Marriage Ceremony Options

“The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601)

Married couples, in virtue of their Sacrament of Matrimony, express and share in the mystery of marital love that exists between Christ and the Church. Through your preparation and entering into this holy vocation as married persons you are a symbol of unconditional love and intimate communion between Jesus, (the Groom) and the Church (His bride).

To witness the love of a man and woman made holy in the Sacrament of Matrimony is to see concretely the love between Christ and His Church. Marriage fills us with great joy and gratitude. That is why we take the preparation and celebration of this sacrament seriously.

To get started in your preparation process, please call the parish office at least six months before your wedding date.

Marriage in the Catholic Church is more than the celebration of a couple’s love for each other. While the Church rejoices in your love, we also recognize the One who is the author of your love. These guidelines have been established so that this time of joy will not only be an experience filled with happiness but also one that expresses faith and reverence in God in whose love we have been created.

 

ANNULMENTS
Often individuals are not fully participating in the life of the church because of divorce and remarriage. Others, civilly divorced, have questions regarding the previous marriage. The Pastor would happily meet with you to discuss the status and possibilities of these particular situations. If one person has been previously married, the couple should contact the parish office much earlier than six months to secure, if possible, the necessary annulment for the upcoming marriage.

 

THE PREPARATION PROGRAM INCLUDES:
1) The initial contact with the Pastor which involves gathering BASIC INFORMATION from the couple. He will give out a marriage booklet and needed information to the couple. Copies of the baptismal certificates for persons not baptized at Saint John Parish are required, so it would be helpful to bring them to this meeting.

2) The completion of the FOCCUS INVENTORY with a trained Married couple of our parish. The Pastor will give the couple the needed information.

3) Involvement in a PRE-MARRIAGE PREPARATION DAY. The Pastor will give the couple a schedule with the contact information for all the Marriage Preparation Days in the Diocese of La Crosse. The couple will sign up and attend one of them.

4) Participate in an on-line Natural Family Planning program through the Diocese of the LaCrosse.  The Pastor will give the web information and link to sign up for this program.

5) The couple will meet with the Pastor to go over the WEDDING CEREMONY PLANS.

In cases where both the Bride and the Groom are Catholic the wedding Ceremony usually takes place within the celebration of Mass.

In cases where one spouse is not Catholic, Mass is usually not celebrated (regardless of family preferences), as the Eucharist would be a sign of disunity between the couple during a ceremony of unity.

Because of the 4:00pm Mass on Saturday and Confessions at 3:00pm, the Wedding Ceremony begins at 1:00pm or earlier.

As Bishop Sheen reminded us years ago, and reminds us today; “It takes three to get married . . . the third person being God.” As Catholics we celebrate Marriage-in-Christ.

 

NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING
What is NFP anyway? Ask the average American for a description of Natural Family Planning (NFP), and you will probably get a blank look or a reference to calendar rhythm. Natural Family Planning (NFP) is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.

The Top 10 Reasons to Use Natural Family Planning (NFP)
1) It unravels the mystery of the woman. NFP gives both spouses an understanding of the changing hormones of the woman and how that impacts her energy, moods, fertility.

2) NFP is health conscious. NFP does not harm the body. It poses no risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, vision changes, weight gain, sporadic bleeding or depression.

3) NFP has planning possibilities. With NFP you can time when you want to have children. Because you know when you are fertile you can truly plan for each pregnancy and birth. No guess work. This is so important for couples who are having difficulty conceiving. Most doctors will recommend NFP to couples when they are not conceiving.

4) NFP is a “both / and” system. With NFP you can both avoid as well as achieve a pregnancy. It allows you the freedom to choose which is best for you cycle by cycle. And it is good not only for your body, but also for your minds and spirits. It is marriage insurance.

5) NFP is a communication machine. Nothing is taken for granted when a couples uses NFP. As we often say, if a couple can discuss cervical mucus and decide how to handle it, they can certainly discuss the check book balance and how to handle that.

6) NFP teaches marital intimacy. When a couple practices NFP, they learn to love both within the marital act as well as outside the act of physical unity. Husbands who know their wife’s cycle are more able to love without expecting something in return. Because there are no chemical or latex barriers used in NFP, the couple can truly give themselves completely to each other. This enhances the romance!

7) NFP encourages Christ-like love. Every spouse wants to experience total, faithful and fruitful love. NFP sets the stage for this. It is true that couples who practice NFP practice chastity and make decisions to forego physical intimacy for a few days if they are choosing to avoid a pregnancy. But, in that sacrificial giving, the couple learns how to be of service to each other and, ultimately, to God.

8) NFP is open to life. Couples practicing NFP experience the joy and awe of conception, pregnancy and child birth. They have a deeper understanding of children as a supreme gift from God to them. And, they have a greater commitment to be responsible parents.

9) NFP is Popular. NFP is the morally upright teaching of the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that NFP is the right way to plan a family because it honors how we were made. NFP unites family to marriage.

10) NFP is green and organic. NFP promotes good health. It doesn’t pollute the human body or our earthly environment. It enhances self discipline in all walks of life. It follows natural law as well as natural moral law.

