(Closed) Literature Passages instead of Bible Passages?

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

LOL!  My friend, who got married in the Catholic church earlier this year, didn’t like part of a reading and decided to cut a few verses.  When the priest asked to see the readings she selected and saw that she cut out one part, he said that was unacceptable, that you could not alter the Bible, and the reading had to be read the way it was in the Bible!  She was so pissed off! 

Good luck with having a literary passage instead of a reading (ie: traditionally, you do a first reading, second reading and priest does Gospel).  I think they’re pretty much strict with that kind of stuff! 

Post # 4
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I was married in the same situation, but we chose bible verses since we knew no one would reallly care besides us.  I would return the question of – how lenient has the church been with other non-catholic traditions being incorporated into the ceremony?  I know our church didn’t have a problem with me not converting, us not raising our family in that church and us living together – this is not always the case, but I would think your answers to those questions should provide a nice guide to your intial question about readings.

Post # 5
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

There’s pretty much no way they’ll let you swap out a literature reading for a scripture reading. It’s not that they’re trying to be difficult, its just that’s what a wedding is in the Catholic Church. The Liturgy of the Word followed by vows. 

You may be able to have the Priest or even someone else read an additional poem or piece during the homily. Ask your priest about that. 

There’s a list of readings you can select from. Many aren’t used very often, and since some are from the deuterocanonical books, there are ones that you definitely won’t hear at Protestant weddings. No one will hold you down and force you to have 1 Corinthians at your wedding! 

Good luck!

Post # 8
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I get what your saying about keeping up with the times…but the Word of God does not evolve. And that’s the great thing about it. It’s not supposed to be up to date, but timeless. It’s not that the Church just doesn’t want to change the Liturgy, its that there is beauty in not changing it. 

Oh, also – you don’t have to promise to raise your kids Catholic. Just to let your husband do it.

My mom was going to convert for my dad and she couldn’t get through RCIA without disagreeing with everything. She converted 10 years later. I think it was much better for her to decide to stop and wait to do it when she wanted to, than do it and always feel not-quite-right about it.

Post # 10
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@samsonite44  – This isn’t going to sound as eloquent as I’m sure others can put it and I’m not a master of the subject lol but from what I believe/think is that its not saying be subordinate in demeaning terms. A husband should love and sacrifice just as much as a wife. The message is not to make women inferior but to make the partnership equal and that equality is expressed in saying that a man should do everything he can in his life to love and prtoect his wife and so why wouldn’t you want to embrace that (ie. submit to it)?

In my opinion the wording just seems extreame. Think of it more like saying, your husband should love you a lot and in marriage you should want to accept (submit) to that love… 

Post # 11
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Lol – breathe girl! Even Sola Scriptura denominations would not allow the word of God to be changed… it’s not that it’s stuffy and not modern but it’s just that the Bible is not up for revisions.

As for the “subordination” passage, there is a whole huge spiel I could go through that would help you not be offended by it… I don’t want to thread jack and go into Theology however. I’ll just leave it at “it’s not what it seems” and Jesus gave more respect to women that was ever given in the time. On top of that, the Catholic church has always been “before the times” in regards to equality and respect of women. As a English/Literature scholar I’m sure you can understand how there are sometimes deeper meaning and different translations of literature than what is on the surface. 

The church DOES evolve in matters where it can. Changing the bible or mass is not a place change is allowed. If you search back to Justin in A.D. 155, he wrote to the Roman emperor describing what we know as the mass…. 

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

We don’t read as long as possible anymore, but still read from the old testament, psalms, new testament, and gospels.


When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate those beautiful things.

The homily


Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves… and for all others, wherever they may be…

The petitions


Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: Amen. When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the eucharisted bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

Communion and sending forth


Essentially, the mass is the same thing the apostles started with Christ at the last supper. 


While you can’t replace the Liturgy of the Word, you can request your pastor to include certain readings in his homily as they speak to you as a couple. You can place something in your program for people to read, or have them read at the reception.


