There are two types of wedding ceremonies for a Catholic wedding. You can have a wedding ceremony without a Mass or a wedding ceremony with a Mass. Many practicing Catholics choose a Mass with the wedding to give an extra blessing to their marriage. Wedding Without a Mass
Some people comment that a wedding with a Catholic Mass takes a lot of time. However, it only takes little more than an hour. Without a Mass, the ceremony takes about twenty minutes. Without a Mass, there are readings and hymns, but not the celebration of the Eucharist. What to Expect at a Catholic Wedding
If you attend a Catholic Wedding, here is what you should expect. In most cases, when Catholics enter the Church they bless themselves. They dip the fingertips of their right hand into a font with Holy Water, and they make the Sign of the Cross. This is not a requirement. Then they usually are seated by the usher. When Catholics come to a pew, they should make the Sign of the Cross and bend the knee as a sign of reverence. If the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharist) is not in the Church, then there is no need to bend the knee. After everyone has entered the Church, the priest greets the bride, groom and their guests. An opening prayer is said; readings and other prayers are followed. Standing, if possible, is required. Kneeling is often involved, but non-Catholics can just sit quietly. The Liturgy
Liturgy is a set of procedures that happen during a Mass. The Liturgy of the Word involves readings from the Old and New Testaments, a responsorial psalm, the "Alleluia" before the Gospel, and a Gospel reading. The bride and groom often select the readings and songs. The selections may be read by the priest or by honored members of the wedding party. The homily should focus around marriage. The priest might make personal connections, especially when he knows the couple. The wedding rings are exchanged after the vows. The best man gives the bride's ring to the priest, who blesses it,...
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