Preparing Your Marriage Service
THE INTRODUCTORY RITES
The Entrance Procession - Choose some music.
Welcome - The priest or deacon welcomes everyone.
Hymn - You may sing a hymn here.
Greeting- The priest or deacon.
Opening Prayer - The priest or deacon.
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
You are encouraged to choose the readings for your wedding service. When you spend time choosing and preparing for the readings at your wedding in this way you will find they speak very powerfully on the day, to you and all your family and friends.
Choosing the Readings for your Weddings
Whatever the form of your wedding service there will be readings from Scripture. Sometimes there might be just one but usually there will be either 2 or 3 passages and the Responsorial Psalm. The Church has already made a selection of suitable readings for weddings from the Gospels, Old and New Testaments.
The structure of the Liturgy of the Word is as follows:
First Reading (from Old Testament, In Easter Season from Book of Revelation)
Second Reading (from New Testament)
First Reading (from Old or New Testament, In Easter Season from Book of Revelation)
Complete readings as an e pub book
Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia)
The priest or deacon will say a few words.
THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
There are three parts where you can make a choice.
The Civil Declaration of Freedom Form A / B / C Click here to view.
The Consent Form A / B Click here to view.
The Giving of Rings EITHER 'N, I give you this ring as a sign...' OR 'N, receive this ring...' Click here to view.
Click here to view the full texts including the words of the priest or deacon.
These words are not usually put in the service booklet; just let the priest or deacon know your choices when you come to rehearse.
The Bidding Prayers
You can compose your own Bidding Prayers (Intercessions) or you can use some of the suggested ones.
View the Bidding Prayers here.
Choose an Invitation which the priest or deacon will say.
Choose a Response
Choose an Intention from some of the following headings.
The Assembly and Local Community
The Married Couple
All Married Couple
The Faithful Departed
The Lord's Prayer
All pray the Lord's Prayer together.
The Nuptial Blessing
The priest or deacon usually chooses this.
View the Nuptial Blessing here.
Signing of the Registers
Choose some music or singing to accompany the signing of the registers.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE CELEBRATION
Blessing of the Bride and Groom and People
Hymn - You could sing a hymn here.
Recessional - You will choose a hymn or music to walk out to.
Catherine Vickers at Flora knows the church and can help you with flowers for your wedding.
Flora, 309-311 Ecclesall Road, S11 8NX, Tel 267 0085
MORE ON THE READINGS
Ways of choosing your readings
There is not a single best way to choose as each couple is different. If possible, look at all the readings. To do this you will need to take time, a number of weeks, but you may find that having explored and settled on the readings some of the other choices you have to make will be easier.
You may wish to start by looking at the selection of Gospel readings. First read through them separately and then compare your choices. Perhaps for every section you might identify your 'top' 3.
At this point you may either:
look at another section, the Old Testament readings, for example;
or look at the Gospel reading(s) you have selected in more depth using the reflection process.
After this you may look at the New Testament Readings and then the Psalms.
Once you have a shortlist of readings you should check whether any are designated with a capital M. This indicates that the readings speaks explicitly about Marriage. It is expected that one of the readings you will choose will be taken from these. Obviously this factor may help the final choice in a shortlist.
You can ask advice and discuss with you your choices to help you make the final decision about the readings that are going to support you on the day, and in your lives together.
Frequently asked questions
Can I choose other scripture readings not given here?
Yes, this is possible and should be considered in conjunction with your Priest.
Can I replace one of the readings with a poem about love?
No, other readings may not take the place of scripture readings in the liturgy. However might be able to use the text at another point in the liturgy, or at the Reception etc.
Reflecting on Scripture together - a simple way
For either your shortlist of readings or the 2 or 3 which you decide upon, we suggest using a simple process.
Take one reading to start with and be open to it using the following steps.
Sit quietly together Allow a moment of silence, just to settle and become aware of yourselves, your hopes for your coming marriage and life together.
Read it out loud, slowly and carefully, like taking a slow walk through the park, noticing little things.
Allow a silence again; Ask yourself: 'What particular word or phrase caught my attention?' Then simply go back to that and repeat it silently, or look at it carefully, in you mind, over and over for a couple of minutes.
Read the whole text out loud again, a second time. (Perhaps the other person now.
Allow a silence. I wonder what particular word or phrase caught your attention this time? Same? Different? Again, go back to that word or phrase and repeat it silently in your mind.
Quietly begin to share together. What caught your attention, and why, and begin to talk about your lives for a few minutes or as long as it takes for both to share.
Why do you think this might be a good reading to have at your wedding? What do you like about it? How does it speak to you?
This way of reading may seem a bit unusual or difficult at first. Keep going! It is worth it!" Take your time.