Advice on orders of service

The Rite of Marriage

Below is an example of information you may wish to include in your order of service for your wedding. Your priest will meet with you to help you prepare your order of service, the choice of readings and the make up of the mass booklet.

How It Will Unfold


The Introductory Rites

Prelude Music

Title, composer and names of musicians playing

Processional Music

Title, composer and name of musicians playing,
unless you wish this to be a surprise

Opening Hymn

song lyrics for congregation to sing


The Liturgy of the Word

There will be two readings, with a psalm in between. The first reading is usually from the Old Testament, the second from the Epistles. You can find some suggestions for readings here. You may choose to sing the psalm or have a close family friend or relative read it out. Both readings may be read by someone close to you.

This will be followed by the Gospel, which is a reading from the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. It will read by the Priest officiating at your wedding and will be followed by a Homily. You may wish to meet with your Priest to discuss any ideas he may have for this part of the mass.

The Celebration of Matrimony

The congregation will stand whilst the marriage rites are performed:

  1. Statement of Intentions

  2. Exchange of Consent, followed by a sung Alleluia if desired

  3. Blessing and Exchange of Rings, followed by a sung Alleluia if desired

  4. Prayers of intercession. The congregation will respond after each prayer


The Liturgy of the Eucharist

The congregation will be seated during the Offertory. A hymn of your choosing will be sung. Two of your friends or family will bring the gifts to the altar.


You may wish to encourage your friends and family to receive a blessing if they are not Catholic. During Communion, two hymns and instrumental music of your choosing will be played.

Concluding Rites

The congregation will be invited to stand for a prayer, and then invited to sit for closing notices. Following the final blessing, the couple will be invited to sign the marriage register. Whilst they are doing this, music of your choice is usually played. A recessional hymn is played whilst the bride and groom process out.