PLANNING YOUR WEDDING

Congratulations!  To become married is one of, if not, the most important undertaking of a couple’s life.  The Catholic Church considers this so important that we want couples well-prepared and ready for this vocation.   For a Catholic to get married, even when it occurs with a non-Catholic and/or in a non-Catholic church, there are three basic requirements:

1. PAPERWORK  This includes filling out forms and obtaining recent baptismal certificates. Did you know that individual Catholic parishes always retain the original baptismal certificate and then dispenses copies as needed?  The use of these copies expire, hence “fresh” copies always need to be obtained for each new sacrament. Additional paperwork may include “dissolving” any previous marriages, hence an annulment is needed.  Couples who need an annulment should allow 12-18 months before continuing any wedding plans. Annulments are always required for any Church wedding, even when a non-Catholic was married to another non-Catholic . . . for the Catholic Church holds that all church weddings are binding and sacramental.

2. WORKSHOP/RETREAT  Attending a Engaged Encounter Weekend Retreat or a Pre- Cana Day. Both options are offered through the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. You can view the times and dates here: Cleveland Catholic marriage prep  Couples may also attend those offered through other Dioceses.  

3. PRE-MARITAL INVENTORY  The bride and groom separately fill out a Pre-Marital Inventory Survey and the results are discussed with the priest.  This is not a test, it’s a compatibility survey.  It’s an instrument to gauge where the couple’s strengths and weaknesses lay. Preparation for marriage is primarily a parish responsibility. Canon 1063 states that pastors are obliged to empower the ecclesial community to minister to the Christian faithful in those things that pertain to the matrimonial state. Couples wishing to be married should contact the parish office at least six months before the desired wedding date. This six-month period is to be regarded as the minimum time designated for marriage preparation.  

 

PLANNING YOUR WEDDING LITURGY

A wedding is a time of praise and thanksgiving for the ways that God is working in your life and relationship. A challenge at this point is to shape a wedding ceremony that aptly expresses your personal faith and love and that also expresses the public worship of the faith community.

The congregation also has an important role to play by participating in your wedding. You can ensure this by seeing that they are welcomed, providing them with a program for the service, including music for them to sing and involving them in the ritual through word and gesture.

 

FOCUS OF THE WEDDING

First, begin by determining a focus or underlying motif/idea that you want to be conveyed at the celebration. While the theme may not be explicitly stated at the liturgy, itwill give you a platform from which to plan the entire service. A theme will keep your ceremony become focused and uncluttered. (Theme examples: Everlasting, Light, Celebration, Friendship, Commitment, Christ Nature/Creation, Support)

 

SCRIPTURE READINGS

Now that you have chosen your theme, the next step is to select scripture texts which complement that theme. Below is a list of suggestions; however, these are not the only scripture texts allowed. You may also shorten or lengthen any text to fit with your theme. Most weddings include three scripture readings: a Gospel reading, an Old Testament reading, and a New Testament reading. However, it is possible to include one Gospel reading and two Old Testament readings, or one Gospel reading and two New Testament readings. Recommendations can be found below. We ask that you, as a couple, prayerfully and thoughtfully consider your scriptural choices so that they reflect your overall theme.

 

Old Testament Readings

Deuteronomy 30:15—20, “Choose life then so that you and your descendants may live”

Tobit 7:9c-10, 11c—17, “A wedding blessing for Tobiah and Sarah”

Tobit 8:5—9, “The wedding prayer of Tobiah and Sarah”

Song of Songs 2:8—10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a, “A love song: Arise, my beloved and come!”

Isaiah 58:6—11, “Share your bread with the hungry”

Isaiah 60:1—6, “All people will walk in your light”

Jeremiah 1:4—9, “See, I place my words in your mouth”

Jeremiah 31:31-32a, 33-34a, “A covenant written on our hearts”

Ezekiel 36:25—28, “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you”

Genesis 1:26—28, 31, “A man and woman created in God’s image”

Genesis 2:18—24, “Second story of creation: The two become one body”

Genesis 12:1—4, “Leave your country and come into the land I will show you”

Genesis 24:48—51, 58—67, “The meeting and marriage of Isaac and Rebecca

 

New Testament Readings

Romans 8:31—34 “Nothing can separate us from God’s love”

Romans 12:1-2, 9—18, “Offer to God yourselves as a living and holy sacrifice”

Romans 15:5-6, 13, “Christ, the hope of all”

