Attention to Sequence in Wedding Program

I suppose I was a bit lucky in today's wedding because the wedding coordinator was very cordial and called the two mass readers to immediately see me. Since the mass readers were on time, i.e., earlier than the rest of the entourage, the orientation for them was quick and easy.

I didn't realize though that there was a third reader who just popped up at the Liturgy of the Word itself. He took upon himself the Responsorial Psalm. Since he wasn't at the orientation, I had to constantly cut him off after the Verses because he wasn't supposed to say "Response".

Inconsistency in the Commentator Wedding Program

While waiting for the signal to start the wedding mass, I was approached by my brother, Eron, who is a church helper. Apparently, Eron was witness to a previous wedding and wanted to point out some slip-ups in that wedding.

He mentioned about Lily and Nannie making a few blunders as commentators. It seems the two were somehow complaining something erroneous with the wedding program script. It wasn't very clear to me what the errors were all about.

Anyway, he looked very pissed. I had no part in that wedding and so I was taken aback that he seemed terribly upset on what happened in that wedding.

But Eron was somehow adamant that I have those errors corrected in the wedding program since I attended the Wedding Ministry Seminar.

Actually, the seminar didn't provide any proposed wedding program or script to be followed by the parishes.

So essentially the diocese has no wedding program script. It is still up to the local parish to implement what is locally best for them.

And I don't think I should be correcting anything since there wasn't anything inherently wrong with our own wedding program. Neither am I the right person to do any correction, if there are errors.

Weekday Organist as Choir

Today's wedding is another one of those last-minute insertions to the wedding schedule. As such, there was no formal choir that was called for the wedding's liturgy songs. There was only Lino the organist who played and sang the songs - weekday style.

I wasn't aware that he didn't sing nor play the other responses typically sang in the Sunday masses. These include the Mystery of Faith, Amen and the Lamb of God. Luckily, I was quick enough to catch that and so I recited these responses instead.

Stubborn Evil Photographer

Recently, it has been my habit of reminding the wedding coordinator or the wedding photography crew that no photographers be at the sanctuary during the wedding mass.

Today was no different. Right before the wedding, I reminded the wedding coordinator about the sanctuary being off-limits to photographers.

To this, the wedding coordinator readily agreed. This issue about wedding photographers becoming disruptive has been raised in the recent Wedding Ministry seminar.

Well, there was one photographer who kept taking pictures from the sanctuary. This is in spite of the hand signals of the other crew members motioning him to step down. This was during the marriage rites.

I even had to walk all the way from my position at the commentator's lectern to the other side of the altar to admonish him. He noticed me approaching at the corner of his eye.

He took one more picture and then quickly stepped down. He ignored my call, pretending he didn't see nor hear me.

At a lull moment during the marriage rites, I stepped down from the lectern and sternly reprimanded the wedding coordinator regarding the incident.

Keeping an Eye on Everything

See, these are just a couple of the things (limited playing by the organist and the stubborn photographer) that a wedding commentator needs to look out for.

Other persons to look out for are the secondary sponsors, many of whom are clueless on what to do.

For instance, today's Best Man rose up when I called out the Maid-of-Honor to lift the veil of the bride. This is one of the Maid-of-Honor's wedding tasks. The Best Man probably thought that, since they were partners, he too had a role to perform with the bride's veil or the matrimony veil.

As the Best Man was trying to remove the matrimony veil from the groom, the officiating priest, Fr. Adrian prevented him from doing so. The priest also motioned him to move and go back since he wasn't needed.

Don't Rely on the Wedding Program

Being a wedding commentator is not an easy task. In my experience, a mass commentator's job in the Sunday masses are a breeze by comparison.

This is what I told my brother, Eron, after the wedding. A wedding mass commentator cannot rely solely on the wedding mass program to ensure a smooth proceeding of the wedding.

His eyes must always scan the characters and players involved: the priest, wedding couple, mass readers, primary sponsors, secondary sponsors, kiddie sponsors, photographers and the faithful.

He needs to be completely alert with eyes constantly moving like the smiley faces below and be quick to act with the callouts as necessary.

All of these role players have gestures and postures to perform and so it's up to the commentator to be aware of them. Many of the faithful during at a wedding are not even regular mass goers and therefore not familiar with the Catholic mass's postures and gestures.

Raising Issues to the Authorities

Finally, I suggested to Eron that those who do have issues with the wedding program or proceedings can raise their concerns to the parish priest or the heads of the ministries involved.

I'm quite comfortable with my role and tasks as commentator and have no issues. Because I'm already very familiar with the wedding sequences, I'm able to adapt to whomever may be officiating the wedding mass in whatever situation.

I suppose that is the key. Learn and master the wedding sequences and how they proceed. Remember, the wedding program is important and as commentator, you need to make it work for you.

You could even annotate the existing wedding program and create your own customized wedding progam. For my part, I've already listed some annotations I made in my own customized wedding program guide.