Post # 1
We finally got approved to be married at the Catholic Church I grew up attending. It will only be our family of like 20 plus BMs and Groomsmen. I only attend church like 4 times a year since 2009. When I go I just go to listen but have never understood when to respond back or when you should kneel, sing, shake hands, etc.
This makes me nervous! Hopefully attending Sundays from now on will help me learn all this. My mom and sister know this stuff but unfortunately they don’t want to attend English mass with me to guide me. I’ve never attended a Catholic wedding either and i want to give roses to the Virgin Mary, do the coins and lasso. Can you tell me how your wedding ceremony went?
Another thing that’s worrying me is that after a reading is read there is usually a response. What if nobody responds or sings since his parents only speak spanish and his siblings and my family are not accustomed to English mass? I want everyone to participate and know what’s going on. Suggestions please!
Post # 3
These are things that they will go over with you during your rehearsal. Believe me, I didn’t know what to do at all but the wedding coordinator at our church went over everything with us that day.
Post # 4
@futureMrs.L: Thank You so much. I wasn’t sure how much info we’d get from the rehearsal.
Post # 5
@AngelS: You are very welcome. If your coordinator is anything like mine was, you will walk out of there feeling like a pro! lol… She made us do it over and over until we all got it right.
Post # 6
If you need guidance during regular church services all the sayings everyone has memorized are in the very front of the books they have set out in the pews. I didn’t know that until after I had been attending with fiance for months, and it really helped a lot!
Post # 7
I’ve been to Catholic weddings with not very many Catholic guests, and the priests are always very helpful about assisting everyone with the responses… like they’ll say “please respond with ______” before they say something.
If you’re worried about it, get the wedding coordinator to help you make programs that contain all of the responses and instructions like “Please kneel.” You can even have one with you during the ceremony if you want!
Post # 8
@AngelS: Most churches have little book (as mentioned by a pp) that explains the parts of the Mass in the front, and you can read along during the Mass. That’s the best way to learn. If your church doesn’t have them, you can search on Amazon for “Roman Catholic Sunday Missal” and can bring it with you to church. They cost like $10, and if you ask a priest they’ll sometimes just give you one (that’s the sort of thing they buy to give away with the “tip” money you give them for the wedding).
You can also find an explanation here: http://www.ourcatholicfaith.org/mass/mass.html which lists all of the things that people say.
As far as “Stand, Sit, Kneel Stand” – just do what everyone else does for now. Eventually you’ll pick it up.
Post # 9
are you getting married in a predominantly Spanish or English-speaking church? If it’s by yaknow… Father Smith, he may not be familiar with some of the Spanish customs you’ve mentioned. My family is Spanish but our church is very… white. lol!!! I’d love to do the lasso (which btw is usually placed when/after you read your vows), but I haven’t mentioned it yet since we’re not at that point.
Post # 10
We essentially had the entire mass in our programs so our guests knew the responses, when to sit, stand, or kneel. We also had explanations of what was happening. It was a long program but we made them ourselves so the cost was low. We had a lot of non-Catholic guests and wanted them to be comfortable.
The more you attend mass the more you’ll learn.
The coins/lasso/etc are non-american wedding customs. (I know hispanics and Philippinos do them, not sure who else). Your coordinator at the church can help with that.
Is your Fiance Catholic?
Post # 11
I’m surprised being in Kennewick that you don’t have access to a spanish-speaking priest. We are having a bilingual mass but it will be odd because very few of the english-speaking guests are Catholic, so I think we will have most of the “mass” parts in Spanish to avoid the silence problem that you mention. Another thing we plan on doing is hiring a small choir to make sure that there is audible singing, although that is obviously an expense that not every one can afford–I would still talk to the church about it because they might be able to work with you. I know that if we were getting married at our parish church instead of the Cathedral we could have gotten several musicians for a reasonable fee.
With respect to how the wedding flows, the cultural traditions typically happen at the end of the ceremony. If I remember correctly, the order is usually ramo, arras and then lazo.
As for making sure people know what is going on, a program is key. Our program will have the portions of the wedding and mass that are done in English translated into Spanish and vice versa. We are also required to print the sung responses in the program to encouarge participation on that front. Doing a detailed program is a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it so that all our guests are comfortable and know what is happening.