Q: My daughter recently got married. I wanted the priest to process in just like a Sunday mass. The wedding coordinator was adamant that it was not correct. Can you explain what the a wedding entrance should look like and liturgically why. We also had the brides godparents and confirmation sponsor bring up the gifts . I wanted her to split the bread into two Ciborias but she wanted to have one carry the chalice up at the offertory. Our priest of course said no, I’d like to explain to her why it was not correct. Thank you.
A: Congratulations on your daughter’s marriage, and I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties with the priest.
The revised Order of Celebrating Matrimony allows two different versions of the procession. In the first, the priest and ministers go to the door to greet “the bridal party” and the procession “takes place in the customary manner.” In the second version he greets the couple at their places.
Both descriptions are unclear. Which “customary manner” does the first mean? The way that mass customary begins on Sundays? Or the way that weddings customarily begin with the priest, bride and groom entering from different locations? The Latin and Spanish clearly state that the couple enter after the priest in the first form, but the English translation is less clear. The English translation also uses the word “bridal party” instead of “engaged couple”, which the other translations clearly state.
The second description never explains how everyone gets to their places, just that the priest greets the couple after he enters.
In my view, both descriptions are vague enough to allow various options for the procession. There really is no single right way to do it. See my books One Love and Inseparable Love, both available from The Liturgical Press.
Regarding the gifts, there is no provision for someone carrying a chalice unless it is filled with wine. In practice, the bread is frequently divided into more than one ciborium.