Familiarize yourself with Catholic wedding ceremonies by reviewing a few samples. This will prepare you and if you're of a different faith, you'll quickly know what to expect during a Catholic wedding.
Parts of Catholic Ceremonies
A Catholic wedding ceremony has many of the same elements as other Christian denominations. Wedding prayers, readings, and Bible verses are all commonly found in Catholic ceremonies. A priest usually gives a short sermon or homily, the bride and groom exchange Catholic wedding vows, and Catholic wedding hymns are sung by the congregation and bridal party.
Catholic wedding ceremonies may be performed with or without the Mass. Discuss the two options with your priest during engagement counseling sessions.
Find Samples of Catholic Wedding Ceremonies
The best place to find a sample of the wedding ceremony that will be used in your nuptials is at the church where you plan to wed. The priest or church secretary can provide a copy of the traditional wedding ceremony for you and your spouse to peruse.
Most strict Catholic churches adhere to their ceremony scripts closely, with little room for personalization. However, some contemporary churches may allow couples to help form their ceremony by asking for input on the wedding Bible verses or readings.
If you are just getting started in your wedding planning, you may want to find a quick sample of Catholic wedding ceremonies to give you an idea of what is to come. In this case, it may be best to look at a reliable online resource.
Catholic Wedding Help
Catholic Wedding Help offers a rundown of the various aspects of planning a Catholic wedding, from the engagement period to the ceremony and beyond. This site includes an order of service for three different ceremonies that are performed within the church:
- Order of the Rite for Celebrating Marriage During Mass
- Order of the Rite for Celebrating Marriage Outside Mass
- Order of the Rite for Celebrating Marriage Between a Catholic and an Unbaptized Person
Additionally, the website has the actual wording for the Rite of Marriage and three options for the Nuptial Blessing. Catholic Wedding Help also lists suggestions for readings, prayers and hymns used within the ceremony.
For Your Marriage
The website For Your Marriage offers an extensive review of Catholic wedding advice, from the engagement to the ceremony to support for newlyweds. Start with the articles Getting Married Catholic, Planning a Catholic Wedding and Ten Tips for Keeping Your Catholic Wedding Focused on Faith. Then read these articles that deal directly with Catholic ceremony concerns:
- Readings, including the Psalms, Gospel, New and Old Testaments
- Rite of Marriage, including the Rites for inside & outside of Mass and those for marriage to an unbaptized person
More Catholic Ceremony Resources
The Contemporary Catholic, an organization which exists outside of the institutional church, offers ideas for a modern version of a Catholic wedding ceremony held without a mass. However, these options are not always acceptable to priests in your parish church. Check with your priest about using a different script than the traditional Catholic ceremony.
Familiarize Yourself to Catholic Ceremony
Even if you are a practicing Catholic, you may not be as familiar with the wedding ceremony as the other parts of Mass and your faith. This is why it is important to see samples of Catholic wedding ceremonies before the wedding rehearsal. This way, you and your spouse can prepare for all of the prayers, blessings and other rites performed within the wedding itself. Knowing what is going to happen and understanding the religious dogma behind each aspect of your Catholic wedding ceremony will help you grown in faith together as a newlywed couple.