Celebrating a church wedding? If you getting married in a Catholic church, you’ll be asked to select up to three Scripture readings for the liturgy. One from the Old Testament, and two from the New. Of those two, one will always be from one of the four gospels, and the other from one of the other books of the NT.
Presented here in easy-to-reference format, are the choices for wedding readings. They include a basic commentary geared more to the couple and less to advanced Scripture study. I hope that will be helpful.
If you have questions, you can discuss in the comboxes or e-mail me for a more direct answer. If you choose the latter, I recommend contacting me at my church office, where I keep more resources on hand to assist.
Old Testament readings (choose one):
- Genesis 1 (the creation of man and woman)
- Genesis 2 (woman from the rib of man, who leaves parents for his wife)
- Genesis 24 (Isaac and Rebekah, love story and consolation)
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (a non-Lectionary choice, the greatest commandment)
- Deuteronomy 8:7-14a, 17-18 (a non-Lectionary choice, gratitude for blessings)
- Ruth 1:8-11a, 13b-17 (a non-Lectionary choice, Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi)
- Tobit 7 (marriage is a joining together)
- Tobit 8 (A couple on their wedding night)
- Proverbs 31:10-31 (a worthy wife)
- Song of Songs 2 & 8 (love poetry)
- Sirach 26 (describes a good wife)
- Jeremiah 31 (God’s new covenant)
- Hosea 2 (for engaged couples, God and people betrothed)
Psalm (choose one):
- Psalm 33 (God’s goodness fills the earth)
- Psalm 34 (taste and see the Lord’s goodness)
- Psalm 103 (God’s tender mercy)
- Psalm 112 (obedience to God)
- Psalm 118 (a non-Lectionary choice: this is the day God made)
- Psalm 121 (a non-Lectionary choice: God is always near, ready to help)
- Psalm 128 (the joys of home life)
- Psalm 145 (praising God’s compassion)
- Psalm 148 (all creation praises God)
New Testament (choose one non-Gospel reading):
- Romans 8 (nothing can separate us from Christ’s love)
- Romans 12 (offer yourselves to God)
- Romans 15 (welcome, joy, and peace)
- 1 Corinthians 6 (the body is a temple of the Spirit)
- 1 Corinthians 12-13 (love is patient …)
- Ephesians 4 (live a life worthy of the calling to love)
- Ephesians 5 (the mystery of marriage and the church)
- Philippians 2 (for engaged couples, unity not selfishness)
- Philippians 4 (rejoice!)
- Colossians 3 (love is the bond of perfection)
- Hebrews 13 (let marriage be held in honor)
- 1 Peter 3 (agreement, sympathy, and love)
- 1 John 3 (love is real and active)
- 1 John 4 (God is love)
- Revelation 19 (wedding feast in heaven)
Gospel readings (choose one):
- Matthew 5:1-12 (Beatitudes)
- Matthew 5:13-16 (salt and light for the world)
- Matthew 7 (building a house on rock)
- Matthew 14 (Jesus walks on water, an unofficial choice)
- Matthew 19 (what God unites, we must not divide)
- Matthew 22 (the greatest commandments)
- Mark 10 (two become one)
- John 2 (Jesus turns water to wine)
- John 13 (a non-Lectionary choice: Jesus washes his disciples’ feet)
- John 15 (Jesus preaches love)
- John 17 (Jesus prays for unity)
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Thanks for all the great ideas I could sure use some, as my wedding draws near. :)
A great wedding graphic just came through my twitter feed. It’s a wedding photography guide for brides and thought it would be something that you would like to post for your visitors.
Hope you like it, and find it helpful, I know I did (as a soon to be bride).
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my neice is getting married oct 27 not in the catholic church .can you rec.a prayer or a reading that I could do without offending some of the wedding party ?
Without knowing family or religion issues, it’s hard to predict what might be offensive. 1 Cor 13 is read for a lot of weddings. Jesus’ teaching the Beatitudes, Matthew 5. And for the Old Testament, perhaps Genesis 2. The royal wedding in England used Romans 12–that’s become popular since Prince William and Princess Kate chose it.
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Any readings particularly suitable for a wedding to be held just after Christmas (29th December)? Thanks :)
I plan to marry Dec. 27, 2014. We feel the story of Rebekah and Isaac suits my grooms situation of grieving for his mother. Would this be appropriate.
