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More than just Bible verses and official declaration of marriage, Catholic weddings offer some traditional elements that bring the tinge of time-honored ritualistic practices followed by the Catholic community. For the couple, there are certain preparations to be carried out before getting on to the marriage. Here are a few things that you need to understand about traditional Catholic wedding ceremonies.
Let us have a look at each of them.
(1) The Church – The Very First Thing
The first and foremost element you need for a Catholic wedding is a Catholic Church. And you are not supposed to have a Catholic wedding other than a Catholic church. You can request for the Church with the concerned authorities and the Chief priest who will be conducting the marriage rituals.
(2) The Wedding Processional – Walking down the Aisle
The wedding processional marks the commencement of a Catholic wedding. A group of people walking down the aisle as a procession is known to be the processional. Besides, the group includes the bride, the groom, and the family members along with flower girls, ring bearers, and a permutation of the officiant.
(3) The Mass
The mass is celebrated as part of Catholic wedding ceremonies. If both the bride and groom are a Catholic community, a ceremony will happen during a Nuptial Mass. As part of Nuptial Mass, there would be readings of the Liturgy of the Word, followed by the Rite of Marriage. And the “Rite of the Marriage” means the exchange of vows and rings.
The priest who is conducting the marriage will invite all the guests invited for the marriage to join in the hymn, which usually will be a song praising the Lord.
(5) Testament Reading
During the Catholic ceremony, there is a chance for you to include your loved ones in your wedding function. This is known as Testament Reading. You can invite anyone you love to read a passage from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Usually, the couple chooses to have the story of the creation of Adam and Eve.
This time, it’s the priest who will be reading a passage from one of the Gospels. The couple as well as the wedding guests will silently hear the priest.
Also Read: Christian Wedding – All You Need to Know
(7) Rite of Marriage
Rite of marriage primarily includes the wedding vows in which the priest read the vows to the couple and the couple responds to the priest with “I do”. The couple will recite the vows as well. The wordings of the vows change from church to church, but with a similar pattern.
(8) Ring Ceremony
After the wedding vows, the couple will exchange the rings in the presence of the priest who then blesses them as symbols of love and loyalty.
(9) The Kiss
You can decide whether you want to kiss or not. Mostly, the couple exchanges a kiss which signifies peace. And this is the official conclusion of the Catholic wedding ceremony.
(10) Prayer to the Lord
This one is very important as the entire flock unanimously say the Lord’s prayer.
(11) Exchanging Sign of Peace
After prayers are done, the guests along with the wedding party shake their hands, exchanging a sign of peace. This is a simple gesture that happens during a Catholic wedding.
(12) Holy Communion
This is one sacred ritual performed as part of a Catholic wedding. It is done if the couple undergoes Nuptial Mass. Usually, the communion happens after the vows are exchanged.
(13) Nuptial Blessing
Then happens the Nuptial Blessing where the priest blesses the couple with a prayer.
(14) Dismissing the Gathering
The priest will bless the couple again and dismiss the congregation, saying that the mass has ended.
(15) Recessional (Exiting the Ceremony)
It happens in the reverse order of the processional ceremony that happens at first.
Other things that you should keep in mind
There are no certain rules about the dress code in a Catholic wedding ceremony. However, keep in mind that Catholic weddings are formal events. So, dress accordingly.
There are a full mass and communion in a Catholic wedding and it takes more than an hour. And if there is only a Rite of Marriage without the usual mass, the ceremony lasts for about 30-45 minutes.
In Catholic weddings, gifts are common. If you can’t carry gifts at the wedding, you can present it during the wedding reception.
So, folks, get ready and search your partner from the Catholic community to get indulged in the aforementioned traditional rituals that happen during the wedding. There is a huge list of profiles hailing from the Catholic community and you can choose the best from the list. Simply register with us and find your partner.
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