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Ideas for Catholic Wedding Readings


There are four Catholic wedding readings that typically comprise a Catholic wedding ceremony. The first reading (from the Old Testament), a Responsorial Psalm, the second reading (from the New Testament), and a fourth reading from the Gospel. Here is the typical order of the Catholic wedding readings within the ceremony, starting after the seating of the families, the wedding processional, and the entrance of the bride:

First, an Opening Prayer is usually given by the priest.

The First Reading typically comes from the Catholic book The Rite of Marriage. Here are a few options:

  1. Genesis 1:26-28, 31: “God created man and woman.”
  2. Genesis 2:18-24: “The two of them became one body.”
  3. Proverbs 31: 10-13: “A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
  4. Tobit 8:5-7: “Allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
  5. Genesis 24: “In his love for Rebekah, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother."
  6. Tobit 7: “May the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.”
  7. Sirach 26: “Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.”
  8. Jeremiah 31: “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”


In Catholic Wedding Traditions, the Responsorial Psalm is typically recited by a cantor, or song leader. The cantor sings the verses, then leads the assembly in the response (which is typically the title of the psalm). Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-21, 22: “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
  2. Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9: “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
  3. Psalm 103: “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
  4. Psalm 128: “Happy are those who fear the Lord.”
  5. Psalm 145: “The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures.”
  6. Psalm 148: “Let us praise the name of the Lord.”


The Second Reading is then given from the New Testament. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Romans 8: “What will separate us from the love of Christ?"
  2. 1 Corinthians: “Your body is the temple of the “Holy Spirit;” If I do not have love, I am nothing.”
  3. Philippians 4:4-9: “The God of peace will be with you.”
  4. Colossians 3:12-17: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”
  5. 1 John 4:7-12: “Love in deed and in truth.”
  6. Revelation 19:5-9: “Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”


The Gospel Reading is usually given by the priest. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Matthew 5:1-12: “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
  2. Matthew 19:3-6: “What God has united, man must not separate.”
  3. Mark 10: 6-9: “They are no long two, but one flesh.”
  4. John 15: 12-16: “This is my commandment: love one another.”


Next comes the Homily, which is typically a short sermon or word given from the prist. The homily is followed by the exchange of Catholic Wedding Vows, followed by the Blessing and Exchange of Rings. After the rings are exchanged, there is a Lighting of the Unity Candle, usually accompanied by a song.

Finally, there is the Concluding Rite. Usually the Lord's Prayer, the Assembly joins together to recite this prayer, led by the priest. A final blessing is given, and the ressional begins.

Read more:

Catholic Wedding Ceremony Songs


All weddings have one thing in common—music! Of course every wedding is special and unique, however each wedding requires music to be played either before, during, after, or throughout the wedding ceremony. If you’re planning a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony, then you’ll need a thorough list of appropriate church wedding songs.

Since Catholic wedding ceremonies are usually full church services, you will need a Cantor to guide your wedding guests in traditional responses.

Wedding Ceremony Songs:

Preludes: Choose which of the following songs you’d like to play during the anticipation of the bride and groom’s entrance.

  • Ave Maria by Bach
  • He Shall Feed His Flock by Handel
  • For the Beauty of the Earth by Conrad Kocher
  • Nearer My God to Thee by Mason
  • Let There Be Peace On Earth by Jackson/Miller
  • Angels Watching by The O’Neill Brothers

Wedding Processional Songs: Choose from the following for your processional song list.

  • Canon in F by The O’Neill Brothers
  • Reminiscent Joy by The O’Neill Brothers
  • Quaker Hymne (Lord of the Dance)
  • Morning Has Broken by Shaw
  • Hymne by Vangelis
  • Canon in D Major (from A Day to Remember I) by Pachelbel

Interlude Songs: The following songs are ideal for any portion of your Catholic wedding ceremony. Some of the options below are based on Bible readings.

  • Amazing Grace
  • Be Not Afraid by Dufford S.J.
  • How Beautiful by Twila Paris
  • I Can Only Imagine by Mercyme
  • I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman
  • The Lord’s Prayer by Warner
  • On Eagle’s Wings by Joncas
  • Let Us Break Bread Together
  • Friends by Smith
  • Peace I Leave With You by Conry, OCP
  • The Water is Wide (The Gift of Love)
  • Turn, Turn, Turn by Pete Seeger
  • The Prayer by Sager/Foster

Recessional Songs: Choose from the following songs for the portion of your ceremony when the bride, groom, and wedding party leave the altar and exit the church.

  • Joy by Winston
  • Ode to Joy by Beethoven
  • Ashokan Farewell by Ungar
  • Rondeau by Mouret
  • The Dance of Youth by The O’Neill Brothers
  • Trumpet Tune by Purcell

Postlude Songs: The Postlude songs are played after the wedding party has exited and the guests make their way out of the church. You are welcome to choose from the list above or ask your church for suggestions.

You are not limited to the songs listed above for your Catholic wedding ceremony. There are so many factors at play when deciding what your final song list will be, for example, if your church has a song list that they suggest, or if you have relatives or friends who are involved in the church and would like to provide you with your ceremony music. Depending on the type of church you attend, you may also be able to suggest more modern songs for your ceremony. As long as you go over the song list with your church officials and are able to get approval, then you’ll be good to go!

