with Groomsmen
Priest and Servers Family of Bride Family of Groom Rest of congregation

34 Signing the Wedding License
Takes place after the Recessional and before you begin taking pictures Best Man and Maid of Honor are official witnesses, along with the priest Must be signed for marriage to be legal!

35 Optional Elements

36 Unity Candle Symbolizes two becoming one
Not an official part of the Catholic ceremony Usually done without saying anything, with appropriate music by cantor or choir

37 Devotion at Mary’s Altar
Asking Mary to bless the marriage Traditionally bride only, who left her bouquet on the altar Today often bride and groom together Still traditional to leave flowers

38 A Few Things to Consider . . . .

39 Music Music for a Catholic Wedding should be “prayerful, accessible, beautiful” Music is to enhance prayer and worship; it is not for entertainment

40 The Rules for Wedding Music:
All music must be liturgical Music must be appropriate for the part of the Mass where it is to be used Mass parts and Service music should be able to be sung by the congregation Many parishes require you to work with their Music Director in planning your wedding music

41 Photography Wedding pictures are an important reminder of your special day. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when photographing the Wedding Ceremony: Most churches have rules about where the photographer can stand and when pictures may be taken Taking pictures should never detract from the ceremony or get in the way of peoples’ participation in the Mass

42 Flash pictures are generally not allowed during the ceremony
The time allowed for formal pictures after the ceremony will often be dictated by the parish Mass schedule Most professional photographers will be familiar with the rules for Catholic weddings and know how to get good pictures while still following the parish guidelines

43 Wedding Programs Include: Order of Service Song numbers or words
Words for responses Service directions Names of Wedding Party Any appropriate “thank yous” from bride and groom Programs are especially important if you have many non-Catholic guests!

44 Decorations Focus always must remain on the Liturgy – no decorations can detract from that Nothing may be placed on the altar There may be come limitations because of the Liturgical Season You may not remove Liturgical decorations

45 Who Can You Choose? Who is Responsible for What? The Wedding Party

46 The Celebrant May be a priest or a deacon
You may have concelebrants, including clergy from other denominations Usually the pastor of the parish – if you wish someone else you must have the pastor’s permission

47 Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor
Primary Responsibility: official witnesses that the sacrament/wedding has taken place At least one must be Catholic Best Man: in charge of the rings responsible to pay priest, servers, etc. helps groom with anything needed

48 Maid of Honor: assists bride during the wedding (holds bouquet, helps with train, etc.) helps bride with anything that is needed Note: Although it rarely happens, it is possible for the bride’s primary attendant to be male or for the groom’s to be female

49 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
May be anyone You may have as many as you wish Number of bridesmaids and groomsmen should be the same They have no specific function in the wedding ceremony

50 Lectors There are 3 readings: First, Second and Petitions
You may have 3 readers They should be formally trained parish Lectors It is not appropriate for the bride or groom to read, since the message of the readings is for them

51 Gift Bearers Bring the bread and wine to the altar
May be anyone, including the bride and groom

52 Eucharistic Ministers
Most weddings will need one person to distribute bread (in addition to the celebrant) and two for the cup They must be baptized Catholics and should be formally trained Eucharistic Ministers If not members of the parish, the priest will need to meet with them before the ceremony

53 Servers Ask the Celebrant if he wants them (he probably does)
The parish can provide them if needed You should pay them

54 Ushers May be the groomsmen Do not have to be male
Seat people as they come in Seat mothers of groom and of bride last Unroll the white runner (if its being used) before Procession


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