I Corinthians 6:13a—15a, 17—20, “Your body is a dwelling of the Spirit”

I Corinthians 12:31—13:8a, “All the things love does”

Ephesians 4:1—6, “Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”

Ephesians 5:1-2a, 21, 25—32, “Love of the couple like that of Christ and the church”

Philippians 2:1—13, “Be united in your convictions and united in your love”

Philippians 4:4—9, “The God of peace be with you”

Colossians 3:12—17, “Forgiving, being thankful, and other signs of our life together”

Hebrews 13:1—4a, 5-6a, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow”

I John 3:18—24, “Love is more than words: It’s what we do”

I John 4:7—12, “If we love one another, God dwells in us”

Revelation 19:1, 5—9a, “God’s kingdom is like a wedding feast”

 

Gospel Readings

Matthew 5:1—12a, “The Beatitudes”

Matthew 5:13—16, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world”

Matthew 7:21, 24—29, “Build your house on a firm foundation”

Matthew 19:3—6, “Let no one separate what God has joined”

Matthew 22:35—40, “The great commandment”

Mark 10:6—9, “The two are one: Let no one separate what God has joined”

Luke 4:16—22, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”

John 2:1—11, “There was a wedding at Cana and Jesus was there”

John 15:9—12, “Love one another as I have loved you”

John 15:9—17, “I call you friends”

John 17:20—26, “Father, may they be one”

John 21:15—19, “Simon, do you love me?”

 

MUSIC

Only after your theme and scripture have been selected should you move on to selecting music. Our Director of Music will be able to help you with this. It’s best to bring your theme and scripture selections with you when you meet with him. 

Places for Music during a ceremony with Eucharist (*indicates must have, all others places are optional):

 Prelude

Procession (use only one song)

Gathering Song

* Psalm Response (after 1st reading)

*Alleluia (also known as the Gospel Acclamation)

Preparation of Gifts/Unity Candle (one song will cover both actions)

*Mass Acclamations (including Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Amen)

Communion

Closing/Recessional

 

Places for Music during a ceremony without Eucharist (*indicates must have, all others places are optional)

 Prelude

Procession (use only one song)

Gathering Song

* Psalm Response (after 1st reading)

*Alleluia (also known as the Gospel Acclamation)

Lighting of Unity Candle

Closing/Recessional

 

 

Catholic Wedding Songs - Prelude

  • Ave Maria. Franz Shubert
  • One Hand, One Heart. L. Bernstein
  • Laudate Dominum. Mozart
  • The Gift of Love. Hopson
  • The Wedding Song. Bob Dylan

Catholic Wedding Songs - Processional

  • Bridal March. Wagner
  • Canon in D. Pachabel
  • Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke
  • Trumpet Voluntary - Stanley
  • Allegro Moderato (from Water Music) - Handel


Catholic Wedding Songs - Gathering - With Congregation

  • Here I Am Lord
  • Hear Us Now, Our God and Father - Hyfrydol,      Roland Prichard


Catholic Wedding Songs - Presentation of Gifts

  • The Wedding Song - annon.
  • The Gift of Love - arr. Hopson
  • The Bridal Prayer -Roger Copeland
  • All I Ask of You - Weston Priory
  • I Have Loved You - Joncas
  • Prayer of St. Francis - Sebastian Temple
  • Servant Song - McGarill
  • Set Your Heart on the Higher Gifts - Warner
  • The Irish Wedding Song - trad.
  • The Lord is Kind and Merciful - Haugen
  • Where There Is Love - David Haas
  • Wherever You Go - Weston Priory
  • With This Ring - Copeland


Catholic Wedding Songs - Communion

  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Bach
  • Panis Angelicus - Cesar Franck or Sacris      Solemnis
  • One Bread, One Body - Foley
  • Servant Song - McGarill
  • Here I Am Lord - Schutte
  • On Eagles Wings - Joncas
  • Gift of Finest Wheat - Kreutz
  • Supper of the Lord - Rosania
  • Taste and See - Moore
  • I Have Loved You
  • Laudate Dominum - Mozart


Catholic Wedding Songs - Recessional

  • Allegro Maestoso (from Water Music) - Handel
  • City of God - Schutte
  • Joyful, Joyful We Adore You - Hymn, Beethoven
  • Ode to Joy - Beethoven
  • Rondeau - Mouret
  • Psalm 19 - Benedetto Marcello
  • Wedding March - Mendlessohn