There is beauty to be found in the reassurance that things Christ started are the same… and that at mass we are celebrating Christ as Christians have done since his time.  If you have questions about the mass or Catholic Church, may I suggest “Rome sweet home” by Scott Hahn which is his story of conversion from being a protestant minister and “The Lambs Supper” by Scott Hahn which will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the history and step by step of the mass. He looks at things through a protestant eyes and really goes in depth about each little thing.


ETA: While I was writing this I see you questioned further about language and subordination… if you still have questions I can try and help, but the PP did a good job of the basics…

Post # 12
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I assume you mean Ephesians 5:21-33?

We get hung up on the “wives, submit to your husbands” because its been used against us. Not by the Church necessarily, but men who want control. So we tend to shrink away from it and say NO MORE SUPPRESSION! Thousands of years was enough! I’m done!

That’s what it wasn’t meant to say. The verse before which we tend to forget is “Submit to one another.” Both men and women, we’re called to the same thing.

Then it says wives, submit to your husband. I do, not unquestionally or for everything. But sometimes when John really wants to go visit his parents and I don’t, I won’t pick a fight and just say yes. It’s good. It’s healthy. We all have to give in.

Next it says “husbands, love your wives.” Part of me thinks it doesn’t say “submit” because Paul didn’t want to be repetitive and wanted to be more poetic. And besides, I’d rather have my husband love me than submit to me. And he does both.

There’s a book called Sex God by Rob Bell which I really like. He has a great explanation of this passage. Basically, he says that men are called to love their wives as Christ did the Church. And since he died, husbands are also called to the ultimate submission – being willing to lay one’s life down. 

So the way I see it – we are both being called to the same thing. 

Post # 13
669 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Wonderfully awesome idea.  I, too, majored in English and now teach it! I also am getting married in the Catholic church.  After reading all of the posts, I am sad to say that wonderful idea of incorporating literature probably won’t be possible.  I like the idea of using literature passages IN ADDITION TO the required church readings- I wonder if that is possible?  Or certain literature passages can be incorporated into the programs…hmmm…now you’ve got me thinking!  Best of luck 🙂

Post # 14
34 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

I just want to throw out another idea that we are using. We are having a friend do a poem reading before dinner at our reception. This way we can include something secular into our day as well. We’re hoping she can find a poem about love + food to read. I have a thing about making people who are not religious (which will be many of our guests since my Fiance is not religious) pray before a meal. The poem reading will be the “blessing”!

Post # 15
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@FutureMrs.Wood: The Rite of Marriage is the Rite of Marriage.  You cannot add readings or subtract them.

You can, however, ask the priest to read your literary piece during the homily, or you can include it during the reception.

Post # 16
45 posts

@samsonite44: About the whole “wives, subject yourselves to your husbands” bit, here’s a story from my own wedding 30 years ago (I’m a mother of the bride who lurks here regularly.) I, too, was raised Lutheran and we were getting married in my home church. Our minister became very ill a week before the wedding, and so the church was going to call in a substitute pastor. But I thought it would be nice to ask my FI’s family pastor, who was of another (very conservative) denomination, to marry us instead. I spoke to him on the phone and got a good grilling as to my “worthiness” or whatever, and I must have passed the test because he agreed to do the ceremony. When we met with him a few days before, we specifically asked him not to include the whole “subjection” bit in the ceremony because neither of us, even at the tender age of 20, believed in that idea at all. HE SPECIFICALLY AGREED. Well, guess what, we’re standing at the altar, and he begins his sermon. It was based ENTIRELY on those very verses in Ephesians! It was very pointed and intentional, like “I guess I’ll show HER!” Ick. We just started laughing because, really, what could we do at that point? The man was certainly entitled to his beliefs, but to have specifically agreed not to include that stuff and then include it anyway, well, he pretty much lied. Thirty years later, it still sticks in my craw a bit, even though it is pretty funny.

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