With only 33 days before the wedding, I have finally bitten the bullet and started working on putting the Ceremony programs / missalette together. Actually, I only started working on it because our officiating priest asked me to prepare it so he can take a look at our reading selections and the Filipino/Hispanic parts of the mass that he is not familiar with.

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We’re having a full Roman Catholic mass. Yes, the longer one with communion and everything. I hope people enjoy music because my goal is to keep people from falling asleep with beautiful music. Not everyone attending our wedding is Catholic including Mr. Bloom so I hope to keep it interesting. Luckily, my priests and the parish are not as strict with their music requirements. It doesn’t have to be all hymnals! However, I’d still rather avoid it being like a Broadway show!

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I digress! First thing to be done is to select our readings for the ceremony. My main reference is a booklet that we received at Marriage Preparation (Pre-Cana) classes back in April. The booklet is called “Celebrating Our Love: Liturgical Resources for Preparing and Celebrating Marriage”. It was very helpful and in an easy-to-read format. It includes most of the readings and descriptions on what is standard for Canadian Catholic weddings. They also outline what is needed for an outside-mass, a celebration without communion/Eucharist.

Another resource is this website: http://www.catholicbrides.com . This website allows you to interactively create your program on the fly using their Template Wizard. They also have a printing service with specialty papers and inks if you would like your programs printed professionally. Please note that you are not able to printout your templates. I just used their website as reference as they include all the reading selections and Responsorial psalms that go with each reading. They also have suggested song lists for each part of the mass.

So now I’ve selected the readings that both Mr. Bloom and I could relate to. This was easier than I thought. I wanted to choose readings that were not so… well… Bible-thumper-y. I ended up choosing the favourites, an excerpt from the Book of Genesis aka “Adam & Eve”, and from the First Book of Corinthians aka “Love Never Fails”. I remember watching the movie “The Wedding Crashers”. When Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made a bet on the reading being I Corinthians, I burst out laughing. As some of you know, my brother and I attend many weddings each year. Doing these wedding bets is what we do!

Second task is to find out how to do the Candle Ceremony. The Candle Ceremony is a worldwide custom. Sometimes the Sand ceremony is used in its place. I was not sure when the Candle Sponsors come up to light the side candles and when the Bride and Groom light the center Unity candle.

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The Unity Candle symbolizes the very essence of what the wedding is about: the combining of two individual lives into one life and also the merging of two families. I find it very fitting that the Candle ceremony happens at the start and at the end of the ceremony. The side candles are lit at the start of the ceremony by the Candle Sponsors. At the end of the ceremony, the Bride and Groom take the side candle tapers and light the Unity Candle together. We chose to keep our side candles lit because we believe it’s important to keep our own individuality while living as a couple.

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The third missing component to our program is the Filipino parts of the mass. I have observed how others timed the placing of the veil, cord and the giving of coins. Most of the time, the priest just calls up each set of sponsors and they do their task. Because most of our guests are not Filipino or grew up in Canada, I wanted the priest to preface what each piece symbolizes before calling up each pair of sponsors. I searched and searched online and found this link:

Weddings by Lance – Filipino Catholic Mass Order and wording

Also, from MyBarong.com My Barong: Filipino Wedding Traditions

My last step before pdf-ing this thing and sending out to our priest is… *drumroll*… to time it! I’m going to time how long it would take to deliver the mass and add the time for music. Hopefully it won’t be more than an hour and half! I’m aiming for an hour and 15 minutes or under. =)