Post # 1
I am completely lost on how to plan our Catholic church ceremony!
The church gave us a book and was basically like “have at it.”
But we have lots of questions, I have issues with many of the sexist readings, we want to include an Irish prayer, we want to write our own vows as well as exchange the traditional vows and I don’t know if any of this is possible!
How is your ceremony planning going?
Any brides-before-me have advice or knowlegde on how the church is with change?
Thanks for your help 🙂
Post # 3
- I have issues with many of the sexist readings
On surface level, some of them “do” appear that way. However, they really aren’t at all sexist when you actually study them and learn what they actually are saying. Same goes for the whole “love is patient, love is kind” reading. That was written to the corinthians because it was a naval port town, and the temples were full of prostitutes and sex and “clanging gongs and symbols” which are actually representative of the moaning and sex noises! You can ask your priest more about the “sexist” readings, ask here, or PM me and I’ll explain more so to you what they really mean. There’s a lot of beautiful reading however that don’t sound sexist on surface level.
- we want to include an Irish prayer
Is the book, “together for life”? Page 79 if so, you can use the sample or insert your own.
- we want to write our own vows as well as exchange the traditional vows
Since you are open to doing the traditional ones it will probably just depend on your priest. You’ll need to ask him.
Personally, the ceremony planning is the only part I truly care about planning! lol. Are you doing a full mass? Feel free to ask any questions and we’ll help as best as possible… most “changes” are going to be on a priest by priest basis.
Post # 4
Oh boy I’m totally with you on the sexist readings. I thought I’d be able to pick my ceremony as I see fit and I basically had to choose the lesser of the evils. Our church also gave us a sheet that you can check what you want (memorized vows or repeating after the priest, who you want to walk in what order, you serve communion or have someone else, etc.). I’m still debating on mass in general (my family is Lutheran).
I’m not sure if you have thought about music but we are limited on our choices there too!
Post # 5
I found it incredibly confusing as well. We used the “Together for Life” book and kinda just stuck to the things they had in there. We had no desire to write our own vows though. PM me if you want me to list out the order of our ceremony (we’re not doing a mass)
I was also annoyed by the selection of readings. There’s just not a lot and found them to be sexist as well. We’re using the short form of esphesians 5:2, which skips the part about the wife being subordinate. And we’re using Tobit 8:4 for the other reading and Mark 10:6 for the gospel.
Post # 6
Yes, we are using the “Together for Life” book and that’s all we were given. I read the justification of what I call the “sexist readings” but our guest will only hear the readings and NOT the explaination so with that, I’m not thrilled with them at all!
We don’t want to do a full mass but I don’t know if that is an option. Is it? Or does that vary priest to priest?
So if we don’t do a full mass, what is the format of the ceremony?
I’m having a hard time getting ahold of ANYONE at the church and we are 37 days out so I am just a bit stressed over this!
@hotchild – sending you a PM now!
Post # 7
You can definitely have a Catholic ceremony without a mass. The “mass part” would be the Eucharist. So you would basically have the readings, exchange of vows, prayers of the faithful, sign of peace, our father, and nuptial blessing. But not Communion. So this would make it a lot shorter. Its a good option if you don’t want a long service, or if one of you isn’t Catholic. The church encourages this option in a lot of cases.
If you aren’t familiar with the mass, I could see how its confusing. Basically the mass is already set, and you can pick from a few different options. The church probably assumed you knew the basic format, but I know if I wasn’t Catholic, looking at that book would be overwhelming!
It is tricky picking an OT reading. For instance, I would never want Proverbs 31 to be read at my wedding! But I know that when it says “When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls,” its telling men that they should actually value women, which wasn’t a popular notion at the time. Now, in our context, it makes it sound like women our property. So you’ll want something that in this time and day reflects the comment that you are making to one another.
Genesis 1:26-28, 31a is a good one because it puts men and women on equal footing and doesn’t delve much into gender differences.
You’ll definitely have to talk to your priest on specific things. He might even let you pick readings from other than the list. I’m sorry you’re having trouble getting in touch with your church though.
Try this site http://www.catholicweddinghelp.com. And let me know if you have any more specific questions!
Post # 8
I agree… many of the readings are sexist by American standards, and a lot of the prayers make it sound like the only reason we’re getting married is to have kids! Are we allowed to pick the readings and psalm from elsewhere in the bible?
Post # 9
I’m not Catholic, but I’ve been to a lot of beautiful Catholic weddings and I don’t believe that the words are “sexist”. If you are not sure about how your friends or family will understand them…print a note about the verse in your program. One of my teachers had the most lovely explanation of the “vow of obedience” that is often not heard in today’s wedding ceremonies… but can have the loveliest of meanings if fully understood. Really… <3
Post # 10
Yeah, there are a few readings that aren’t sexist and those seem to be the ones everyone uses (Tobit, Corinthians, Philippians are the ones I know my friends have used and we are looking at too). Some others talk about flesh and ribs a bit too much for my liking.
I get there is a deeper meaning but better face-value, so to speak, would be nice.
Post # 11
Maybe your priest will be willing to do his homily on explaining your readings. Often that happens in weekly mass. The one that sticks out the most to me is from Ephesians.
Post # 12
It’s my understanding that you can pick any reading from the Bible; books like “Together for Life” are just guides to the most popular choices.
Post # 13
@BudsBride Umm, all the readings come from the Bible, and I do believe all Christians, including Methodists, read from the same Bible. I do know there are extra readings in the Catholic text that don’t appear in all texts, but Ephesians is used in nearly all versions of the Bible. So I wouldn’t say that it’s only a “Catholic” thing. You need to look into the deeper meanings of the text, listen to different interpretations and take into account the time frame it was written, before you label it sexist. Also, you don’t have to pick from the readings they give you. Those are only popular choices. You do, however, have to discuss your choices with your priest.
Post # 14
I looked it up, and apparently we can use any reading we want, as long as it comes from the Catholic lectionary. Does anyone know where we can get a copy of the lectionary? The lectionary resources I’ve found online just list the verse numbers, but it would be easier to peruse the readings if they were written out.
Post # 15
Yes, you can definitely use any readings you want – the book just gives suggested readings that are popular for weddings. You can just pick something out of the Bible (which would be tough if you aren’t super familiar with the Bible) or maybe even just google “Bible verses about love” or something…I’m sure you’d come up with a lot of options!
Post # 16
The lectionary is just the bible broken into “sections” or “readings.” The gospel needs to come from one of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. The first reading needs to come from the Old Testament and the 2nd Reading needs to come from the New Testament. If you find favorite chapters bring them to the priest and he can help match them up.
(this is one reason why I never understand people leaving the church or bashing our faith on the grounds of us “not” reading the bible… lol)
newbee bride – Thank you.