Laura has attended Catholic weddings and likes to share the experience with others!
The Role of the Program in a Catholic Wedding
In the Catholic church, a wedding is the loving union of husband and wife together with Christ. The official name is "The Sacrament of Marriage" or "Holy Matrimony." A wedding in the Catholic church is a joyful occasion shared by family and friends. The wedding program helps all the guests, Catholic and non-Catholic, follow and actively participate in the songs and prayers of the Nuptial Mass. After all, it is a celebration!
A Sample Catholic Wedding Program
What Should Be Included in a Catholic Wedding Program?
The purpose of any program is to provide information about the ceremony to the guests so they can follow along or participate in the event as appropriate. In a Catholic church, people of all faith are welcome to join in worship and prayer to our Christian God. It is up to the couple to decide how much detail they want to include in their wedding program.
The front cover of the program can be personalized to the couple's taste. There are no official words that have to be included, but it is customary to list the bride's full name and the groom's full name followed by the date of the ceremony and location of the church.
Inside the Program
The inside of the program lists each segment of the Catholic wedding ceremony. It typically starts by listing the songs or instrumental music that will be played while the wedding party is proceeding down the aisle. Once the bride and groom are on the altar and the wedding party is in place, the wedding Mass begins. The Catholic wedding Mass includes the Liturgy of the Word, the Rite of Marriage and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
The Liturgy of the Word includes:
- The First Reading (notes the bible verse)
- Responsorial Psalm (lists which psalm will be sung)
- Second Reading (notes the bible verse)
- Gospel (list the bible chapter and verse)
The Rite of Marriage includes:
- Exchange of Vows
- Blessing and Exchange of Rings
- Lighting of the Unity Candle
- Specially written Prayers of the Faithful
The Liturgy of the Eucharist includes:
- Presentation of the Gifts (the program lists which song to sing)
- Eucharistic Prayer
- The Lord's Prayer
- Nuptial Blessing
- Sign of Peace
- Communion (the program lists which song to sing)
- Final Blessing
The back cover of the wedding program can be designed to the couple's choice. Some people choose to list the wedding party participants. Some couples choose to include a thank you note to their guests.
How to Create a Catholic Wedding Program
Before you create the program, you have to plan the ceremony first. Contact your local church and speak with the Wedding Ministry Coordinator for guidance. Once the readings, songs and other components of the Nuptial Mass are decided, then determine if you want to create the program yourself or have it designed and printed for you. There are many user friendly software programs such as Microsoft Word or Pages, with templates to make it even easier. The resource links listed in the blue box on the right will direct you to actual Catholic Wedding Mass templates.
If you have the time and are savvy on the computer, you can create your program in no time at all, and benefit from a significant savings. Then just send it to your local copy shop to have it printed on card stock or special paper of your choice.