 

FIRST READING OPTIONS (choose one)

B1   Male and female he created them.

A reading from the Book of Genesis 1:26-28, 31a

Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

The word of the Lord.

 

B2  The two of them become one body.

A reading from the Book of Genesis 2:18-24

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the Lord God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name.
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.
So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep,
he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib
that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called ‘woman,’
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one body.

The word of the Lord.

 

B3   In his love for Rebekah, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother.

A reading from the Book of Genesis 24:48-51, 58-67

The servant of Abraham said to Laban:
“I bowed down in worship to the Lord,
blessing the Lord, the God of my master Abraham,
who had led me on the right road
to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son.
If, therefore, you have in mind to show true loyalty to my master,
let me know;
but if not, let me know that, too.
I can then proceed accordingly.”
Laban and his household said in reply:
“This thing comes from the Lord;
we can say nothing to you either for or against it.
Here is Rebekah, ready for you; take her with you,
that she may become the wife of your master’s son,
as the Lord has said.”
So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you wish to go with this man?”
She answered, “I do.”
At this they allowed their sister Rebekah and her nurse to take leave,
along with Abraham’s servant and his men.
Invoking a blessing on Rebekah, they said:
“Sister, may you grow into thousands of myriads;
And may your descendants gain possession
of the gates of their enemies!”
Then Rebekah and her maids started out;
they mounted their camels and followed the man.
so the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
Meanwhile Isaac had gone from Beer-lahai-roi
and was living in the region of the Negeb.
One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field,
and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching.
Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him,
she alighted from her camel and asked the servant,
“Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?”
“That is my master,” replied the servant.
Then she covered herself with her veil.
The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent;
he married her, and thus she became his wife.
In his love for her Isaac found solace
after the death of his mother Sarah.

The word of the Lord.

 

B4  May the Lord of heaven prosper you both. May he grant you mercy and peace.

A reading from the Book of Tobit 7:6-14

Raphael and Tobiah entered the house of Raguel and greeted him.
Raguel sprang up and kissed Tobiah, shedding tears of joy.
But when he heard that Tobit had lost his eyesight,
he was grieved and wept aloud.
He said to Tobiah:
“My child, God bless you!
You are the son of a noble and good father.
But what a terrible misfortune
that such a righteous and charitable man
should be afflicted with blindness!”
He continued to weep in the arms of his kinsman Tobiah.
His wife Edna also wept for Tobit;
and even their daughter Sarah began to weep.
Afterward, Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat,
Tobiah said to Raphael, “Brother Azariah,
ask Raguel to let me marry my kinswoman Sarah.”
Raguel overheard the words;
so he said to the boy:
“Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
for no man is more entitled to marry my daughter Sarah
than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very frankly.
I have given her in marriage to seven men,
all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”
Tobiah answered, “I will eat or drink nothing
until you set aside what belongs to me.”
Raguel said to him: “I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman
from now on you are her love,
and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
“Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses she is your wife.
Take her and bring her back safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”
He then called her mother and told her to bring a scroll,
So that he might draw up a marriage contract
stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
and he drew up the contract,
to which they affixed their seal.
Afterward they began to eat and drink.

The word of the Lord.

 

B5  Allow us to live together to a happy old age.

A reading from the Book of Tobit 8:4b-8

On their wedding night Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
“Sister, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord
to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.”
Sarah got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
They began with these words:
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers;
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
They said together, “Amen, amen.”

The word of the Lord.

 

B6  The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

A reading from the Book of Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and makes cloth with skillful hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

The word of the Lord.

 

B7  Stern as death is love.

A reading from the Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a

Hark! my lover–here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.
My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!
“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”
My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether world is devotion;
its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.”

The word of the Lord.

 

B8 Like the sun, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.

A reading from the Book of Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16

Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the Lord is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.

The word of the Lord.

 

B9 I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 31:31-32a, 33-34a

The days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers:
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt.
But this is the covenant which I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord.
I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the Lord.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

 

Psalm Options (choose one)

C1.  Psalm 33:12 and 18, 20-21, 22

  1. (5b)The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.

But see, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him,

upon those who hope for his kindness.

  1. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Our soul waits for the Lord,

who is our help and our shield,

For in him our hearts rejoice;

in his holy name we trust.

  1. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us

who have put our hope in you.

  1. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

 

 

C2. Psalm  34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

  1. I will bless the Lord at all times.

I will bless the Lord at all times;

his praise shall be ever in my mouth.

Let my soul glory in the Lord;

the lowly will hear me and be glad.

  1. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Glorify the Lord with me,

let us together extol his name.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me

and delivered me from all my fears.

  1. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,

and your faces may not blush with shame.

When the poor one called out, the Lord heard,

and from all his distress he saved him.

  1. I will bless the Lord at all times.

The angel of the Lord encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Taste and see how good the Lord is;

blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

  1. I will bless the Lord at all times.

 

C3. Psalm 103:1-2, 8 and 13, 17-18a

  1. (8a)The Lord is kind and merciful.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;

and all my being, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits.

