My FI and I are getting married on March 15, 2014. Yes, we are aware it's during lent and originally had been told no by our church, however they turned around and said that they would have no problem allowing us to get married in their church. They said that there are no rules stating we can't get married during lent. They could have stuck with saying no, and we would have had our ceremony at a different church. We have a priest from another church performing the ceremony as he is a close family friend of my family and has married my brother and sister-in-law. He had told me at their wedding that if/when I were to get married, he would be honored to do it, should he still be alive when it happens. Of course, he was joking with that last statement, but non-the-less, we did ask him to marry us at our church. Thankfully, we don't have to jump through too many hoops for that. Since he's a priest within the diocese, he can perform the ceremony so long as he lets our church know that he will be performing the ceremony for us. He has already sent a letter to the Church making them aware that he will be performing the ceremony. They've checked with the diocese and everything is on the up & up. Which is great.
Anyhow. When I went to the parish office about a month ago, I asked for information on readings, prayers, etc. She said that they only do 2 readings, that are generic wedding ceremony readings and the rest is determined by the priest. I told her that I was advised by my priest that there is a book that we would be able to chose our readings from, etc. She said that she has no recollection of such book. We then asked her for the organist information, to which we received his name and number. So needless to say, I have to make a phone call to the organist. No big deal at all. I contacted our priest that is marrying us and he told me to come to his church and after mass he'll give me the book. So, we drove the 45 minutes to his church and received the book that he was telling us about. There are TONS of readings to chose from and they're broken down into 1st reading, 2nd reading, gospel, prayers and what have you. I'm super excited about the book and have dog eared some readings that I think would fit perfectly for our wedding ceremony. I just have to go over them with FI to see if he feels the same.
We are not perfect catholics. We don't go to church every Sunday, but we do attend at least 2 or 3x a month. We switch it up between our church and the church our priest is apart of. That way we have a presence in our church as well as in front of the priest who will be marrying us. We've completed Pre-cana and learned ALOT from it. I never knew NFP was such a big thing with the church and I feel horrible that I am on the pill. My FI and I have decided that once we are married, we will use NFP. Anyhow. Back to the topic of this post.
I have a couple of questions about the catholic ceremony:
1) Who should I pick to do the readings?
2) Does the person have to be a practicing catholic in order to do the reading?
3) If members of the bridal party are not catholic, how do you handle communion during mass for those individuals?
4) Can we ask the priest to give each member of the bridal party communion, rather then having to walk up to the alter for communion?
5) Who should we choose to bring up the gifts during mass?
6) Can we say our own vows or use those provided by the church?
I plan to invite our priest over for dinner soon so that he can get to know FI and I a little better. He likes to get to know the couple he's marrying so he can tweak the ceremony to be more personal for us. He did the same for my brother & sister-in-law and it was beautiful.
I'm so for being so long winded, but I'm excited and can't seem to find the answers online. I'm sure they're there, but they must be hiding. LOL.
Thanks for all your help in advance. I appreciate it all!!!