Within the Catholic faith, matrimony is one of the Seven Sacraments and meant to be a lifelong joining of man and woman, becoming as one body in Christ. For devout Catholics, the ceremony is the most important part of the day and although there will often be a huge reception after the Mass, everything takes a backseat to the sacrament of marriage as officiated by an ordained priest in the presence of all in attendance.
Have you ever wondered about those readings chosen for this special day? Why do most Catholic weddings you’ve attended share many of the same readings and are there other readings that can be chosen if they are more personal to your relationship?
Catholic Wedding Readings Filling Your Heart
While this wouldn’t have been possible just a generation or two ago, today’s wedding celebrations are often video recorded either by a professional photographer or by members of the bride or groom’s families. One of the most cherished moments, besides the actual reciting of their vows, is the reading of a particular biblical passage that fills their hearts for the rest of their days together. So, where do these Catholic wedding readings come from and is it possible to get wedding gift ideas from the words being read? Actually, it is. Let’s break down how and where those readings are taken from.
The First Reading From the Old Testament
While it is liturgically correct to choose any reading from the Old Testament as the first reading in the Liturgy of the Word, some of the most popular include:
- Genesis 2 – Woman created from man’s rib.
- Tobit 7 – Marriage as the joining together of man and woman.
- Song of Songs – 2 and 8 are love poems.
- Jeremiah 31 – The new covenant of God.
A Reading From the Book of Psalms
In between the first and second scripture readings is a reading and corresponding responses taken from the Book of Psalms, which translates as Songs. Popular Psalms for weddings include:
- Psalm 33 – The goodness of God.
- Psalm 34 – Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
- Psalm 128 – The joys and beauty of home life.
The Second Reading From the New Testament
This is a reading from the New Testament but not a reading from the four gospels. Some of the most popular NT readings include:
- Romans 8 – Where nothing can separate us from God’s love.
- 1 Corinthians 12-13 – Love is patient, love is kind…
- Ephesians 5 – Mystery of church and marriage.
In fact, since Christ came to teach a new commandment, that of love, much of the New Testament focuses on love and is perfect for readings during the Sacrament of Marriage.
Culmination in the Gospel Reading
Finally, after the first three readings, it’s time for all to rise for the Word of God, the Gospel. Popular wedding Gospels include:
- Matthew 7 – House build on rock.
- Mark 10 – Where the two shall live as one.
- John 2 – Wedding feast at Cana where Christ turns water into wine.
And again, since Jesus came to teach love, there are many Gospel readings well suited to the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Now that you have an idea of just how important the Word of God is within the Liturgy, it will be possible to find that one gift that will always be a special reminder of this most blessed day.
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