There are basically 3 parts to the Catholic wedding – the Liturgy of the Word (aka the readings), the Rite of Marriage (aka the vows), and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (aka communion). Add a few prayers in there and some processions at either end, and bahda bing bahda boom, you have a wedding.
Picking the readings for our wedding was one of the things John and I most enjoyed about planning our wedding. We put a lot of thought into our selections.
The First Reading
The first reading is traditionally from the Old Testament. This passage was read by a close friend who did JVC with us in Spokane.
Genesis 1:26-28, 31a
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air . . . God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
We chose this reading because we loved the language of the creation, of being connected to the wide world, a world full of beautiful creatures and full of life. We know that what God has created is good.
The Responsorial Psalm
The responsorial psalm is a psalm that is usually sung, with the cantor singing a verse and the congregation responding.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
We chose this psalm, which is usually sung around Easter time, because it is so full of joy. It is also a reminder that this day, our wedding day, was a gift from God.
A beautiful picture of John’s grandparents singing along. One of my favorites.
The Second Reading
The second reading, which is usually from the New Testament, was read by John’s aunt and Godmother. This reading was what really was the hallmark of our wedding, and what we tried to keep on our hearts throughout the day.
1 John 4:7-12
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God….for God is love.
God is love. A simple, beautiful reminder, that what we have is holy. That our love for one another isn’t just butterfly kisses and splitting root beer floats. It’s real, and it is from God. We love, we love each other, we love others, because God first loved us.
The Gospel is read from the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is usually read by the Priest or Deacon. (In our case, it was the Deacon).
One of the Pharisees, a scholar of the law, tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
We chose this reading, not because it was short and sweet and happened to have the word “love” in it, but because it is a great mission statement for marriage. Catholics believe that marriage is a vocation, a calling. We are called to be married or to lead a single life just like some people are called to enter into the ministry. Not just because its just what you do when you meet someone and fall in love, but also because it is a way to serve God and to serve others. So in our marriage we will seek to love God, love each other, and love those around us.
The homily (or sermon) was said by a priest, the same priest who gave me my first communion, and by the deacon, who was a family friend of ours.
I love this picture from the wedding:
We are either looking at each other like that because a) the priest had mentioned having babies for the gazillionth time, or b) because I turned to John and said “shoot, I forgot to asks someone to videotape the wedding!” (I didn’t).
My mine strayed a bit during the homily cause, well, I was getting married in about 5 minutes. ACK! I do remember the Priest saying there are three things you should do at least once a year:
1) go to a museum to remember where you came from
2) hold a newborn baby to celebrate new life
3) go to a wedding to celebrate love
We had received our mission – love God, love one another, for God is love. It was finally, finally! time to wed.