Wedding History Day — Catholic Ceremony

Like the Jewish wedding, a Catholic wedding ceremony is rooted in so much tradition and ritual.  There are many important parts to this beautiful ceremony which is why these ceremonies often last 45 minutes to an hour in length.  Suzanne & Peter’s wedding was such a learning experience for me.  Today’s Wedding History Day will cover the various parts of the Catholic Wedding Ceremony and offer some helpful tips and links for brides planning to have a Catholic ceremony themselves.  Enjoy!

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1).  The Processional — Groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, and maid of honor enter.  Typically the groomsmen escort the bridesmaid with the maid of honor walking alone.  Then the bride enters with her father. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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2).  Hymn — Guests are invited to join in the singing of a hymn by the priest. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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3).  Greeting or Opening Prayer — The priest begins mass with a greeting or opening prayer. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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4).  Old Testament Reading — Choose a reading from the Old Testament.  Ask a family member or close friend (perhaps someone you weren’t able to include in the bridal party) to read. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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5).  Psalm — Sung either by the entire congregation or the church soloist. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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6).  New Testament Reading — Again, ask a family member or close friend to read the passage of your choice. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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7).  Gospel — The priest reads a passage from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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8).  Homil — The priest reflects upon what he has just read. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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9).  Vows and Ring Ceremony — “Memorize and recite the vows together, read the vows from the book, or have the priest read them and respond with ‘I do.’ (Source: Brides Magazine)”  After the vows will be the ring exchange and the priest will bless them as symbols of love and fidelity. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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10).  The Kiss — Um, no explanation needed 🙂 Typically, while in the church, couples tend to yield on the conservative side for this one!  (Source: Brides Magazine)

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11).  Nuptial Blessing — Priest blesses the marriage with a prayer. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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12).  Sign of Peace — “Guests and wedding party exchange a sign of peace by shaking hands and saying, ‘Peace be with you.'” (Source: Brides Magazine)

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13).  Communion — The priest offers communion to members of the church.  Non-Catholic attendants do not take communion but walk through line and give the priest a nod or cross arms over chest to let him know they are not participating. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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14).  Lord’s Prayer — Said in unison by the entire congregation. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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15).  Blessing and Dismissal of the Congregation — The priest gives one more blessing and then dismisses the congregation by saying, “This mass has ended.  You may now go in peace.” (Source: Brides Magazine)

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16).  Recessional — Reverse order of the processional. (Source: Brides Magazine)

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Also, check out The Knot for more tips on the Catholic wedding including pre-marriage requirements, etc.

All photos courtesy of DC Wedding Photographer Joseph Allen.

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Happy Thursday!

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