Start with the Bridegroom for Details

Today, I assumed my first commentator role in a wedding mass. I have been a commentator in the regular weekday and Sunday masses for two months already. So I believe the time is right to take on the role as a wedding mass commentator. Note that the wedding rites in our parish are held within the traditional Catholic mass.

I had the opportunity to observe a couple of wedding masses in our parish church, but the one where I was actively involved was the one where a friend and colleague was the wedding commentator. In that particular wedding, I became involved simply because the wedding entourage had their own readers and I volunteered to train them on their roles as mass readers.

Introduce Yourself as Commentator

Today, I had my first commentating task in a wedding mass. Of course I came in 30 minutes earlier than the appointed wedding time. It was fairly expected from us mass commentators even during the regular weekday and Sunday masses.

Anyway that 30 minutes lead time was useful as I needed to know how the commentator guides were placed at the altar, lectern and ambo and find out further what was needed. Although I've observed a couple of weddings before (I even trained a couple of readers in one wedding), I didn't have an idea how it was like to be up there in front near the altar.

The second thing to do was to approach the wedding entourage to get the mass readers, if they had any, and orient them.

Groom is First to Arrive

Seems like this is mostly the case, although sometimes, other sponsors arrive earlier. After I've seen the commentator guides all set up, I walked towards the church's entrance doors, just to find out if the wedding entourage had assigned readers for the mass. I saw this gentleman in a khaki-colored suit. "Looks different", I thought, so this might be the bridegroom, or simply, the groom.

Typically, this would be the case. Suits are the rage this days when it was the Barong Tagalog that was de rigueur in the past. The groom would be wearing something different to make him stand out, maybe the tie or maybe the color of the suit itself. Much like the bride. The wedding has a motif color but the bride always wears white.

Anyway, I asked if he was the groom and he said, "Yes". I said "Congratulations" and extended my hand to shake his hand. Then introduced myself as the mass wedding commentator.

Questions to Ask

Upon introducing myself, I would ask for the following information:

  • Names of Bride and Groom

    I'm able to see the names of bride and groom on the Marriage Contract set on the altar. But they are usually full names (sometimes two first names). So I ask what name or nickname would they prefer to be mentioned in the wedding mass. If it was a Renewal of Vows, then there won't be a Marriage Contract at all - just a certificate.

  • Mass Readers

    Who they are. This is especially so if the Parish office required the wedding couple to provide them. I ask for the mass readers so I can orient them on their tasks at least five minutes before the wedding mass.

Lessons Learned

There's actually a few bits of information that can be gleaned by reading the Marriage Contract beforehand. The obvious ones are the names of the couple, their addresses and the officiating priest (a signatory).

Also, you can find the couple's ages, so that's a clue when looking for the groom (old or young?). Sometimes, just looking the names of the sponsors would ring a bell - like someone you know.