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Catholic Weddings

Your opinion on length of mass

So, I keep reading on these knot columns and etiquette sites that it is rude to make your ceremony take longer than thirty minutes.  This advice irritates me for obvious reasons.  Clearly, I am not going to sacrifice the most important part of the day, the ceremony, for some retarded etiquette rule.  But, it got me thinking who comes up with this and decided it was rude in the first place?  Did they ever think it was rude to expect people to compromise their own wedding vows and wedding ceremony for convenience of guests getting too bored?  

Also, when my parents had their 25th wedding anniversary, they had a very nice vow renewal and a party to celebrate.  They hired a choir and chose some beautiful music for the choir to sing and the priest nixed a bunch of it because he said it would make the ceremony too long and people would get restless.  I find this strange.  Since when is coming to church about being entertained and getting your worship done as fast as possible?  I think music, especially the sacred music my parents chose, is an important part of worship and prayer and should not be thought of as something to 'get over with".  The same goes for the ceremony.  

what are all of your thoughts on these "rules" about length of ceremony?  Would you feel differently if it was a very long ceremony for a religion you were unfamiliar with?  

Re: Your opinion on length of mass

  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I think it's a shame and is a result of our culture becoming more and more about instant gratification, convenience and comfort. I'd never feel that a bride or groom was rude because they had a long ceremony, though I know many who would. I think it's a kind and thoughtful gesture for the bride and groom to communicate the length to their guests in advance so they know what to expect and can be prepared. Unfortunately, I think short ceremonies are going to become more and more "normal" making anything longer than 30 minutes "unacceptable". 

    I think I'm actually the opposite: when I go to a ceremony that is only 15 minutes (or less), where there doesn't seem to be much content in the ceremony, I sometimes question why the couple bothered throwing such a big bash. The reception becomes so much more important than anything else that it wonder what the intent of the couple really is. One of my closest friends had a 15 minute ceremony (very similar to a city-hall style), and the reception was just monstrous in comparison. It felt odd to me.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011

    One of the reasons why the mention of Nuptial Mass is made in the invitation is to indicate to your guests that the ceremony will last longer than the "typical" wedding ceremony.

    When I was a kid, every wedding I attended was religious, so even the Protestant weddings lasted an hour, because they did a full service with readings, hymms, etc.  It's so weird to me that weddings can be 15 minutes now.  I guess if the couple is absolutely unreligious, there's no point in going through the whole spectacle, but I agree that marriage is serious, shouldn't there be focus on the couple's love, hopes, promises to each other?  Why do people want to minimize the very point of the whole day and celebration?

  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i'm with Riss.  i actually am more irritated at the quickie 15 minute weddings.  way too much emphasis is placed on the reception.  But that aside, if you arent religious and choose to have a non-relgious person administer your vows, you cant really be faulted if its short.  you obviously arent going to have bible readings at a god-less wedding so i'm not sure what they'd fill the remainder of the time with anyway.

    one of the prettiest weddings (and longest) i ever went to was a greek orthodox.  i think it was a full hour and a half.  simply gorgeous.  the reception that followed pulled out all of the stops, but the thing i remember most was the beauty and meaning in their ceremony.  coudlnt tell you what i ate or what flavor the cake was.  although the open bar might have somethign to do with that..... lol

    that aside, i've actually never heard it was rude to have longer than 30 minute ceremonies.
  • unplainjaneunplainjane member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i never heard about it being rude for having a ceremony longer then 30 minutes. the time sounds so arbitrary. my priest said a normal catholic ceremony with mass is around an hour. it is what it is so people shouldn't have a problem with this. i've never been to a really long ceremony that is way over an hour but if it was part of the couples tradition or religion as a guest i would respect that. as long as i was able to sit down and be comfortable : )
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Your opinion on length of mass:
    [QUOTE]lol that aside, i've actually never heard it was rude to have longer than 30 minute ceremonies.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    I didn't think anyone felt it was rude until until I saw a few polls on the knot asking what bothers you the most as a guest and was appalled at how many people said "ceremonies longer than 30 minutes".
  • caitriona87caitriona87 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Even the shortest weddings I've been to have been at LEAST 30 minutes. And the ones that are 30 minutes I tend to find surprisingly short.

    Our wedding was two hours. Embarassed Not intentionally, but we had a beautiful Mass setting (Hassler's Mass for Eight Voices, it's just gorgeous) so that took a long time, and my priest gave an amazing, but certainly not short, homily. No one mentioned the length negatively and even a year later we still get compliments on how beautiful the whole thing was. In the words of my eight-year-old niece, "it only felt like about 20 minutes." Lol! That was all I needed to hear to never ever feel bad about the length of it again.
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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    This is like perfect timing. I just spoke with the priest who is doing my ceremony.  I swear this guy is Speedy Gonzalez.  He said, "The ceremony will be 30 minutes. If you have a mass, it will be 40.  Our average mass times here are 37 minutes on Sundays."

    He is not kidding either... Mass is always under 40 minutes there, and it's a pretty good-sized congregation.

    But honestly, if it lasts an hour or more,I'm not going to feel like I'm inconveniencing anyone.  It's my day, and I want it done *right*.  Like Calypso said, people put way too much emphasis on the reception.  There wouldn't be a reception if the marriage didn't happen...  I only think people will get restless if they are sitting in the church for 30 minutes before the bridal party starts to come in.
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  • edited December 2011
    I was also shocked by how many people on TK hate weddings longer then 30 minutes.  FI and I both come from large Catholic families, so almost every wedding I've been to has been a Catholic mass.  I agree that when I go to weddings that are only 20-30 minutes, I think they are really short. 

