My Customized Wedding Program Guide

Only a few of my co-lectors know that I prepare and keep my own versions of the wedding mass program guide which the church provides. There are just a handful who know because, for one, there are only few lectors who happen to be wedding mass commentators also.

I have copied the church's wedding mass program and, over the years, edited it to suit my own style. I have noticed that the instructions could be better reworded so they're easier to understand by the wedding mass attendees.

Additions to the Wedding Mass Program

Here are a few additions I made to the church's Wedding Mass Program Guide.

  1. Reminders against cellphone use during the wedding mass. There are fewer instances of cellphone users now, but if I see too many texters and callers before the wedding, I announce the reminder.

  2. "Be Ready" Reminder. This is announced five to ten minutes before the wedding. Some mother-butlers request for this short announcement especially if the members of the wedding entourage are still loitering when it's almost time. It's basically a reminder for people in the church to settle down and for the entourage to form in line for the wedding procession.

  3. Welcome Remarks. This is a brief welcome to our church. This is quickly followed by my reading of the Introduction portion of the wedding program.

  4. Instructions to the Ring Arrhae and Bible Bearers. This calls them to stand and bring the wedding items to the priest for the blessing of the wedding items. Typically, the mother-butlers should be alert enough and if they follow the program they'd usher the boys to the priest. Now, even the boys' parents help out when they hear this announcement.

  5. Instructions to the Maid-of-Honor. There are two tasks for the Maid-of-Honor: To assist the bride by lifting the veil for her Holy Communion and, as required by the priest, to assist the bride in going to the altar for the signing of the marriage contract. Oftentimes, brides have long wedding trains or bulky and heavy gowns.

  6. Notes on the Marriage Rites and Offertory. Priests have their own style of administering the marriage rites and offertory.

    Fr. Raul, for instance, asks the wedding couple to perform a gesture of respect to the parents and godparents right after the marriage rites. There's one, Fr. Marty, who has instructions for the wedding couple to receive first the gifts in the offertory. Another one, Fr. Adrian, has this unique interaction with the wedding couple.

    By being aware of their unique procedures, I'm better prepared and could act accordingly.

Deletions to the Wedding Mass Program

There are portions in the commentator's script of the wedding program which I believe belong solely to the priest. There are two:

  1. Calls for applause by the congregation for the couple.

  2. Telling the groom to kiss the bride.

The two above may be called by the priest either after the marriage rites or after the Holy Mass has ended.

Changes to the Wedding Mass Program

I've also put some changes in the instructions to the secondary sponsors (Candle sponsors, Veil sponsors, Cord sponsors). I simply could not bark out the instructions as written. There would be chaos on the floor and people in the entourage and the priests would be bumping each other at the wedding aisle. So I added notes on these instructions as to exactly when the tasks are to be carried out by whom.