PLANNING THE CEREMONY
An important part of your Wedding Day will be the Ceremony. It is important that you think about it carefully. A guiding principle that the priest will follow is: this is a religious ceremony. As well as celebrating your love for each other, you also celebrate your faith in Jesus Christ and your belief in the Sacrament of Marriage.
CHOOSE THE READINGS
The first reading is usually an Old Testament reading followed by one of the Psalms (which may be sung). There is usually a second reading from the New Testament followed by the Gospel Acclamation (which may be sung). The priest will read the Gospel but you can choose the Gospel text. If you know someone who regularly reads in Church, you could ask that person to read at the appropriate time or, alternatively, you could ask a member of your family or a friend. People not practicing their faith may not know what to do.
THE RITE OF MARRIAGE
The marriage ceremony is divided into three parts:
1. The address by the priest (your understanding of Christian marriage).
2. The declaration of consent (you exchange your marriage vows).
3. The blessing and exchange of rings.
(The rite of marriage can conclude with the couple praying together ‘The Prayer of the Newly Married Couple’.)
THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
These prayers can be read by members of your family and friends (including members of other Christian Churches). It is important that whoever leads these prayers feels comfortable with - and is capable of - reading in public.
PRESENTING THE GIFTS OF BREAD & WINE AT THE ALTAR
The gifts are the bread and wine to be consecrated during Mass. You can ask members of your family or friends to carry the gifts forward during the ceremony. Usually the number of gifts to be carried up is between two and four.
Music is an important part of the ceremony and will add to the solemnity of the occasion. Keeping in mind that this is a religious ceremony, it is important that appropriate music be chosen. Love-songs or popular songs are more suited to the reception (your first dance), but are not appropriate in the Church. If you have any queries, you can check them with the priest marrying you.