Preparing Your Wedding Liturgy
Starting Points — the Liturgy
Preparing your Wedding Liturgy
Preparing a wedding liturgy does not start with a blank piece of paper. The structure of the liturgy and its texts are laid down so that there is a framework to start with. The title of the Church's liturgical book for weddings is called the Order of Celebrating Matrimony. Liturgy (the Church's worship) is an ordered activity - it has a structure where one element follows another.
There are elements which must be included, whereas other elements are optional.
For the fixed elements there may be only one text that can be used whereas other fixed elements may offer a choice.
For example, when choosing the readings you have to a Gospel reading but there is choice as to which Gospel reading is proclaimed;
whereas for Weddings with Mass there is a Gloria as part of the Introductory Rites — this is a fixed element where there must be a Gloria and only the text of the Gloria may be used at this point.
For other elements, such as the hymn at the end of the Celebration of Marriage, there is both a choice of whether to include the hymn or not and one about what hymn might be sung.
This may sound complicated and unfamiliar but the main point to recognise is that the order or structure of the liturgy is fixed and there are some elements in the liturgy you must include. There are also quite a number of choices to be made. Do not feel that you have to make every choice. Your priest or deacon, or parish musicians will be able to help and guide you.