    That being said, I'm trying to be mindful of of our non-Catholic guests who aren't used to the length of Catholic weddings. I wouldn't dream of cutting anything out of the ceremony, but I'm also avoiding adding more to the mass.  For instance, we've chosen not to do a dedication to Mary or have extended music solos. 
  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Catarntina, do they not have music at that church??

    Also, Riss, I totally agree with you.  I've only been to one ceremony that wasn't a full Christian ceremony of some sort and it was fifteen minutes. I thought it was awfully short and i felt gipped.  I thought it was so weird that we flew all the way down there and they had this huge party for something that took fifteen minutes to complete.  It just seemed...... sort of meaningless.  The ceremony should be the most important part of the day.  I don't know why anyone would want it to be so short.  I feel very lucky that both his family and mine are Catholic so we won't be inconveniencing too many people.  
  • edited December 2011
    I don't mind short ceremonies.  Can't tell you why, I guess I just get all caught up in the moment.  I did love my hour long Catholic ceremony.  I still say the best part about the entire day was getting to actually sit back and enjoy the ceremony.

    ETA: I also like how the wedding party got to sit down.  Sure my ceremony was an hour long, but I didn't make my wedding party stand for 30 min through your ceremony.
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  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I don't get the hatred for a ceremony of any length.  It serves a purpose and it's the reason for the reception.  Why start complaining about it?
  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    banana, totally agreed.  I think that has to be just the rudest thing ever.  To expect the couple to compromise the ceremony for entertainment of the guests.  Did these people forget that they traveled all this way (supposedly) for a WEDDING and not for a party?  In my opinion it is much ruder to tell someone how to start their marriage for the sake of your convenience.  

    The only thought I had where I might agree with the etiquette "rules" is if you are having a non religious ceremony and you add a bunch of stuff into it that has no personal meaning to you just to make the ceremony longer.  However, I'm pretty sure that most couples would only add elements that do have a very personal meaning to them.  
  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Your opinion on length of mass:
    [QUOTE]Catarntina, do they not have music at that church?? 
    Posted by Theresa626[/QUOTE]

    Haha.  They do have music.  I guess he just talks really fast?
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  • edited December 2011
    i'm with Banana, it's not up to the guests to dictate ceremony length... i went to a Cambodian wedding, which really lasts 3 days, but the 2nd day was all day (6-8 hours) at her parents house. i had no idea what was going on because it was all in Cambodian, but it was my friend's culture and i wanted to be there to support her the entire time. i actually really enjoyed sitting on the floor that long!

    the shortest wedding i ever went to was 8 mins! that's right, not even double digits. but like others said, they aren't religious so there wasn't really anything else to add. although, a reading of a poem that means a lot to the couple, or a song sung by a close friend would have been a nice expression of their love. she just walked up, they said vows, and it was time for "you may kiss the bride".

    i actually prefer longer ceremonies, but we won't be adding in anything extra to the regular nuptial mass. i'm a violinist so we'll have a string quartet play throughout the prelude/processiona/ceremony/recessional. we've tried to time things just right, but if people have to sit for a minute while the music finishes up i don't think it will be a big deal. at least, for me it won't... :)
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I was just thinking about this after looking at E's discussion on ceremony length.  At every Catholic ceremony I've attended, the wedding party sits for a good chunk of the ceremony, and the ceremony is indoors, so guests are seated and out of the wind/direct sun/eye blinding sunset.

    At some of the secular weddings I have attended, there wasn't adequate seating, guests had to sit in the noonday sun without any shade or deal with extreme wind or humidity, bridesmaids had to stand in heels for 30-40 minutes.  Usually, the outdoors acoustics were horrible, so I couldn't hear what anyone was saying.  In any/all of those cases, I hoped for a short ceremony as well.
  • edited December 2011
    I think I get irritated with long ceremonies when it's self-indulgent, "look how wonderful we are" stuff, like a long slide show of baby pictures, etc., or when I've heard priests or ministers go off on long tangients that have nothing to do with marriage or the couple, but if it's part of the wedding and relates to the importance and meaning of the day, (and if you're not being forced to stand in 100 degree heat), no one should complain about a longer ceremony.
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  • elliestanelliestan member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Your opinion on length of mass:
    [QUOTE]i'm with Banana, it's not up to the guests to dictate ceremony length... i went to a Cambodian wedding, which really lasts 3 days, but the 2nd day was all day (6-8 hours) at her parents house. i had no idea what was going on because it was all in Cambodian, but it was my friend's culture and i wanted to be there to support her the entire time. i actually really enjoyed sitting on the floor that long! the shortest wedding i ever went to was 8 mins! that's right, not even double digits. but like others said, they aren't religious so there wasn't really anything else to add. although, a reading of a poem that means a lot to the couple, or a song sung by a close friend would have been a nice expression of their love. she just walked up, they said vows, and it was time for "you may kiss the bride". i actually prefer longer ceremonies, but we won't be adding in anything extra to the regular nuptial mass. i'm a violinist so we'll have a string quartet play throughout the prelude/processiona/ceremony/recessional. we've tried to time things just right, but if people have to sit for a minute while the music finishes up i don't think it will be a big deal. at least, for me it won't... :)
    Posted by Ckirwin[/QUOTE]

    ooh! sorry, off topic but i'm a violinist too and have been trying to decide on the perfect pieces to have played... would you mind sharing what you're having or any suggestions? thanks!
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