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Contemporary Catholics Wedding Ceremony

The text presented here is a sample of the typical Catholic wedding ceremony outside of Mass. Couples have options as to prayers, readings, vows and blessings and inclusion of ceremonies of other traditions. Please consult with your priest or deacon to further customize the ceremony.

GREETING AND PRAYER

O. Friends, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage of N. and N. Let us call upon God to be with us today as we celebrate this union of two into one. In the name of the Father, + the Son and the Holy Spirit.

O. Peace be with you.
P. And also with you.

O. Let us pray.

OPENING PRAYER  (you may select one of the following)


PRAYER A

O. Almighty God, hear our prayers for N. and N. who have come here today to be united in the sacrament of marriage. Increase their faith in you and in each other, and through them bless your church. Make their love fruitful so that they may be living witnesses to your divine love in the world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

P. Amen.

PRAYER B

O. Almighty God, hear our prayers for N. and N., who have come here to be united in the sacrament of marriage. Give them your blessing, and strengthen their love for each other. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

P. Amen.

LITURGY OF THE WORD

Usually the couple selects three readings, one each: an "Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading,  and a Gospel reading.  A non scripture reading(s) may be included. Family and friends may be selected to proclaim the readings, excluding the Gospel which is usually proclaimed by the priest or deacon.

HOMILY (Sermon)


MARRIAGE RITE

Officiant may ask, depending upon location, every one to stand, or the Bride and Groom stand, if seated. The Officiant addresses the Bride and Groom in one of these ways:

CONSENT

CONSENT FORM A

O. N. and N., you have come together here today so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of this community of family and friends. Christ abundantly blesses this love. He has already consecrated you in baptism and now enriches and strengthens you by a special sacrament so that you may assume the duties of marriage in mutual and lasting fidelity. And so, in the presence of the church here present, I ask you to state your intentions.

N. and N., have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?

Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the Law of Love and Compassion?

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, with your hands joined and declare your consent before God and this community of your family and friends.


CONSENT FORM B

O. N. and N., you have come together here today so that the Lord may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of this community of your family and friends. In this way you will be strengthened to keep mutual and lasting faith with each other and to carry out the other duties of marriage. And so, in the presence of the church this community of your family and friends, I ask you to state your intentions.

N. and N., have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

Will you love and honor each other as husband and wife for the rest of your lives?

Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the Law of Love and Compassion?

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, with your hands joined and declare your consent before God and this community of your family and friends.

EXCHANGE OF VOWS 
(you may select one of the following)

VOWS FORM A

G. I, N., take you, N., to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

B. I, N., take you, N., to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

VOWS FORM B

G. I, GROOM, take you, BRIDE, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death do us part.
(b) forever.
(c) all the days of my life.

B. I, BRIDE, take you, GROOM, for my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death do us part.
(b) forever.
(c) all the days of my life.

VOWS FORM C

G. I, GROOM, take you, BRIDE, to be my wife, to be the mother of our children, to be the companion of my heart. I promise to love you and to be true to you in good times and in bad all the days of my life.

B. I, BRIDE, take you, GROOM, to be my husband, to be the father of our children, to be the companion of my heart. I promise to love you and to be true to you in good times and in bad all the days of my life.

VOWS FORM D
G. Do you, GROOM, take , BRIDE, to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love her and honor her all the days of your life?

B. Do you, BRIDE, take , GROOM, to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health? Will you love him and honor him all the days of your life?

VOWS FORM E

G. GROOM, do you take BRIDE for your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death do you part?
(b) forever?
(c) all the days of your life?

B. BRIDE, do you take GROOM for your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
(a) until death do you part?
(b) forever?
(c) all the days of your life?

PERSONAL VOWS

If you will be writing your own vows, please provide a copy to the priest at least one week prior to the wedding for inclusion in his materials. In that way he can make your wedding ceremony work seamlessly.

Receiving their consent the priest says:

CONFIRMATION OF VOWS

You have declared your consent before the Church and this community of your family and friends. May the Lord in his goodness strengthen your consent and fill you with his + blessings. What God has joined together, let no one separate.

BLESSING AND EXCHANGE OF RINGS (you may select one of the following)

RING BLESSING FORM A

O. Lord, bless these rings which we bless + in your name. Grant that those who wear them may always do you will and live together in peace and compassion. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

P. Amen.

The bridegroom places his wife's ring on her finger. He may say:

N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. (In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.)

The bride places the ring on her husband's finger. She may say:

N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. (In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.


RING BLESSING FORM B

O. Lord, bless + and consecrate N. and N. in their love and compassion for each other. May these rings be a symbol of true faith they share in each other and always remind them of their love and compassion. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

P. Amen.

The bridegroom places his wife's ring on her finger. He may say:

N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. (In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.)

The bride places the ring on her husband's finger. She may say:

N., take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. (In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Optional Ceremonies


UNITY CANDLE
(Mother (Groom) and Mother (Bride) may come forward to altar and light a small candle each from altar candle or with assistance of Best Man. Mothers turn and gave candle to B & G. B & G go to altar and light Unity Candle.) or (Bride and Groom come forward, light a small candle each from altar candle or with assistance of Best Man and light Unity Candle).

Coins, Veil and Cord Ceremony (a sample ceremony)

Hand Fasting (a sample ceremony)

Hand Blessings (a sample ceremony)

Wine Ceremony  (couple shares a glass of wine or pours 2 colored wines into a new glass and share a drink.  Two options are offered.),

Wishing Stone  (couple holds a wishing stone with their names and wedding date while attendees hold small stone which they deposit in a glass jar at the end of the ceremony with their best wishes.  Two options are offered.)