Read more:

7 Basics of a Catholic Wedding Ceremony


Here are a few important components specific to a Catholic wedding ceremony:

  1. In a Catholic wedding processional, the groom and his best man come in from the side of the church. Then, the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk up the aisle, usually in pairs, followed by the maid of honor, who walks alone. Lastly, the bride and her father walk down the aisle.
  2. The priest usually leads the guests in a welcoming hymn, followed by a greeting or an opening prayer.
  3. The prayer is usually followed by an Old Testament Reading (often read by a close friend or family member), a Psalm, a New Testament Reading, and a Gospel reading (from the Apostles). After this, the priest usually expounds on one or more of the readings.
  4. The bride and groom then exchange Catholic wedding vows. They can choose to memorize the vows and recite them, read the vows from the book, or have the priest read them, followed by a response of “I do.” In a Catholic wedding ceremony, some priests will allow couples to write their own vows, and others won’t.
  5. Guests then exchange peace by saying “Peace be with you.”
  6. After a kiss is exchanged, communion is usually taken. Non-Catholic attendants should not partake.
  7. The congregation says the Lord’s Prayer, the Priest gives his final blessing, and says “You may now go in peace.” The recessional begins.


Protestant, Jewish, and Catholic Variations on the Wedding Processional


Now that you have booked your venue, found your wedding officiant, and chosen your ceremony music, you need to research the bridal etiquette for your wedding processional. The processional is one of the most emotional, beautiful, and striking moments of your wedding. You want it to be done correctly. However, marriage traditions and customs do vary slightly, depending on your background or religion. Here are a few ways of ordering a wedding processional:

Protestant Wedding Processional
After all of the guests are seated, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom are seated, typically by a brother of the bride or groom, groomsman or usher. If there are grandparents, they should be seated before the mothers, preferably by a brother or other member of the bridal party. Directly after the mothers are seated, the processional begins, with the priest, the groom, and the best man entering from the side.

You have a choice between having the groomsmen enter from the side and waiting onstage with the groom or best man, or having them escort the bridesmaids down the aisle. Currently, it is the trend to have the bridesmaids walk down the aisle by themselves, unescorted.

After each of the bridesmaids walk down the aisle, the ring bearer and flower girl make their way down the aisle. The maid or matron of honor follows. Lastly, the bride makes her entrance, usually with her father or another male family member or friend.

The minister usually asks the father, “Who gives this woman in marriage?” He responds, “I do,” taking his seat in the front row. This is the queue for the rest of the guests to sit down. Note: people are increasingly foregoing the practice of having the father give away the bride, as some consider it sexist.

Jewish Wedding Processional
The order of entrances is slightly different. First, the rabbi (or cantor) enters. Then, the grandparents of the bride enter and sit in the first row, followed by the grandparents of the groom, who also sit in the first row. The groomsmen then walk down the aisle in pairs, with the shortest first and the tallest last (except for the best man, who walks alone). The groom then enters, escorted by both of his parents (he is on his father’s right and his mother’s left). After, the bridesmaids enter (again, the shortest first, and the tallest last). The bridesmaids usually walk individually, unless there are more than five. Any child attendants then follow. The bride then enters on her father’s right arm and her mother’s left.

Catholic Wedding Processional
These processionals are nearly identical to Protestants’, with the priest, best man, and groom entering from the side. However, the groomsmen and bridesmaids usually walk down in pairs, with the first (and usually shortest) couple standing the furthest away from the bride and groom, making room for the rest of the bridal party to stand.

During your wedding processional, make sure to smile, even if you are emotional. Advise your bridal party to smile as well. The pictures will be far more flattering, and far less serious!

Read more:

Julio Iglesias Marries Girlfriend of 20 Years


Eternally suave Latin pop icon Julio Iglesias has married Miranda Rijnsburger, his girlfriend of 20 years and mother of five of the singer's children, according to a statement published by HOLA! magazine. [via Pop Eater]

Iglesias, 66, and his bride, 44, tied the knot on Aug. 24 in an intimate ceremony in Marbella, Spain. According to reports, only his five sons and two other witnesses were there, and the nuptials were followed by a traditional Catholic mass in a chapel at his farm in nearby Malaga.

The 'To All the Girls I've Loved Before' crooner met Rijnsburer, a Dutch model, while visiting Indonesia in late 1990 and soon struck up a relationship.

In March, Iglesias told HOLA! that he had enjoyed "twenty years of many beautiful things" with his Dutch partner and that he "loves her deeply."

Iglesias has sold more than 200 million records worldwide since debuting in the late 1960s.

Baptist Wedding Planning


We just posted a new article about the rituals and traditions involved with modern Baptist weddings.  Should you and your fiancé belong to a Baptist church, you already know the ceremony has a highly religious element. The Baptist wedding is defined as an act of worship in which you seek God’s blessing in front of a community of the faithful. Other than that, the restrictions are not as demanding as some people are led to believe.  Check out the full article here.

It's the latest in our ongoing series of how family traditions affect wedding planning.  Check out some of our other articles in the series if you or your fiancé are Italian, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Southern, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Muslim, or Buddhist.  And don't forget to check out how to balance your family traditions with the modern wedding you want.


Mexican American Wedding Planning


We just updated our ongoing series on family wedding traditions with a new article about the traditions and rituals that are a part of modern Mexican-American weddings.

How we plan our weddings is often affected by our religious or cultural backgrounds -- or those of our groom's family.  Check out some of our other articles which help you plan your wedding with particular traditions and rituals in mind:

Italian American

Japanese American

Thai American

Chinese American

Southern US







...and more, including how to balance your family wedding traditions with what you want.