Half of all Americans age 18 years and older are married! That means there are thousands of weddings every year.
If you will be attending a catholic wedding, you might have some questions about what to expect. A Catholic church wedding is very different from other weddings in many ways, and you must understand the process so that you can plan accordingly for the wedding day.
Here’s a look at what you need to know.
The Wedding Will Be In Church
For their wedding ceremony, most couples choose to have the event at their home church. This is not to say the wedding cannot be held in another catholic church, it can be.
If a Catholic wants to have their wedding outside of a church they will have to talk with their bishop first to get permission. Catholics who marry outside of the church have what is commonly called an “invalid” marriage.
There Is Usually a Mass
In a Catholic wedding, the priest will greet and bless the newlyweds before leading guests in a hymn. If the couple is both Catholic then they can have a wedding ceremony with a nuptial mass.
You can expect to hear readings from the Bible’s Old Testament and New Testament at a Catholic wedding ceremony. There will also be hymns as well as psalms.
The priest will offer his homily during the mass. The homily will include readings about marriage.
The homily varies depending on the priest but the church’s teachings about marriage as a sacrament will usually be discussed. The priest may use motivational quotes, inspirational stories, or insights about marriage to help the couple in their new life together.
Rites of Marriage
During the Rites of Marriage, the entire congregation will be asked to stand as the couple takes their vows. There are traditional vows that are said and it is unlikely that the couple will recite vows that are personally written.
Once the vows are said the priest will pronounce a blessing over the couple. The church’s altar will be prepared for communion which is also called the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The bride and groom may also participate in assisting with specific parts of the Eucharist.
At some point in the Eucharistic celebration, the priest will ask the couple to receive a nuptial blessing by standing or kneeling at the church’s altar. This is one of the Catholic wedding traditions that must be performed.
Participation in the Holy Eucharist usually follows with the priest breaking bread. The Eucharistic bread is then distributed to the guests who are Catholic. After this, a final blessing is given to the married couple.
The priest will then signal that the mass has come to an end and everyone is dismissed. The married couple will be at the front of the recessional out of the church. Their bridal party will follow them, then the altar servers, and finally the priest.
Catholic Church Wedding
A Catholic church wedding is a little different from other wedding ceremonies you may attend. However, like most Christian traditions a Catholic wedding is a celebration of faith and love.
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