Customizing Your Wedding Mass Program or Missalette

Unlike in some other countries, Catholic weddings here are usually held within the Holy Mass. Hence, this mass is called a Wedding Mass. In our parish, we just call it a 'wedding' and it's understood as a wedding mass. Because it is still within the Holy Mass, the mass commentator is still necessary, at least in our parish. The fact that it has a wedding ceremony (or Rite of Marriage) in it, lengthens the regular mass. Hence, the wedding mass commentator uses a special mass commentator guide for a wedding mass.

Many decades ago, the only real wedding document prepared (and sometimes designed) by the wedding couple is the wedding invitation. Not anymore. Nowadays, it is also a trend to prepare the Wedding Mass program - although sometimes it is the wedding coordinator who prepares it. Essentially, it is the same program, or script, that the wedding mass commentator uses. Many times, it is referred to as the Wedding Missalette.

Couples Prepare their Own Wedding Mass Missalette

Here are a few reasons why couples prepare their own wedding mass missalette or program:

  1. The custom wedding mass program shows the names of the members of the wedding entourage especially those who have a role in the wedding mass. So, aside from the names of the Bride and Groom, names called out would also include the names of the Candle, Veil and Cord Sponsors, etc.

  2. The program can be customized to show the color motif of the wedding. The program can even be printed on scented paper. I often mistook one wedding mass program as a wedding invitation because it looked so elegant.

  3. The couple want the wedding mass attendees to easily follow the mass, reply in the prayers, and in general, actively participate in the wedding mass. (Our parish church does not give attendees copies of the wedding mass guide)

Our church has no problems with wedding couples preparing and printing out their own wedding mass programs customized with the entourage names in it. The only requirement is that they use the parish's template which the wedding couple could get from the parish office. This is logical since the officiating pries as well as those serving in the wedding mass (commentator included) are well-versed with the template already. The template shows the sequence to follow as well the the text to be recited by all.

Be Sure to Proofread the Wedding Mass Program Booklet

Today, we had such a wedding where the wedding couple had their own wedding mass program. The program was certainly made in good taste. Before the mass began, I randomly checked at several points in the program, like the readings and some paragraph texts. Everything seemed to be in order.

Both the priest and I (as wedding mass commentator) used the custom-made program to go though with the wedding mass. We were already at the tail-end of the mass when I heard the priest reciting one paragraph TWICE.

The priest must have noticed it too as he took a double-take on what he just read. Oops!

I saw the familiar stern look on his face, paused, and looked at the secondary sponsors. And with a firm voice, he blurted out "This was NOT edited." He proceeded to put the booklet aside and took the guide that we regularly used to resume the Holy Mass.

Why did he looked at the secondary sponsors as well as the other ladies in the entourage? I think he assumes that the bride's friends had a hand in the preparation of the program.

Lessons Learned

I believe the bride and groom contracted a wedding coordinator for this wedding. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, I think it is the wedding coordinator's job to see to it that even small items like these don't get overlooked. After all, they are being paid by the wedding couple for a smooth and successful wedding.

As for me, well, I better stick to my good old trusty wedding mass booklet and update it as necessary.