The Catholic wedding ceremony is a lively blend of words, devotional hymns and exchanges that make it a very solemn occasion. A typical wedding is explained below.

Attending a preparatory course
The prospective bride and groom attend a Marriage Preparatory Course. They have a choice between a one-day and a three-day course. They are required to fill in a form declaring details of their lives and take an oath on the Holy Bible that they have not withheld any information and that they are aware of the duties within a Christian marriage. They must produce their baptism certificates. In the case of a mixed marriage, only the Christian partner is required to produce the baptism certificate.

Wedding rituals

Welcoming the bride
On the wedding day, a car is sent to pick up the girl and waits for her outside the Church. When the bride arrives, the Best Man welcomes her with a kiss on either cheek and hands her a posy of flowers.

The Wedding Mass
The couple walks down the aisle with the wedding procession in tow. The priest begins the ceremony. He welcomes them into the Church and offers them his good wishes. The wedding mass begins with hymns and selected readings from the Bible.

Homily
The priest delivers the Homily, an interesting lecture with an emphasis on the sanctity of marriage.

The Nuptials
During this rite, the priest asks a few questions that the couple must answer honestly. He asks them if they have come of their own free will to give themselves to the other in marriage. They must also answer in the affirmative when asked if they will hon our and love each other as husband and wife for the rest of their lives, if they will accept children from God lovingly and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His church.

The Solemn Promise
The priest guides the couple through this rite. He tells them to join their right hands and declare their consent before God and His Church. Having done this, the couple takes their wedding vows. They promise, individually, to be true to the other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. They promise to love, respect and honour each other all the days of their lives. The priest blesses the couple, joining them together in marriage, and says, "May the Lord in His goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with His blessings. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

Blessing & Exchange of Rings
The priest blesses the wedding rings so that the couple that wears them will have deep faith in each other, do the Lord's will and always live together in peace, goodwill and love. The bride and groom exchange rings with a promise of unconditional love and fidelity.

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