Post # 1
We are both Catholic and are excited to get married in a Catholic Church. I was looking through some of the booklets about marriage that our priest gave us at our first pre-cana meeting and one of the chapters was about giving the bride away and how the Catholic Church does not really subscribe to this tradition. The booklet indicated that my fiance and I are to walk down the aisle together behind the priest. Has anyone heard of or seen this?
Post # 3
never… my sister got married in the catholic church and definitely walked down the aisle with my dad. and then the priest said “who gives this woman to this man?” and my dad said “her mother and i do”… so unless things have changed since… 6 years a go… haha.
Post # 4
i’ve been to a lot of catholic weddings and i’ve NEVER seen that!!! Do you want to do that? I could never do that to my dad!
The only wedding I know of amongst the ones I’ve been to where the bride’s father doesn’t walk her down are if he passed away or it’s really a bad relationship. In one, the groom’s grandfather is walking her down. SweeT!
Post # 5
ok good… i think my dad would be heartbroken if he couldn’t give me away. i’ll talk to the priest about it, i thought this was strange too. thank you so much!
Post # 6
I’ve never heard of that either. I’m getting married in a Catholic church and my dad is walking me down, and that’s how it’s been at the 3-4 other Catholic weddings I’ve been to as well!
Post # 7
Traditionally, that is how Catholic weddings were performed. The concept of the Father giving away the daughter was adopted from non-Catholic practices. The union of the husband and wife is just that, a union of the two. The focus was always on the couple about to be married, as they were the ones to approach the altar and make the commitment.
Nowadays, people like to make the weddings about the parents, grandparents, brides maids, flowers. Don’t get me wrong, while all of this makes for a nice wedding, if you had nothing more than GOD, the Priest, you and your Fiance plus two witnesses, then that is all is required for the wedding to be official in the eyes of GOD and the Church.
But yes… what you read in your Pre-Cana is correct. It’s merely practices that have been adopted, but as long as it does not take away from the sanctity of the Mass, then you should be ok. What you are looking at is tradition with a non-capital “T” (which means it could change)
Post # 8
no way! I have never seen that – especially in Catholic weddings the father walks the bride.
Post # 9
I had a Catholic wedding. My dad walked my down the aisle. I’ve been to a ton of Catholic weddings. The dads always walked their daughters.
Actually a friend showed me a precana book she had. It had something similar to what your book said. In fact, it gave three scenarios. They all were foreign. I don’t believe your priest will make you follow it. But good idea to talk to him.
Keep us posted.
Post # 10
If you want to follow every rules to the tees, then yes, you will walk down the aisle with your fiance. This is because in any catholic procession, the most important ppl walk last. Since the couple being married is considered the ministers of the matrimony sacrament, you guys walk down last, following the priest ahead of you. Procession may goes like, your attendants, readers, eucharistic ministers, priest & you.
That being said, people have really change up the rules since these processional traditions need not be upheld strictly. In my case, my priest said that he doesn’t want to walk down the aisle so he’ll already be at the altar. That just tells me that he feels that in the context of a marriage ceremony, the processional traditions are more of a suggestion rather than a rule. I actually would be accepting to the idea of both my Fiance and I walking down the aisle together since it would be different and would carry important symbolism. However, the priest told me that a common trick people use is to have the groom process in whatever order but stop short of walking up to the altar (e.g. first pew), and wait for the bride to process last. When the bride arrives next to the groom, the both walk up to the altar together. In this way, they are still the last two ppl to process down the aisle, per se.
As for the father giving away the bride, it’s often seen in catholic weddings too so I’m pretty sure it could be incorporated in the procession. For me personally, I decided to forgo that after I read about where the tradition originates. Since it originates from women being men’s property and it’s the father’s prerogative to transfer his property to another man, the negative connotations just leave me a bad taste so I’m not going to do it.
Post # 11
Thank you all so much. I will keep you posted as to what our priest tells us! I have never seen it either, but I know the Catholic mass is really focused on my fiance and I as a couple, instead of our families and everything else. On one hand, I really enjoy that aspect about the Catholic church, but on another, I just don’t know if I can leave my dad out!
Thank you so much for all your input.
Post # 12
I don’t blame you! =]. Even though I didn’t like the old connotation of being “given away” (the feminist in me goes HEY! You don’t OWN me! with a fist a-shaking) if your dad is anything like mine, he’d just be heartbroken forever over it. I looked at it more like my parents emotionally supported me until i was 23 and they were walking me over to the man that would provide my support from now on. Not that I needed the support persay, but there is definitely an emotional transition involved in *leaving* your parents and having a husband, even if you don’t live with them =]
Post # 13
No, even if the tradition of the father presenting his bride to the groom was adopted from paganism, it has been practiced within the Catholic Church for so long it can still be considered a tradition (with a small t). Within Catholicism there is a lot of different thoughts on how the liturgy should be done. Part of this is because the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does not have as specific of rubrics as the Traditional Latin Mass did. (granted I don’t believe the procession is specified in the instruction for the TLM either)
I read an article from a bishop who basically said that the father should not give the bride away to represent that the bride and groom are coming equally before God. I think the other issue is that in current form of the Mass, the vows are said between the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. Thus there is the argument that the procession be like any entrance procession with the cross bearer, the priest, the altar servers etc and then the bride and groom and bridal party processing behind him and then taking their seats for the beginning of Mass. So there is the argument beyond gender equality that the de-emphasis on the parents, party and bride down the aisle, that is focuses it more on the celebration of the Mass and God.
However, in the Traditional Latin Mass, the vows are said prior to the beginning of Mass. So you process, say your vows, blessings and prayers and then you sit in a special spot during the Mass. Some Catholic cultures had the procession take place through the villege with everyone following behind. They would meet outside the Church and the vows would be said on the Church steps. They would then enter the church together as husband and wife and the Nuptial Mass would begin. Even further back in history, Nuptial Masses were reserved for Royality and non-royalty would only have their vows outside of the church doors.
Post # 14
Well, we are really descended from Judaism. In a Jewish wedding, the mother and father walk the groom down the aisle. Then the mother and father of the bride walk the bride down the aisle.
I like that a lot. But I am having my dad walk me down.
Post # 15
I have heard of it, and seen it in a wedding on the knot. I haven’t seen it in real life, though. My dad walked me down the aisle, but he didn’t give me away. “Who gives this woman” was not an option the priest gave us.
Post # 16
@Ruby Falls: Never heard of this, my family is Catholic and father always walked the bride down……Hmmmmmmm