Christian Wedding Ceremony

Your Faith Should Be a Big Part of Your Big Day
Christian wedding ceremonies are both beautiful and holy. Holding your wedding ceremony in a church or at least having your ceremony performed by a minister is a necessary element for a valid marriage according to Christian tradition and beliefs. Your pastor, your parents, your guests and most importantly, God, will appreciate this.

Catholic Christians believe marriage is a sacrament - "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring. It has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized." It is an outward sign that produces an inward state of grace. The sacrament of matrimony, therefore, must take place in a parish with a nuptial mass. The bride and groom need to be confirmed (Confirmation is another sacrament) Catholic Christians. They must be free to marry, and to marry each other. That is, they must be an unmarried man and woman, with no impediments as set out by Catholic Canon law. The two participants must be one man and one woman, be free to marry, willingly and knowingly enter into a valid marriage contract, and validly execute the performance of the contract.

Many protestant (non-Catholic Christians) wedding ceremonies are held on the beach or in a forest setting. The Catholic Church teaches that the ceremony must be a nuptial mass held in a holy place (a Catholic parish.) During a Catholic nuptial mass, the bride and groom receive the Eucharist (Jesus Christ's body and blood made present through the consecration of bread and wine as given by Jesus through the priesthood he instituted at the last supper). The bride and groom kneel before the altar where consecration takes place. Catholic ceremonies always include a nuptial mass, making it considerably longer and more elaborate and holier than a Protestant ceremony.

The Protestant ceremony can be as short as fifteen minutes, if the bride and groom do not choose to include additional songs and readings. Song and reading selections are usually Christian in nature, but they do not always have to be. Unity candles are a popular tradition among Christian ceremonies but are not mandatory.

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