(Closed) Secular wedding but want to include some Catholic rituals; Ideas anyone?

posted 11 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

First of all, welcome!

What about including some readings? Or some songs? Sorry I’m probably not much help. I was raised Catholic but haven’t practiced for a few years.

Post # 4
635 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

How about including more traditionally Catholic vows or ring vows?  You can always remove the God elements, if that’s important to you.  Bible readings, a declaration of support from the guests, a ring blessing or final blessing, or a unity candle are some other more traditional elements that you can include.

Post # 5
1765 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015


I just got back from my cousin’s beautiful catholic wedding yesterday–except that it wasn’t too traditionally catholic. There was no mass, no communion, they just had a couple of readings and then the vows, unity candle, blessing of rings, lord’s prayer, etc. It took like 20 minutes, start to finish, and it was all about their love.

Perhaps you could talk to your officiant (provided he is Catholic) and see if they could do a service more like that.

Post # 6
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Things that spring to mind are you could do bible readings, a psalm, say the lord’s prayer…a lot of catholic rituals are religious!

Post # 7
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

Why not do a catholic wedding? As Cine said, it doesn’t have to be a full mass with all the bells and whistles… plus having your marriage recognized by the catholic church is that much more offical, plus you get free premartial counseling which I strongly recommend no matter how solid your relationship.

We did the whole sha bang, and yes it was long, and yes we had kids and most people had never been to a catholic wedding and were very intrigued. 

However, you can do a flowers to mary type thing, with the ave maria. You can do the lords prayer, or as pp said readings can follow a mass format.  If you two still have your baptismal candles, you can use those for a unity candle ( I orginally did not want to do a unity candle but the pictures from it are amazing)

Post # 8
2640 posts
Sugar bee

Well, may I ask, are they wanting the Catholic aspects?  Are you trying to smooth over some objections to a non-Catholic wedding?  Is it just your idea to do something nice for your families?

I guess my reason for asking is that, if you are trying to smooth over some resistance to a non-catholic wedding, particularly if they are strong Catholics, having a few Catholic moments in there really doesn’t cut it.  You’re not getting married in a Catholic church by a priest, and therefore not going to be married in the eyes of the church.  So if your parents are die hards, I imagine that won’t bridge the gap.  (But I don’t know if they are.)

If this is something that you are just wanting to do, maybe more as a cultural thing (?) I would say you could add some religious hymns or the Our Father, as pps have mentioned.

Post # 9
41 posts
  • Wedding: January 2008

Secular weddings have readings and music too so that isn’t really Catholic. Neither is a unity candle or sand ceremony.

There aren’t really Catholic elements per say to add to a secular wedding since they true Catholic wedding is the sacrament overseen by the priest between husband and wife which is witnessed by your guests.  The "wedding" is held inside of a mass which makes it longer.  It also doesn’t seem appropriate to have elements of a Catholic ceremony if you don’t follow or ascribe to the churches teachings.  You might end up offending some of your more devout guests.

Good luck.


Post # 11
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

There’s Catholic liturgy and there are Catholic cultural wedding traditions that have more to do with ethnic cultural traditions (where people came from prodiminantly Catholic countries) that are not a part of the liturgy.

I would focus on cultural traditions rather than patchworking aspects of Catholic liturgy into a non-Catholic ceremony.  In fact, as a devout Catholic, I would be highly offended if I attended a secular ceremony where poorly understood aspects of the Catholic liturgy were patchworked into a secular service, as without the sacramental theology, they lose their significance and very much would be more of a mockery of the real thing. 

What I would do is look at your cultural heritage.  Is your family Irish Catholic?  Are they Italian?  Mexican?  Spanish?  If so, ask your family what the family traditions were?  You might also want to look into the book "Bride’s Book of Wedding Traditions."

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