Post # 1
My parents are non-English speaking, and the ceremony will be in English. I might be able to convince a priest to speak my language but how to handle this? Do both languages or just prepare my parents some translation?
Same goes with the wedding toasts…
Post # 3
You can definitely do a bilingual ceremony if you want. I went to a bilingual Confirmation this year (the parish is pretty much half-and-half Spanish-speakers and English-speakers, and they could only get the Bishop for one Mass)! The priest did two of the readings in English, the gospel in Spanish, the homily in both (he did a kind of short homily and did it twice), the Prayers of the Faithful alternating, the Responsorial Psalm in alternating Spanish and English for each verse, and the Alleleuia in English (although the word “Alleluia” itself is pretty universal). The rest of the Mass was just alternating Spanish and English. There was a program that provided translations for everything.
Of course, you’d have to find a priest who can do both (or two priests who can do it together, one in each language).
Regardless, you can definitely give out a program with translations!
As for the wedding toasts, I guess it depends whether the people toasting are comfortable speaking in both languages or not. You could just have them do it in English, and make sure someone is sitting by your parents to translate.
Post # 4
@bluebonnet: There’s a church in the town my FW lives in that we don’t go to because all of their masses are bilingual. We don’t care about the spanish, it just takes longer, lol. Of course, the church we are going to has a priest whose consecreations are exceptionally long, but I think his masses are still shorter.
Post # 5
A bilingual Mass is a wonderful way to symbolize the union of your two families and cultural backgrounds in your marriage. I’m sure it will be beautiful!
It can be as simple or as elaborate as you feel comfortable with. Alternating readings in each language is a good idea; talk to the priest about how comfortable he is with learning part of the Eucharistic Prayer, etc. in your native language, or finding a priest who speaks it and who can concelebrate.
Post # 6
You might be surprised to learn that your parish priest actually speaks Spanish! It’s quickly becoming a requirement in our area.
We’re having Spanish readings and petitions. Our priest is also pretty great with Spanglish, lol.
Post # 7
Dear bees: it’s not Spanish 🙂 Its an European language, which only my family would understand at the Church. I know a priest from my hometown who can do it though.. Well in the end my parents are more important than all the other guests so although they are minority, I would want to do at least one reading of my language. PLus, I wonder how it goes for vows (one or both???) And I think to videotape the ceremony to show to the rest of my family at home who will not be able to attend..
Post # 8
I just went to a Catholic wedding last week where the priest was bilingual. The bride is a Vietnamese Catholic and the groom’s family (my cousin) is mostly Buddhist. There were some readings in English and Vietnamese. There was also a part of the wedding where only the Catholic guests participated in. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful wedding. Even though I don’t understand Vietnamese or know much about the Catholic religion, I still had a wonderful time and it was a very touching momement to see my cousin marry his beautiful bride 🙂
Post # 9
I attended a beautiful bilingual Catholic ceremony recently. The priest only spoke English, so all of his parts were in English, with a translation of the gospel reading in Vietnamese in the program. The readings were done in Vietnames by relatives of the bride’s, with a translation in the program for the English-speakers to follow along. For the prayers of the faithful, they alternated between ones in English and Vietnamese. I don’t know any Vietnamese, so having the readings in the program was really nice.
If your parents (and any other non-English speaking guests) are Catholic, being at a mass in a different language is not nearly as much of a barrier as you might think, because the format of the mass is identical, just with different words. So even if they don’t understand the exact words, they will still be familiar with what is going on. I love going to mass in different places when travelling for this reason.
That said, I think it would still be nice to see if the priest would be willing to work in a few things–for instance, maybe when he says “It is my honor to present Mr. and Mrs. Inspiration86” he could follow up by saying the same thing in your parents’ language.
Post # 10
@Leprechaun: I like this idea. Personally, I don’t think I would want to sit through a wedding where it is spoken/read in English and then another language. That would get old really quick.
But a mixture of both sounds great and like others said is a nice way to bring the families together.
Post # 11
@inspiration86: Not entirely related, but back in high school, our valedictorian was from the Netherlands and had been here since 4th grade. Our school district had the graduations live-streamed so that people who couldn’t come would still be able to watch online. During her speech, as she was thanking people she said that she must also recognize all of her family still living there who were watching from overseas and, apologizing for the switch in language, addressed them in Dutch. While I have no idea what she said, I remember tearing up because I thought it was so great that she chose to do so.
I’m not sure how helpful this could be, but maybe you and your FI could do a portion of your vows in your family’s language. Are you writing your own or using the traditional vows? If writing your own, you could include something about family and have that be in the other language? I love the idea, though.
Post # 12
Great inputs, thank you!!