Unity Sand Ceremony (couple pours two different color containers of sand into a third container.  Can include children in blended families.)


GENERAL INTERCESSIONS

O. Dear friends, we have witnessed the exchange of promises by N. and N.. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen their love for each other.

P. For N. and N., as they begin their married life together, may they always know Your presence in good times and in bad. Let us pray to the Lord.
C. Lord, hear our prayer.

P.  For their families, may they be good examples of love and faithfulness as they support N. and N., in their marriage. Let us pray to the Lord.
C. Lord, hear our prayer.

P.  For those who have entered into eternal life, (especially N. ), may the memory of their presence in the Kingdom of God be an inspiration to N. and N. throughout their lives. Let us pray to the Lord.
C. Lord, hear our prayer.

P. For those here present, may we find Christ's love for us mirrored in N. and N's. love for each other. Let us pray to the Lord.
C. Lord, hear our prayer.

The priest extends his hands inviting all in attendance to join and continues with a Nuptial Blessing. People may remain standing for the Nuptial Blessings or sit as is apt.

NUPTIAL BLESSING   (you may select one of the following)

NUPTIAL BLESSING A

O. My dear friends, let us turn to the Lord and pray that he will bless with his grace this woman N. now married in Christ to this man N. and that he will unite in love the couple he has joined in this holy bond.

Father, by your plan man and woman are united, and married life has been established as the one blessing that was not forfeited by original sin or washed away in the flood.

Look with love upon this woman, your daughter, now joined to her husband in marriage. She asks your blessing. Give her the grace of love and peace. May she always follow the example of the holy women whose praises are sung in the scriptures.

May her husband put his trust in her and recognize that she is his equal and the heir with him to the life of grace. May he always honor her and love her as Christ loves his bride, the Church.

Father, keep them always true to your commandments. Keep them faithful in marriage and let them be living examples of Christian life. Give them the strength which comes from the gospel so that they may be witnesses of Christ to others. (Bless them with children and help them be good parents. May they live to see their children's children.) And, after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with the saints in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

P. Amen.

NUPTIAL BLESSING B

O. Let us pray to the Lord for N. and N. who come here at the beginning of their married life so that they may always be united in love for each other.


Holy Father, you created humankind in your own image and made man and woman to be joined as husband and wife in union of body and heart and so fulfill their mission in this world.

Lord, grant that as they begin to live this sacrament they may share with each other the gifts of your love and become one in heart and mind as witnesses to your presence in their marriage. Help them to create a home together (and give them children to be formed by the gospel and to have a place in your family).

Give your blessing to N., your daughter, so that she may be a good wife (and mother), caring for the home, faithful in love for her husband, generous and kind.

Give your blessing to N., your son, so that he may be a good husband (and father), caring for the home, faithful in love for his wife, generous and kind.

Father, grant that as they come together to you table on earth, so that they may one day have the joy of sharing your feast in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

P. Amen.

Family Blessing  (Optional Blessing for weddings in which children from previous marriages are joining in a blended family)

O.  O God, you have created us in love and compassion and saved us in mercy, and through the bond of marriage you have established the family. Shower your blessings on this family here present in your name. Enable them to support one another in love and compassion. Make them responsive to the needs of one another and be witnesses to the Law of Love and Compassion in all they say and do. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


CONCLUSION OF THE CELEBRATION

THE LORD'S PRAYER

O. Let us Pray together in the words Jesus gave us.

Together: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.


(If roses are to be presented, this usually occurs following the Peace Prayer. Bride and Groom may each give a long stem, dethroned, non-red rose to respective mother-in-law, Groom presenting first to Bride's mother, then Bride to Groom's mother. Maid of Honor stands in waiting to present Bride with her bouquet. The couple returns for the Solemn Blessing, Introduction and Dismissal.)

THE SOLEMN BLESSING   (you may select one of the following)

SOLEMN BLESSING FORM A

O. God the eternal Father keep you in love with each other, so that the peace of Christ may stay with you and be always in your home.

P. Amen.

O. May (your children bless you,) your friends console you and all people live in peace with you.

P. Amen.

O. May you always bear witness to the love of God in this world so that the afflicted and the needy will find in you generous friends, and welcome you in the joys of heaven.

P. Amen.

O. And may Almighty God bless each and every one of us, the Father, + and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

P. Amen.

SOLEMN BLESSING FORM B

O. May God, the almighty Father give you his joy and bless you (in your children).

P. Amen.

O. May the only Son of God have mercy on you and help you in good times and in bad.

P. Amen.

O. May the Holy Spirit of God always fill you hearts with his love.

P. Amen.

O. And may Almighty God bless each and every one of us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

P. Amen.

VOWS FORM C

O. May almighty God, with his Word of blessing, unite your hearts in the never ending bond of pure love.

P. Amen.

O. (May your children bring you happiness, and may your generous love for them be returned to you, many times over.)

P. Amen.

O. May the Spirit of Love live always in your hearts and in your home. May you have true friends to stand by you, both in joy and in sorrow. May you ready and willing to help and comfort all who come to you in need. And may the blessings promised to the compassionate be yours in abundance.

P. Amen.

O. May you find happiness and satisfaction in your work. May daily problems never cause you any undue anxiety, nor the desire for earthly possessions dominate your lives. But may your heart's first desire be always your compassionate presence toward each other.

P. Amen.

O. May the Lord bless you with many happy years together, so that you may enjoy the rewards of a good life.

P. Amen.

O. And may Almighty God bless each and every one of us, the Father, + and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

P. Amen.

PRESENTATION

My dear friends, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr and Mrs N. and N. N.

DISMISSAL

O. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.

P. Thanks be to God.