Preparing your Wedding Ceremony
The Our Lady of Peace Pastoral Associate for Worship will help you with all aspects of the planning of your wedding liturgy: choosing the music and scripture readings; musicians; the preparation of the ritual; choosing participants such as readers, gift bearers, etc.
Choosing the Scripture Readings You will receive a small booklet to help you choose your scripture readings. These readings are particularly appropriate for a marriage ceremony, but you are not limited to these. If you have a favorite passage from scripture that you find especially meaningful, you may use that. You will need three readings for your wedding liturgy: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and a Gospel passage. The responsorial psalm is always sung. Non-biblical readings may not be used during the liturgy. The presider at the wedding (priest or deacon) needs to be consulted if any readings not contained in the booklet are chosen.
The best way to proceed is to sit down together and read the scripture passages aloud. Reflect on them, discuss them, and pray over them, before you come to a decision.
Choosing your Readers You may ask a family member or close friend to proclaim the first two readings and the intercessions at your wedding liturgy. (The priest or deacon will read the Gospel.) You may choose one reader to proclaim all the readings, or two or three readers to proclaim the two readings and the intercessions. Be sure the persons you choose are able to proclaim the readings with competence, with reverence, and with conviction.
You will want to have copies of the readings and intercessions for your readers, so they can practice aloud before the wedding day. For the ceremony itself, the readings will be inserted in a binder to be used at the lectern. The reader should not bring loose sheets of paper to the lectern.
We do ask the reader(s) to come to the wedding rehearsal to practice with the microphone.
Choosing your Vows You will receive a booklet with two options for your wedding vows. The choice is yours. We do ask that you prepare for the ceremony by carefully and prayerfully reading the vows, so that you may speak them directly to each other. The priest or deacon will be there to guide you through your vows, so you do not need to be nervous about memory slips.
Choosing the Music Music is an integral part of any liturgy. Since your wedding ceremony is a liturgy of the Church, the music should be liturgically appropriate.
When you meet with the Music Director, he will point out the various places in the liturgy when you will need music, and explain the function of the music at these particular points in the liturgy. The booklet When Christians Marry” will also give you everything you need to assemble a worship aid (program) for your wedding.
“When Christians Marry” contains a list of suggested music, along with a CD, with indications as to what is most appropriate at different points in the liturgy. You may keep the CD as long as you need it, and return it when you come in for your final appointment with the Music Director.
Of course, you may already have some ideas regarding the music. The Music Director, Joel Kumro, will help you decide where in the ceremony some of your favorite selections might fit. Keep in mind at all times that the music should be appropriate for a Christian marriage ceremony, and is subject to approval by the parish staff.
The fee charged for the music covers the services of organist and cantor. The cantor can also do solo work in addition to the ritual music. There may be an additional fee for that, depending on the extent of the solo work. If you wish to ask a capable friend to sing some solo pieces at your wedding, you may do so. The music staff at OLP will be happy to work with your soloist.
The Music Director, Elizabeth Pike, serves as the organist/pianist. She will be happy to help you hire other instrumentalists for your ceremony (trumpet, etc.), if you so desire.
Communion Ministry If your liturgy is a Mass, communion will be distributed by the presider and 3 Eucharistic Ministers. Family or friends who are commissioned for Eucharistic ministry in their own parishes may be asked. It is helpful if they come to the rehearsal.
Ushers The ushers will be asked not only to escort family members and guests to their pews, but also to help in other ways. It is very important that they come to the rehearsal.
Dressing Rooms Rooms are available in the lower level of the church for dressing. There is also ample dressing space available in the women’s and men’s restrooms. Please assign someone to check the dressing areas after the wedding before leaving for the reception.
Photographs The church is available before the ceremony for taking pictures, unless there is a conflict with another service, e.g., a funeral. We do ask that your photographer finish by one half hour before the ceremony is to begin, and that all equipment is put away.
There are no flash pictures during the ceremony, nor does the photographer come into the center aisle at the front of the church or the sanctuary to take pictures. The aisles along either side of the pews, and the area behind the last pew of guests are available for photographers/videographers.
If pictures are to be taken in the church after the ceremony at a Saturday wedding, you will need to finish by 3:45 p.m., so that the church may be prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at 4:00 p.m.
Wedding Coordinator The wedding coordinator assigned for your wedding will be there on the wedding day to see that all goes smoothly. The wedding coordinator is responsible for taking care of all the details of the ceremony, so that the bride and groom can relax and enjoy the day.
All instructions and procedures for the coordinator will be in writing. The Pastoral Associate for Worship will have previously walked through the liturgy with the engaged couple.
By rehearsal time, all decisions will have been made. The wedding coordinator is not authorized to make any changes in regard to parish policy.
Miscellaneous The Pastoral Associate for Worship will also help you plan other aspects of the ceremony, such as how the parents will be seated, who will escort the bride, how the seating of guests and the entrance procession work, etc.
Please be sure to assign someone to tidy up in Pates Hall and any areas used for getting dressed, etc. after the ceremony. There are large trash cans in Pates Hall to dispose of any trash, flower boxes, etc.
Please remind all who participate that alcoholic beverages and smoking are NOT permitted anywhere on the premises, either inside or outside the building.