We read the Prayers of the Faithful, which is the part of the Mass where we pray for the world, the church, those in need, and the local community. We asked our friends and family to give send us a prayer they would like us to say, which we thought would be a nice touch. For some reason, people weren’t into it, and it turned out to be really stressful to put together. But we ended up with something nice:
For our Church, that we might daily be an embodiment of Christ’s love. May we learn in each new day of our vocation that perfect happiness consists only in the splendor of God’s will for us.
For all of those who are embarking on new journeys. May they be filled with passion, adventure, love, and friendship.
For all of those who do not have the courage to make positive changes in their life.
For all children, wherever they may be, that they may well-educated, nourished and loved, so that they may pass on these values to the next generation of little ones. May they know that Jesus and his mother, Mary, are always at their side to love and guide them.
For those without a place to call home tonight, that they might be shown mercy and compassion.
For members of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and other service organizations, that they may be guided by the grace of God in serving those in need through Christ’s love…and that a few of them may along the way find true love!
For the grace to see God in the laughter of children and in the sweetness of old age, in the courage of youth and the patience of man and womanhood.
We pray for God’s blessings upon Jackie and John as they enter marriage. We pray for God’s guidance, wisdom, patience, love and peace to surround them. We pray for a union blessed by their love, respect , trust and friendship for each other in a lifetime of holy matrimony.
After the prayers, it was time for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, or Communion.
During the offertory hymn, we sang The Servant’s Prayer. I can’t find a copy of it online, but the chorus/first verse goes
Won’t you let me be your servant? Let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too. We are pilgrims on a journey. We are travelers on the road. We are here to help each other, walk the mile and share the load.
I first heard this song one of my first Sundays after I left my JVC Spokane community. It reminded me so much of my housemates. I can think of no better way to describe what a marriage is.
Their dresses are a last minute re-decision after the dresses I had picked out only went up to size 12 in kids. I hadn’t seen the girls since before I left for JVC, and didn’t realize that they had grown into young women! I didn’t really have a huge need for everyone in the wedding to match, but that’s also the most fun part when you are 10 is to have a special dress, so that’s why they are in matching dresses.
One of the my favorite things about our wedding is that we made the bread for communion. It is allowed, and we got permission and the recipe (flour and water) and all ahead of time. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!
Before I received my first communion, it was the tradition in my parish for the kiddos to make the bread. I remember feeling so grown up, so important, and very full of reverence for what I was doing. I was really immeshed in the sacrament. So we decided to bake the bread for our wedding as well. It was a way for us to take a few hours to concentrate on what was really important that week, and to be fully involved in the sacrament.
Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. You might have noticed that the vows aren’t the grand finale in a Catholic wedding. It’s a reminder that we are not what is most important, but God is, and so we end with Communion.
Are you thinking “wait, I went to Cousin X’s Catholic wedding last week and there was no communion?” Not all Catholic weddings have communion. If one party isn’t Catholic, it is omitted. Only Catholics receive communion (because people who aren’t don’t generally believe that it is the literal body and blood of Christ), so the Church believes that the first act of marriage shouldn’t be a sign of disunity.
After the bread and wine is consecrated, we exchange a “Sign of Peace.” Basically you go around hugging everyone and saying “Peace be with you.” And since it was a wedding, everyone was extra into the hugging.
Catholics generally kneel before communion. We forgot to ask for kneelers, and since we were sitting in chairs and not pews, we did not kneel but stood instead.
Our wedding was very light-hearted. My sister even pretended to step on my dress at one point. My hairdresser/my mom’s best friend had not been to a Catholic-anything before our wedding day, and she ended up going to two weddings in one day. She told my mom that our whole wedding was very approachable and beautiful, which made me happy. We definitely wanted our wedding to be a testament of our faith, and to be a spiritual time not just for us, but for everyone involved. I hope that this recap/explanation serves that same purpose for anyone out there who is interested in what a Catholic wedding is like.
Our communion hymn was One Bread, One Body.
You might have noticed that we’re playing pretty run-of-the-mill Catholic songs here. Sure, we could’ve been more creative. But we wanted people to sing along (Granted, we forgot to print the hymn #s in the program, so they didn’t really). I think it gave our wedding a casual, homey feel.
Last, we stood up for our Nuptial Blessing. When you are planning your Catholic wedding, you basically get to choose from A, B, or C of all the prayers. We spent an evening pouring over our choices and picking out exactly what we wanted. Then I forgot to bring that book to the rehearsal and our Deacon didn’t ask. Again, oops. These things don’t go near as well as planned, but we’re still married.
We then stood at the altar for the first refrain and verse of “Lead Me, Lord.” It was great to just soak the moment in and see everyone smiling back at us.
I again can’t find a video of the song but the chorus goes:
Lead me, Lord, lead me, Lord, by the light of truth to seek and to find the narrow way. Be my way, be my truth, be my life oh Lord, and lead me still today.
As far as Catholic hymns go, its a pretty upbeat and fun one. And a good note to end on.
We processed back out. Look at my cousin hefting up that cross. I had to do that as a kid, those things are heavy.
People clapped. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting that.
This is what happens when your boy-girl ratio is off and you don’t plan exits. I love that they didn’t take themselves too seriously!