Wedding Readings

For some reason, some of the CS posts on the Rite of Marriage are still generating visits. People who google “marriage” seem to end up here to the tune of twenty to thirty hits a day. In a combox, Beth asks for a listing of readings for the Marriage Rite, and I think I can comply.

When I work with engaged couples on their wedding liturgy, one of a few things can happen. Sometimes one or more readings is a given heading into our meeting. 1 Corinthians 13 is still popular, though not nearly as much twenty years ago. Most often, couples are mystified at the Old Testament choices. Genesis 2 or Tobit 8 are chosen more or less by default. The Gospel choices are all over the place.

I suggest couples take home the resource book we provide for them, Together For Life, a staple of wedding prep for decades, at least in the parishes I’ve landed in. To prepare the liturgy with more prayer, I suggest they also use Prayerbook for Engaged Couples. On the recommendation of our pastor, Fr Russ, my wife and I used this book for our marriage preparation. Its advantage is that serious couples can begin the practice of praying together.

As for the readings, I’d like to take them one at a time. Perhaps Neil or Liam would have comments to add. If either one of them would like to post a commentary on any of the wedding readings, I’m all for it.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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8 Responses to Wedding Readings

  1. Liam says:

    Options for the First Reading:
    Genesis 1:26-28, 31 (the first creation account)
    Genesis 2:18-24 (the second creation account)
    Genesis 24:48-51, 58-67 (Isaac & Rebecca)
    Tobit 7:9-10, 11-15 (Tobias & Sarah)
    Tobit 8:5-7 (Tobias’ prayer)
    Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16; 8:6-7 (a gorgeous biblical love song)
    Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16 (the qualities of a good spouse)
    Jeremiah 31:31-32a, 33-34a (God’s covenant with his people as a model for the marriage covenant)

    Options for the Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 128 is considered classic):
    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 33:12, 18, 20-21, 22)
    I will bless the Lord at all times (Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9)
    The Lord is kind and merciful (Psalm 103:1-2, 8, 13, 17-18)
    Happy are those who do what the Lord commands (Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, 9)
    Happy are those who fear the Lord (Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5)
    The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures (Psalm 145:8-9, 10, 15, 17-18)
    Let all praise the name of the Lord (Psalm 148:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14)

    Options for the Second Reading

    Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 (The depth of God’s love)
    Romans 12:1-2, 9-18 [long form] or Romans 12:1-2, 9-13 [short form] (Christian love)
    1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20 (the holiness of the bodies of the faithful)
    1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:8 (the famous discourse on love)
    Ephesians 5:2, 21-33 [long form] or Ephesians 5:2, 25-32 [short form] (marriage is modeled on the relationship between Christ and his Church)
    Colossians 3:12-17 (Love as the perfection of virtue)
    1 Peter 3:1-9 (the standards for spousal conduct)
    1 John 3:18-24 (love of God obliges love of each other)
    1 John 4:7-12 (ditto but with more emphasis on this flowing from the God’s very being and nature)
    Revelation 19:1, 5-9 (the wedding feast of the Lamb – which is really the whole theme the book of Revelation)

    Options for the Gospel:

    Matthew 5:1-12 (the Beatitudes)
    Matthew 5:13-16 (be salt and light for God)
    Matthew 7:21, 24-29 [long form] or Matthew 7:21, 24-25 [short form] (build your life on God)
    Matthew 19:3-6 (marriage is a divinely-blessed unity of love that cannot be dissolved)
    Matthew 22:35-40 (the Golden Rule)
    Mark 10:6-9 (marriage is a divinely-blessed unity of love that cannot be dissolved)

    John 2:1-11 (the wedding at Cana)
    John 15:9-12 (Jesus’ final discourse at the Last Supper)
    John 15:12-16 (ditto)
    John 17:20-26 (ditto)

    (Weddings that occur on all Sundays or major holy days must use the readings the Lectionary for Mass provides for that day.)

  2. kiwi_nomad06 says:

    I ended up reading the Song of Songs reading at the wedding of one of my cousins. (My sister was supposed to read it, but she ended up going to a funeral.) I had worked in Israel in my younger days and it somehow speaks to me of that landscape. I am pretty certain I also read the verses omitted here, about winter being past and flowers appearing on the earth. I was in Israel in springtime when the rains ended and the red poppies grew in magnificent profusion.

  3. Neil says:

    Dear Todd,

    Thanks for the invitation. I’ll put up a commentary on 1 Corinthians 13, on account of its popularity, next week.

    Best,
    Neil

  4. Cantor says:

    Speaking of the wedding readings, does anyone here know of a published resource for resp. psalms for weddings that match the Lectionary (either verbatim or with 1963 Grail)?

  5. Todd says:

    Doesn’t the Gelineau opus contain them? I vaguely recall one or two later volumes of it including ritual Masses, but it’s been a long time since I’ve used that resource. OCP might have some of those ubiquitous Owen Alstott psalms.

    The trick is finding the refrains set to music; you can always chant the psalm verses.

  6. Cantor says:

    I think Worship II might have the refrains…and I suppose the verses could be assembled from what is published.

    Still, it surprises me that no one bothers to publish these as a single resource.

  7. Todd says:

    “Still, it surprises me that no one bothers to publish these as a single resource.”

    Publishers demur about sending 50% of the copyrights to the USCCB. That’s one reason why you see so many psalm paraphrases. David Haas published a full set of wedding psalms, but I assumed you weren’t interested in that.

  8. Pingback: Wedding Lectionary: 1 Corinthians 12-13 « Catholic Sensibility

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