(Closed) The Catholic Wedding and Secular Traditions

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Our priest allowed us to choose the way we would enter for the Mass. We chose to do the old standard, but of course without any “giving away” of anyone or pulling back a veil (I did wear a small birdcage veil though).

I would have liked to enter with my fiance, but my dad was looking forward to walking me down the aisle and my fiance had always pictured it that way. It was nice, but it’s one of the few things I would’ve changed about our wedding if I had the chance.

Whatever you decide to do, I’m sure when the day comes people will reecognize the spirit of it and will be happy for you. You might also have the priest mention the significance of your “break from tradition” and explain how it reflects your values and the values of the Church.

Post # 4
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I always think the “break with tradition” complaint is funny, since many of the traditions you mention are actually not Catholic traditions and the alternatives (what you’re doing) are, in some cases, older and more traditional than the traditions you’re supposedly breaking!

I think you’re right. In the Catholic Church, you both come freely ad without superstiton- this is very important. I think it is beautiful to have both parents walk you down the aisle, since they all love you and support you. My Fiance and I will actually be walking down the aisle together, without any parents. We’ll also be seeing each other before the ceremony for pictures, etc- it isn’t bad luck to do this. I’ve gotten a few surprised expressions, or “well, I guess I’m just traditional- I wouldn’t do that!” comments about these things, but my Fiance and I have agreed on what we’d like to do, and are presenting a united front.

Post # 5
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

It’s funny but what most people think of as “tradition” is what they’ve seen in movies, or what they happened to do themselves. The father giving the bride away is not actually a Catholic tradition at all. It said so right in the little Catholic wedding planning book the priest gave us. Smile It’s not forbidden or anything, and I think it’s lovely to walk down to the aisle with your father or both your parents. I probably would have done, but in my case, my father passed away several years ago. I would have walked in with just my mom if she had wanted to do that, but she wasn’t comfortable with it. In the end my fiancé and I walked in together … which is actually the most traditional Catholic thing! Everyone said how unusual and neat it was. ha ha


Post # 6
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

The concept of the bride being “given away” by her father is a Protestant thing.  For Catholics, the father is an escort only.  He’s only giving you away if the priest says “who gives this woman to be married?” which of course a Catholic priest will never say!

I don’t think your priest is supposed to be telling you what to do; your entrance should be your decision.  As far as I’m aware, that’s not something that varies from church to church, it only varies from couple to couple at their own discretion.  Maybe he was just “strongly recommending” that you walk in with both of your parents?

As far as greating the guests before the ceremony, that should also be your own decision.  My Fiance is supersticious and doesn’t want to see me in my dress before I walk up the aisle, so that option is out of the question for us.

You should tell your priest thanks for his suggestions, but you prefer to do things your own way.  Do whatever you want, as long as it’s not sacriligious in some way.

Post # 7
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

My understanding is that it is SOME bishop’s opinion that its a good idea for the bride and groom to walk down in a procession together.  The USCCB has published this material from these specific bishops, but we are not obliged to obey it.  It is a suggestion with an argument for it. 

My own opinion is that the equality and “Its not a part of Catholic tradition” argument is faulty.  First off, God presents Adam to Eve.  Just because the tradition of the father handing his daughter off to the groom goes back to the days of selling brides, doesn’t mean that the gesture only can have that derogatory meaning.  Moreover, the tradition of having a wedding party outside of your two official witnesses is a much more pagan tradition.  Even wearing a white wedding dress is still a fairly new tradition…or at least I’ve heard it argued that it is.

I think what makes sense though is that because the Liturgical reforms of the late 60’s and 70’s pushed the vows back to after the homily rather than before the Mass even begins, it had the negative effect of having the vows distract from the Sacrifice of the Mass which should be the ultimate focus of the Mass.  I think this was a very poor decision and I don’t know why they did it.  As such, I would say that walking up together and basically deemphasizing your procession helps in bring the focus of the Mass a little more back to worship and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, but it doesn’t do so perfectly.

My own husband and I married in the traditional latin Mass.  I had only my best man and maid of honor stand up with us as they were the official witnesses and I wanted to emphasis their roles.  I had the rest of the wedding party sit in the pews.  I did have my Dad process me down.  Then in the Latin form, the bride and groom kneel before the altar (usually at the altar rail, but since our church didn’t have one, two kneelers were placed up in front).  The priest and the servers than came out from the vestibule and we were married.  We then went to our pew and the priest and servers went back to the vestibule for the priest to be able to change vestments the vestments and prepare for Mass through a set of private prayers.  So there was a period of silence as we waited for them to come back out and for the Mass to begin.  This thus kept the entire Nuptial Mass focused on Christ.  There were additional nuptial blessings that the priest blessed us with throughout the Mass, but it wasn’t a part of our exchange of vows.

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

My fiance is walking in with his parents and then I’m walking in with mine. We wanted to honor both sets of parents and where we came from. I didn’t want anything that would imply I was being given away. But I also didn’t want to walk in with my fiance. I do like the idea, but I also like the idea of walking in separately,  and then walking out together. To me it shows that we aren’t fully united until we are united in Christ. But then again, maybe that’s just how I’m trying to “spiritualize” having “that moment” of walking down the aisle towards my fiance. 🙂

For those of you doing something different, are you going to have people stand when you walk in?  It seems odd they’d stand for me and not my fiance, but I don’t want to confuse everyone either.

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