Ceremony 101

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CEREMONY
A term that refers to the actual rites that constitute a legal and binding marriage

CATHOLIC CEREMONY
A religious rite that takes place in a Catholic Church (or an officially sanctioned venue) officiated by a Catholic priest with at least one of the parties being a baptized and confirmed Catholic. If only one party is a baptized and confirmed catholic, the other party should visit the Catholic Chancery of the church where they wish to contract the Sacrament of Matrimony.

PROTESTANT CEREMONY 
More popularly known as a Christian ceremony. It is a religious rite that takes place either in a Protestant place of worship or a separate venue selected by the bride & groom; it is officiated by a pastor with at least one of the parties being a member of the said Protestant denomination

CIVIL RITES 
Aceremony which has no religious affiliation, but is recognized by the State; thus, the officiants are select elected and appointed officials (e.g. Judge, governor, mayor)

Catholic Ceremony

Part I: The Liturgy of the Word

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Gloria
  • First Reading
  • Responsorial Psalm
  • Second Reading
  • Gospel
  • Homily

Part II: The Marriage Rites

  • the lighting of the candles
  • the calling of witnesses (parents and godparents) to stand close to the bride and groom
  • the statement of intentions
  • the declaration of consent or exchange of “I do’s”
  • the recitation of personal vows and/or the reading of the prayer together
  • blessing and exchange of rings and arrhae and Bible
  • the prayers of the faithful
  • the veil and cord ceremony

Part III: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

  • The Offertory
  • The Our Father
  • The Communion Rites

Part IV: The Concluding Rites

  • The removal of the veil and cord
  • The seven-fold blessing
  • The final prayers

Protestant Ceremony: The parts differ based on one’s denomination or church fellowship. Below is a common outline:

  • Lighting of Candles by the Secondary Sponsors
  • March of the Rest of the Entourage
  • The Giving of Consent
  • The Pastor’s Prayers, Reading, and Exhortations
  • The Vows and Exchange of Rings
  • The Veil and Cord Ceremonies
  • The Unity Candle or Unity Sand Ceremony
  • The Signing of the Marriage Contract by the Bride, Groom, and their Godparents
  • The Charge to Parents and Godparents
  • The Honoring of Parents by the Bride and Groom
  • The Final Prayers

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