When the Church's Wedding Missalette is Changed

It is fine if the couple wants to customize their wedding missalette or program. The parish allows it. Typically, what happens is that the names of the couple replace where the words "Groom" and "Bride" in the church's standard wedding missalette.

Additionally, they might also put in the names of all those included in the entourage. At the end of the missalette, a guide on the sequence of pictorials is printed. This enumerates which part of the entourage, friends and relatives will be posing for pictures.

But that's as far as it goes, at least in my understanding. In today's wedding, the missalette or wedding program was customized. Nothing wrong there. However, many of its section are so different from the standard wedding missalette that our parish uses.

Procedure for Customizing the Wedding Missalette

Generally, the couple asks for a copy of the church's standard wedding missalette from the parish office. The parish secretary could actually even send an electronic copy (MS-Word document) of the missalette after the couple gives an email address.

Now, I'm assuming it is the couple that does this. But it could also be the couple's wedding coordinator. Nowadays, wedding coordinators are becoming more common and practical that couples rely on them almost 100% on their wedding needs.

The couple or the wedding coordinator then edits the word document. It is usually only on the wedding day itself does the completed and edited wedding missalette find its recipients in the church.

Late Receipt of the Wedding Missalette

Although I arrived earlier than usual to be the commentator in today's wedding, I noticed a few wedding missalettes in some seats. I knew the wedding couple had a customized missalette. I didn't see a missalette at the commentator's lectern.

In the past, I would immediately request one. But since the standard church missalette is already at the lectern, there was no need to. Also, I had my own Commentator's version of the church standard wedding missalette.

I'm a bit wary with customized wedding missalettes or programs. We had an experience before when a customized wedding missalette or program was poorly edited and lacked a final proofreading. Copy-paste was used liberally and it turned out a couple of paragraphs were pasted twice. The officiating priest then was reciting the prayers and realized he repeated himself.

But I did get a copy of today's wedding missalette, albeit late. I was surprised though that the missalette didn't follow the standard church wedding missalette that we have. At first, I was unsure whether to follow the wedding couple's version or our own "tried and true" version.

Not Following the Customized Wedding Missalette

Since it was late when I received the customized wedding missalette late, I didn't have time to thoroughly review it (not that it was my responsibility to proofread it). To my dismay, however, I discovered that certain altered parts would affect on how we, in the parish, normally implemented the marriage rites.

One of the practices that we have in our regular weddings is to call on all the primary sponsors (godparents) and the couple's parents to rise and stand at either side of the couple. This is done when the marriage rites is about to begin. The mother-butlers, by habit, would motion, guide and steer the parents and godparents to their places beside the couple.

The customized missalette just asks the parents and godparents to stand. As it would be confusing to the mother-butlers and the priest to introduce a "new" practice, I simply followed the regular procedures we have been accustomed with.

(See the continuation in Part 2)