The Marriage RIte Get Me To The Church On Time All Souls Church Nuptial Mass Welcome

The Marriage Rite

Mayra and Brice will celebrate a Missa pro sponso et sponsa, known as a Nuptial Mass, at The Roman Catholic Church of All Saints on August 18 at 3pm.  Father Neil O’Connell will officiate.  The Roman Catholic wedding rite takes place with the Sacrament of Matrimony, one of the seven sacraments. The ceremony consists of three biblical readings, a homily, the exchange of vows, the exchange of rings, the Prayer of the Faithful, the nuptial blessing, and prayers and appropriate music.

The Roman Catholic wedding is rich in tradition and liturgy. Since a wedding is primarily a worship service, great care goes into planning the ceremony itself.  The marriage ceremony is not a private ceremony, but rather a public ritual.  It is celebrated in the church and encourages those who have gathered not only to witness the vows of the couple, but also to participate fully in the liturgy.  The Catholic Church encourages the couple - and other Catholic bridal party members - to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony.

During the nuptial mass, which will be under an hour and a half, congregants are seated unless otherwise noted.  The order of a nuptial mass consists of:
          Congregation rises
                   Priest and altar boys and girls process   
                    Groom and his family enter
                    Bride’s family enters
                    Bridal party and Godparents’ Procession
                   Bride’s Procession
Introductory Rite
Penitential Rite
Opening Prayer
          Congregation sits after the priest sits down
Reading from The Old Testament
          A friend or family member of the bride and groom read
Responsorial Psalm or Hymn
Reading from The New Testament
          A friend or family member of the bride and groom read
Gospel Acclamation
          Congregation rises
Gospel Reading
   The Wedding at Cana in Galilee
   The officiating priest reads
   Congregation sits after the priest has finished the homily and has sat down      
Exchange of Vows and Blessing of Rings
          Congregation stands

Presentation of Gifts
Offertory Hymn
Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Nuptial Blessing
Sign of the Peace
   Those wishing to take communion approach the altar, others remain seated.
Offering to Mary
   Congregation remains standing, and in the church, until Father Neil exits.



In addition to what you may have seen in Roman Catholic weddings, Mayra’s and Brice’s wedding will have elements of a traditional Mexican Roman Catholic wedding.  Mexican weddings tend to be large with many attendants. In addition to bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, and ring bearer, there are attendants called madrinas (godmothers) and padrinos (godfathers), and they have special roles in the wedding.

The madrina de ramo carries flowers for the Virgin Mary.The padrinos de laso carry a jeweled or beaded rope that is placed around the couple as they say their vows, to symbolize their union.   As part of the ceremony to symbolize unity, a large loop of rosary beads or a lasso is placed in a figure eight shape around the shoulders of the couple after they have exchanged their vows.  The padrinos de laso place the lasso around the shoulders of the bride and groom, groom's shoulder's first.  Sometimes a lasso, entwined with orange blossoms (which symbolize fertility and happiness) is used.  A double rosary lasso may also be given by one set of the parents and may be blessed with holy water three times in honor of the trinity.

The couple wears the lasso throughout the remainder of the service. The loop is symbolic of their love which should bind the couple together everyday as they equally share the responsibility of marriage for the rest of their lives.   At the end of the ceremony, the lasso is removed by either the couple which placed the lasso on the couple, or the priest. The lasso is given to the Bride as a memento of her becoming the mistress of the groom's heart and home.

gold coin, arras


The padrinos de arras hold the 13 coins the bridegroom presents to the bride. This custom originated in Rome and developed further in Spain.  The presentation of the coins, or arrhea, was a Roman custom of breaking gold or silver, one half to be kept by the woman and the other half by the man, as a pledge of marriage. 

The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence. He pledges that he places all of his goods into her care and safekeeping.  Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.

In Spain, the custom was that thirteen gold coins, arras, are given to the bride by the bridegroom, signifying that he will support her. Often presented in ornate boxes or gift trays, this represents the bride’s dowry and holds good wishes for prosperity. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.  The coins are presented to the priest by the padrinos de arras. The priest then blesses the coins and hands them to the bride who places them in the groom's cupped hands at the beginning of the ceremony. The coins are then placed on a tray and handed to an assistant to be held until later in the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony the box and coins are given to the priest, who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom.   The groom will then pour the coins into the bride's cupped hands and places the box on top. This represents his giving her control as his mistress of all his worldly goods. Their hands are tied with a ribbon for this portion of the ceremony.

There are also the very important  padrinos de velacíon, whom the bride and groom have chosen to turn to for guidance throughout their married life. The padrinos de copas carry the champagne or wine glasses to be blessed by the priest.  The couple will drink from these glasses for their first toast as a married couple.