Preparing Your Wedding Liturgy
Preparing your Wedding Liturgy
At the heart of every Wedding Liturgy is the Celebration of Marriage. Whatever form of the rite is used the structure of this part is the same.
- The Questions before the Consent
- The Civil Declaration of Freedom
- The Consent
- The Reception of the Consent
- Acclamation by All
- The Blessing and Giving of Rings
Later in the liturgy there is the Nuptial Blessing.
For some of these sections there is a choice of text to be made and it is important that as part of your preparation for marriage you read and reflect on these texts as a couple.
This is said by the Priest or Deacon. There is a model text given in the Rite but the minister may use his own words.
The Questions before the Consent
These questions establish the couple’s freedom to marry and express the Church’s teaching on marriage but also its hopes and aspirations for married life. Each questions is responded to with ‘I am’.
The Civil Declaration of Freedom
In England and Wales the state provides texts which are required to be used in the Wedding liturgy. This question establishes the couple’s freedom to marry in the eyes of the state.
There are 3 forms of the question and one should be chosen. Form A is placed first as it flows most naturally on from the previous questions.
This is the central act of the wedding, this is what makes the marriage — the exchange of consent by the couple. These are familiar words but they will accompany a couple throughout their life together, the meaning getting richer over time.
There are two ways of the beginning of the Consent - either of which may be chosen.
There are a number of ways that the text may be said: it can be repeated after the minister, it could be memorised, it could be read from a card [Marriage words Card (pdf)].
The Reception of the Consent and Acclamation
The minister asks for the God’s blessing on the consent expressed by the couple. He has a choice of texts he may use at this point.
The minister then invites everyone to bless God for this marriage. The Acclamation may be sung and some ideas are given on the Choosing Music page.
The Blessing and Giving of Rings
The wedding ring is a rich symbol. It expresses the gift of one to the other in marriage and the eternal nature of that love.
First, the minister blesses the rings. He has 3 texts to choose from.
Secondly, the rings are given to each other by the couple. There is a choice of two texts which may be repeated after the minister, it could be memorised, it could be read from a card [Marriage words Card (pdf)].
In the Nuptial Blessing the minister seeks God’s blessing on the couple. It presents a rich theology of marriage and the relationship of the couple.
The Nuptial Blessing occurs after the Celebration of Marriage. In celebrations with Mass it is found following the Our Father in the Communion Rite; in celebrations without Mass it comes after the Universal Prayer and Lord’s Prayer.
There are a number of choices and the text may be found here. You may wish to choose one of the Blessings or your Priest or Deacon may wish to recommend a particular text.
The Blessing texts are long and full of imagery drawn from scripture. The text can be sung.