Wedding Lectionary: Revelation 19:1, 5-9a

Revelation 19 is a curious choice for the wedding liturgy. Lots of couples agree, seemingly, for they’ve never (in my experience) chosen this passage. Maybe they get stuck on 1 Corinthians 13 and never go beyond that.

This is the canticle for Sunday evening prayer outside of Lent. It celebrates the triumph of Christ over Babylon, and is voiced by the elect of heaven, as heard by John:

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia! Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God.”

A voice coming from the throne said:

“Praise our God, all you his servants, and you who revere him, small and great.”

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder, as they said:

“Alleluia!

The Lord has established his reign, our God, the almighty.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory.

For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready.

She was allowed to wear a bright, clean linen garment.”

(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)

Then the angel said to me,

“Write this: Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

I doubt many brides wear linen, but the imagery may be enough to catch the attention of some.

The traditional interpretation given is that Christ’s relationship with the Church is likened to groom with bride. Perhaps an engaged couple believes they have come through a period of great trial to arrive at their wedding day. Or perhaps they wish to make a statement about the Church, and its importance in their lives.

Of course, a couple may wish simply to offer praise to God. No other wedding reading is as explicit and single-minded about that sentiment. It’s a natural urge, if one feels truly thankful for the sacramental celebration. That alone makes it a worthy inclusion for the wedding day. I don’t know why more couples don’t choose it.

Any comments?

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About catholicsensibility

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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5 Responses to Wedding Lectionary: Revelation 19:1, 5-9a

  1. abd88b says:

    We have chosen this for our wedding this summer.

  2. Jim McK says:

    We chose this for our wedding 25 years ago. Our pastor said it was the first time anyone had ever chosen it at a wedding he celebrated.

    It still expresses the joy of marriage, so unsurpassed that it is the only apt metaphor to describe the joy at the end of time. Marriage is a foretaste of that heavenly union, much like the Eucharist is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. I hope that every married couple revels in that gift.

  3. john says:

    it should be used for weddings during Paschaltide. The book of Revelation is used as readings after Easter. Certain readings should be used for different times of the liturgical year.

  4. Peter says:

    This is going to be read at our wedding too. I was just Googling to see if anyone else had chosen these words.

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