The Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony
As a contributor to www.bridalblog.info, there are frequent questions that arise by people attending weddings, not just planning them. Often times, people are a bit nervous when they go to a wedding ceremony that is of a different faith than their own. To that end, I have contracted with www.bridalblog.info to do a series of articles discussing what guests can expect when attending wedding ceremonies of various faiths.
The Roman Catholic wedding ceremony is the most formal in the Christian tradition. The most common traditional type of ceremony held is known as the Nuptial Mass. Many religious restrictions bound the bride and groom and limit some of their choices when planning a wedding.
To understand the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony, it is important to understand that, in this denomination, a wedding is considered one of seven sacraments (others being Baptism, Communion, Confirmation, etc). In this tradition, the ceremony is extremely serious. There are not any contemporary Christian songs being sung or any contemporary bands playing.
Although the Roman Catholic ceremony is bound by stringent rules, the church does allow inter-faith marriages. However, these ceremonies can only be performed in a Roman Catholic church. Destination weddings and out door weddings are prohibited.
There are certain actions that must be taken when a bride and groom want to be married in the Roman Catholic Church. The priest must have a baptismal certificate from the parish in which the individual(s) were baptized. The bride and groom undergo premarital counseling anywhere from six months to one year before the ceremony. The bride and/or groom who is of the Catholic faith must sign a document stating that he/she/they will raise any children in the Catholic tradition.
When attending the ceremony, you may be surprised to see that the bride is not given away by anyone. In addition, the maid of honor or the best man must be of the Roman Catholic tradition.
Although the Roman Catholic Church does put many restrictions on the wedding ceremony as well as the wedding itself, many people feel very strongly that these traditions be strictly adhered to. As a guest at a Roman Catholic wedding, you may indeed feel a little lost among all of the goings-on. As long as guests are reverent and serious in their endeavors to keep up with the ceremony, most people will be accommodating. As in any social situation, just follow along as best you can and fake the rest!