Wedding Ministry Seminar

For some reasons, the diocese asked for representatives from the parishes under its jurisdiction to attend a Wedding Ministry Seminar. What the seminar was all about, I had no idea.

I think neither did our adviser. But he asked me to attend for a look-see. I wasn't particularly keen on attending. I was about to resist, but it seems all his other prospects beat me to it with their own excuses for not going.

But since the premise was just for a look-see, I said okay. The seminar was on a Saturday and I didn't have anything else for that day.

The venue was at the diocese and the presenters/speakers were the same people that usually preside over the formation seminars. So, except for a guest speaker, everyone else looked familiar.

What Prompted the Wedding Ministry Seminar

Although the presenter mentioned that several priests view this directive as a way to address some liturgical abuses, he also said that the suggestion for a Wedding Minstry came out from a recently held Eucharistic Congress.

In that convention, the theme was the family and what better way to have a successful family than starting with the right step - a successful marriage.

Team to Comprise the Wedding Ministry

Everything that was presented was mostly suggestive. That means, in the end, it is up to the parish priest to make the final calls.

The presenter distributed some handouts which detailed how the ministry will look like, what groups of lay ministers will compose it and who will head it. Specific responsibilities were outlined for the mother-butlers, music ministry members and the lectors and commentators ministry.

Duties of Lectors and Commentators in Weddings

In cases where the non-duly commissioned ministers are selected by the wedding couple, the following must be considered:

  • Preparation - The lectors or mass readers must be carefully prepared by duly commissioned ministers of the parish (that's us!). This is to ensure the dignified and reverent proclamation of the Word, the chanting of the Responsorial Psalm, and the announcement of the intentions of the General Intentions.

    My comment: I keep telling the parish secretary to tell the mass reader/lector to come earlier than the rest of the attendees because I still have orient the mass readers of their tasks.

  • Attire - They must wear the appropriate attire as suggested by the parish. If this is not possible, then they may be prevented from assuming the role.

    My Comment: I've had several run-ins with lady mass readers/lectors who were improperly dressed according to the church's standards. It is mostly on the issue of showing too much skin on the shoulder or back.

    Just to rectify the situation, I've ask the improperly dressed mass readers to get or borrow a shawl to cover up. If nothing is available, I tell the wedding coordinator to get another reader.

  • Readings - Readings appropriate for the occasion shall be used. All reading must be proclaimed at the ambo.

Issues with Wedding Coordinators

The diocese expressed two major concerns about wedding coordinators taking the key roles when it comes to weddings. Specifically:

  1. Wedding coordinators who do most, if not all, of the paperwork required for the wedding. This includes the applying and accomplishing the forms provided by the parish.

    The diocese would rather have the wedding couple themselves to be at the forefront of these preparations. In the absence of the wedding couple, then direct relatives are expected to process the paperwork.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)