I’ve been wondering: are these the *only* acceptable choices? I’ve had a number of couples interested in using Ps. 118, for instance, because of its particularly joyful refrain.
I have played the two Easter psalms, 118 and 66, for weddings. I think they are acceptable. The only sticking point might be a music director or pastor who insists on going “by the book.” I think a few other psalms outside of the Seven would be agreeable. Perhaps even the Magnificat.
I am getting married on a saturday during lent, while i know that alleluia can’t be said, are there other no-no’s I should be aware of? I am leaning towards Tobit 8, psalm 145, 1 john 4, and john 2. Am I ok?
My wedding is coming up in February 2016. I will like to have suggestions on the readings to pick for that day. It’s Feb 6th 2016
Nanu, I would read through the possibilities with your beloved and see what readings move the two of you in a religious sense. And consult with your clergy.
Can i give the first and 2nd reading if i am not Catholic?
I am getting married in October 2016, and I was wondering if these would be acceptable.
A reading from the Book of Ruth;
Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or quit following you! Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will become my people and your God my God.”
This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
A Reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians
Love is always patient and kind:
It is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end. In a word, there are three things which last forever, faith, hope and love- the greatest of these is love.
This is the word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
Priest: A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
All: Glory to you, Lord.
Jesus said to his disciples: `As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I loved you.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Hi Sarah, and congratulations on your wedding.
You might check with the priest and parish where you are getting married. The reading from Ruth is not in the official Lectionary, and a few places are sticklers on that point. Also, the statement for the reader no longer has “This is,” it is just “The Word of the Lord. The response for the Gospel is “And with you spirit.”
You are planning ahead: my wife would say that’s a good sign.
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Just a question, do the readings have to be in this order? Can a new testament reading come before an old testament reading?
The order of readings is pretty traditional across almost every Christian tradition: Old Testament first, New next, and Jesus in the Gospel last (and presumably, saving the best for last).
Dear Sir, Pl can you suggest a suitable 1st reading from the old testament for a marriage between a Catholic girl n Hindu boy.
Hi Mariola. Good question. I think the best choice is what the couple will decide after they read together a few possibilities. If I were you, I would start with Tobit 8, Genesis 2, and Ruth 1 and see what the girl and boy feel in their heart after each one.
My wedding is on Sunday, April 30th, third Sunday of Easter…. Guide me on the suitable readings..
If your wedding Mass is on an Easter Sunday, you use the Sunday readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/043017.cfm. If it’s not a Mass, then you have more leeway and I suggest a first reading from Revelation or 1 John. Psalm 118. a second reading from the usual options, and one of the Gospel readings from the Last Supper.
My wedding will be this coming June 11, 2017, Sunday. would like to check what would be the appropriate verses of the Bible should be tackled during the mass.
Hoping for your kind assistance.
Hi Jezel. That date is Sunday, observed as the feast of the Holy Trinity. Depending on your country, your choice of readings may be limited to the Sunday Mass readings. Your clergy may permit a choice of the New Testament reading. And there, your options includes readings about love, or about God’s love for us. Not knowing you personally, and not being in your parish, I would hesitate to make any single suggestion. If your priest gives you a choice, just sit with your beloved, read 2 or 3 options out loud together, and come to an agreement based on what you hear.
We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on 12th September 2017. Can we have two reading for the a mass if yes than we need your help in choosing us the litrugy for the mass.
It’s a Tuesday in ordinary time. The most significant person to speak with would be your parish pastor. For a 25th anniversary, there are significant insertions or substitutions for the Mass that can be made. But your priest is the person with whom you can discuss these. Substituting readings for a special anniversary is permitted by the Roman Missal.
As for which ones to suggest to the clergy, you and your wife can review all the possibilities and offer one or two of the readings to the priest for his consideration. I hesitate to make suggestions for people I don’t know personally. Your choice from these Bible readings will always be better than mine.
Do you have any Prayers of the Faithful or Universal Prayers for Weddings?
I do. If you send me an e-mail with your beloved’s first name, I’ll send them to you in a reply. Check my sidebar for the address to contact me.
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Choosing your readings is one of the ways a wedding can be made really personal. Popular Bible passages are given here, but your vicar can help with choosing alternatives if you d like something different.