Post # 1
Hi Catholic bees!!
Fiance and I both have the classic Catholic story– born and raised, became “C&E” Catholics (or lapsed Catholics as my Future Mother-In-Law said), started going to Mass together again about a year into our relationship, came back to the Church. So needless to say the McQ wedding will be a mass!
We’re struggling right now with (what seem to me to be) the most common “optional” things to include in the Mass– the flowers for the Blessed Mother and the unity candle. I am completely set on the presentation of the flowers– I think it’s a beautiful gesture and I and the women in my family all have a very special relationship with praying to Mary and honoring her. My question with that is– where did you put it in your ceremony?!
The unity candles is another story. My mom and Future Mother-In-Law are really the ones championing it, Fiance and I couldn’t care much less. I think it’s a nice gesture of the two families but my biggest fear is making our mass that much longer! Where and how in the mass did you do the candles?
Our priest doesn’t usually do them because it’s outside of the traditional ceremony but he has said he will if they’re important to us. He hasn’t given us any idea about where we’ll put them either, and since I’m having to defend the choices as it is I at least want to have an informed opinion.
Post # 3
i believe the presentation of flowers to the blessed mother is usually done towards the end (at least it was for my wedding). it was somewhere between communion and the final blessing.
we did the unity candle after we exchanged rings. and it only adds, like, 3 minutes to your ceremony, so i wouldn’t worry about it making things too long. your moms will light the 2 smaller candles at the very beginning (before the processional) and then when it’s your turn, you each take a candle, light the center candle, and that’s it. it hardly takes any time at all. i actually think the presentation of flowers took longer (because i was in prayer) than lighting the unity candle.
but your church wedding coordinator will let you know the order of the ceremony and when/how everything will happen, so don’t stress about how you’ll fit everything in 🙂
Post # 4
@futuremrsmcq: Our priest wouldn’t allow a unity candle. My parents had a unity candle at their wedding and honestly I didn’t start seeing people bring flowers to the statue of Mary until the 90’s. Both my sister and I decided against both. Usually there are the vows. The bridal party sits down and then typically another peice of music starts playing as the bride presents the flowers. The main wedding I remember this occuring at, the bride and groom had been involved in the parish’s chior. As such, they both took a microphone and sang a song to Mary.
Post # 5
We presented flowers to Mary after Communion. Our Priest really frowned upon the unity candle, and I am not a fan of it anyway, so we didn’t do it.
Post # 6
I didn’t do the flowers… but I kind of wish we did. We had an option to do it for the Blessed Mother or to the Holy Family. Like the PP said I believe it was after communion.
As for the unity candle.. I wouldn’t do it. We couldn’t have it… but even if we could, I don’t like it. I find it redundant and not really that moving/meaningful/spiritual…
Post # 7
@futuremrsmcq: The unity candle is a relatively recent “tradition” that gained popularity when it was shown during a (non-Catholic) wedding on some show. I think it was a soap opera. So, it’s not really “Catholic”. I’d go with the flowers to the Blessed Virgin.
I’ve seen couples do this during the offering. It makes sense, someone is bringing our offerings up to the altar while you ware presenting an offering to Mary. You could also do it at the very end of communion (while that song is still playing). Finally, you could do it just before the Final Blessing, but that will be an “extra” song that will take up more time.
Post # 8
Thanks all!! I kind of echo most of ya’ll’s feelings about the candle (in addition the time, although the presentation of the flowers will take longer I think it’s much more meaningful!). Thanks for all the weigh-ins, I’m hoping Fr will approve the flower presentation, and now I’ll have some ideas to share with him if so 🙂
Post # 9
We didn’t do either, but the wedding coordinator and the music coordinator were familiar with when people normally put those elements. If your church has these people, they could be a big help.
Post # 10
@futuremrsmcq: We didn’t do the marian devotion, candles, or the flowers for the parents. I am very Catholic, but I just didn’t feel like they fit right. Do what you want!
Post # 11
We aren’t doing a unity candle but I will be presenting flowers to Mary during the recessional. We also added a “lasso” tradition because we are having our wedding in Mexico and wanted to incorporate some local tradition. The lasso is like a giant rosary that is wrapped around the couple for a portion of the ceremony. Just do whichever traditions you find meaningful and right for the two of you 🙂
Post # 12
@futuremrsmcq: We did the presenting of flowers to both of our mothers, they put the flowers by the gifts. We gave the flowers to our mothers during the sign of peace. We did the unity candle after our vows and exchanging of the rings, it didn’t take very long at all. And I presented the flowers to Mary after Communion.
Post # 13
We arent have a mass just a blessing, and we are doing blessed mother flowers at the end and skipping the unity candle because I find it corny (no offense to anyone!)
Post # 14
I’m sure what I’m about to suggest will sound a little silly, but if your families are keen on the unity candle, could you somehow integrate it into the reception? Perhaps before the blessing and toasts? That would placate them and keep it in the more secular box where it belongs.
Post # 15
@futuremrsmcq: We’re not doing the unity candle. Adds time to the mass (to the annoyance of non-Catholic guests who expect a wedding to last 43 seconds, then to the open bar) and we really don’t care about it. I think it’s perfectly nice if someone feels like it adds to their ceremony, but if you and Fiance don’t care about it, why add it in? It’s also one more thing to buy, to organize, to make sure is set up … all of which means, worth it if you care about it, but only if you care about it.
Post # 16
Heck yes flowers to Mama Mary, but ya dunno about unity candle esp. if its not rooted in Catholic tradition.