  1. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Merciful and gracious is the Lord,

slow to anger and abounding in kindness.

As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.

  1. The Lord is kind and merciful.

But the kindness of the Lord is from eternity

to eternity toward those who fear him,

And his justice towards children’s children

among those who keep his covenant.

  1. The Lord is kind and merciful.

 

C4. Psalm 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7b-8, 9 

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

Blessed the man who fears the Lord,

who greatly delights in his commands.

His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;

the upright generation shall be blessed.

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;

his generosity shall endure forever.

Light shines through the darkness for the upright;

he is gracious and merciful and just.

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,

who conducts his affairs with justice;

He shall never be moved;

the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.

An evil report he shall not fear.

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

His heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear

till he looks down upon his foes.

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

Lavishly he gives to the poor;

his generosity shall endure forever;

his horn shall be exalted in glory.

  1. Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

 

C5. Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

  1. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Blessed are you who fear the Lord,

who walk in his ways!

For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;

blessed shall you be, and favored.

  1. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine

in the recesses of your home;

Your children like olive plants

around your table.

  1. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Behold, thus is the man blessed

who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion:

may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life.

  1. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

 

C6. Psalm 145:8-9, 10 and 15, 17-18

  1. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and of great kindness.

The Lord is good to all

and compassionate toward all his works.

  1. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord,

and let your faithful ones bless you.

The eyes of all look hopefully to you

and you give them their food in due season.

  1. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

The Lord is just in all his ways

and holy in all his works.

The Lord is near to all who call upon him,

to all who call upon him in truth.

  1. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

 

C7. Psalm148:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-13a, 13c-14a

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

Alleluia.  Praise the Lord from the heavens,

praise him in the heights;

Praise him, all you his angels,

praise him, all you his hosts.

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens.

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

You mountains and all you hills,

you fruit trees and all you cedars;

You wild beasts and all tame animals,

you creeping things and winged fowl.

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,

the princes and all the judges of the earth,

Young men too, and maidens,

old men and boys,

Praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted.

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

His majesty is above earth and heaven,

and he has lifted his horn above the people.

  1. Let all praise the name of the Lord.

 

Second Reading Options (choose one)

 

D1. What will separate us from the love of Christ?

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 8:31b-35, 37-39

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things, we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The word of the Lord.

 

D2. Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

 

(Long Form)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 12:1-2, 9-18

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil;
be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.
If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.

The word of the Lord.

OR

 (Short Form)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 12:1-2, 9-13

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.

The word of the Lord.

 

D3. Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 15:1b-3a, 5-7, 13

Brothers and sisters:
We ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves;
let each of us please our neighbor for the good,
for building up.
For Christ did not please himself.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
or the glory of God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The word of the Lord.

D4. Your body is a temple of the Spirit.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
And the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body.

The word of the Lord.

 

D5. If I do not have love, I gain nothing.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 12:31–13:8a

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

The word of the Lord.

 

D6. This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.

(Long Form)

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 5:2a, 21-33

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us
and handed himself over for us.
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.
In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself,
and the wife should respect her husband.

The word of the Lord.

OR

 (Short Form)

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us
and handed himself over for us.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church.

The word of the Lord.

 

D7. The God of peace will be with you.

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

The word of the Lord.

 

D8. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.

 

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one Body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The word of the Lord.

 

D9. Let marriage be held in honor by all.

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b

Brothers and sisters:
Let mutual love continue.
Do not neglect hospitality,
for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment,
and of the ill-treated as of yourselves,
for you also are in the body.
Let marriage be honored among all
and the marriage bed be kept undefiled.
Let your life be free from love of money
but be content with what you have,
for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.
Thus we may say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.

The word of the Lord.

 

 D10. Be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another.

 

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Peter 3:1-9

Beloved:
You wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that,
even if some disobey the word,
they may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct
when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior.
Your adornment should not be an external one:
braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes,
but rather the hidden character of the heart,
expressed in the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and calm disposition,
which is precious in the sight of God.
For this is also how the holy women who hoped in God
once used to adorn themselves
and were subordinate to their husbands;
thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him “lord.”
You are her children when you do what is good
and fear no intimidation.
Likewise, you husbands should live with your wives in understanding,
showing honor to the weaker female sex,
since we are joint heirs of the gift of life,
so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic,
loving toward one another, compassionate, humble.
Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult;
but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called,
that you might inherit a blessing.

The word of the Lord.

 

D11. Love in deed and in truth

A reading from the first Letter of Saint John 3:18-24

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit that he gave us.

The word of the Lord.

 

D12. God is love.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

The word of the Lord.

 

D13. Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

A reading from the Book of Revelation 19:1, 5-9a

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice
of a great multitude in heaven, saying: “Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God.”
A voice coming from the throne said:
“Praise our God, all you his servants,
and you who revere him, small and great.”
Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude
or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder,
as they said: “Alleluia!
The Lord has established his reign,
our God, the almighty.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
his bride has made herself ready.
She was allowed to wear
a bright, clean linen garment.”
(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)
Then the angel said to me,
“Write this: Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

The word of the Lord.