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What to Expect at a Catholic Wedding

What to Expect at a Catholic Wedding

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Catholic weddings usually comprise traditions that have been in place for a long time. It is not just about a priest officiating and reading a few Bible verses. Although some couples may submit a request to have their wedding held outdoors, an ideal Catholic wedding takes place in a Catholic church.

The Catholic church believes that a wedding is a solemn and sacramental event that should take place in a sacred place. As such, the sacred space here is a church.  A wedding is sacred and must take place where the groom or bride worships. 

Usually, the wedding ceremony tends to be a wedding mass and can last between 45 minutes to one hour. If attending one, the events will follow the following process:

  • Introductory Rite – after entering the church, the ceremony begins as the priest leads the wedding party. The people may sing a hymn, “Gloria,” and you will continue to stand. 
  • Liturgy of the Word – there will be a prayer, and the congregation will sit. The lector will read from the Old Testament, and then there will be a psalm and another reading.
  • Gospel Singing – a traditional song known as a Gospel Acclsmation (and you will stand). A reading will follow
  • The Homily – the Homily is a short sermon on why the Catholic wedding ceremony is important.
  • Celebration of Matrimony – it begins with a wedding mass. The priest asks the groom and bride some questions, and they respond affirmatively, then take vows. They will exchange rings, and the priest will pray over their marriage. 
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist – it symbolizes the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples before he died. The Eucharist prayer follows as they prepare the bread and wine at the altar. There will be a hymn called Sanctus. 
  • The Lord’s Prayer – ushers in the Communion Rite, then a blessing from the priest before singing a Communion hymn. The congregation kneels after the song.
  • The Communion – the congregation goes to the altar to receive the sacrament. If you are ot Catholic, you should not take part in this.
  • The Dismissal – there will be a prayer followed by a dismissal.

When attending the Catholic wedding mass, remember that if others are standing, you also should stand, and vice versa.