When the Church's Wedding Missalette is Changed - Part 2

In the previous article, I mentioned a particular modified item in the customized missalette or program that the wedding couple prepared. It would've been much easier had I asked the parents and godparents (primary sponsors) to simply to stand at their places - as the customized missalette dictated. Our own standard practice at the church was for the commentator to ask the parents and godparents to stand at the sides of the couple.

But that didn't matter. I strictly followed our own standard set of procedures to avoid confusion. Apparently, there were other differences I noted upon closer inspection of the customized wedding missalette.

Differences between the Customized and the Church's Standard
  1. Applaud the bride as she enters for the bridal march.

    There is no such thing in our parish church's version. Applause is generally asked by the priest after performing the marriage rites itself or after the final blessing.

    At these times, typically, the groom is also asked to kiss the bride. I, as commentator, do not even invite the wedding guests to applaud. Although it's part of my commentator's script, still, I choose to defer that right to the priest.

  2. Many of the Commentator's lines in the script were changed.

    I don't know why they had to be changed. I could only guess that a different missalette, not our church's, was used as pattern. Maybe a recent wedding that the wedding coordinator handled was used. The name of a previous commentator was not even edited out from some parts of the customized missalette.

  3. Parents and godparents are asked to be seated before the blessing of the arrhae, rings and bible.

    In our version, they are asked to be seated after the final prayer of the marriage rites (before the Prayer of the Faithful). In other words, the parents and godparents remain standing until the completion of the entire marriage rites. Other priests would even have additional ceremonies, like the couple asking blessings from the parents and godparents.

  4. Titles of certain mass songs (including entire lyrics!) were included.

    Apparently, these were the mass songs (offertory, communion, etc.) sang from a missalette in a previous wedding. I couldn't believe that they weren't even deleted for this particular wedding. In our church's weddings, we don't even know the mass songs to be sung. It's only the choir who does.

The only downside is that I wasn't able to answer "Amen" in one of the lines of the final blessing. The priest used the customized wedding missalette and it had an extra line for the blessing! But in general, the wedding mass proceeded quite smoothly. The officiating priest even thanked me upon seeing me at the sacristy.

Lessons Learned

There is no way that the customized wedding missalettes prepared by the couple will be proofread and edited. The parish office doesn't proofread to ensure it meets the parish's standards.

So stick to the parish church's standard wedding missalette. This is what the priest and the mother-butlers are familiar with and accustomed to. There is no need to follow a customized missalette that dictates procedures different from what we practice. It would just create confusion. I also don't want to be accused by the mother-butlers and priests of inventing new procedures.

Of course having the names of the couple on the customized script is helpful and handy. But I'd rather keep a small note with the couple's names and just use our standard program. It is a small price to pay rather than messing up with the church's procedures.