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The Catholic wedding ceremony is remarkable in that it can be celebrated with or without a mass. The majority of practicing Catholics are going to choose a wedding ceremony with the Mass. A Catholic wedding ceremony with a mass lasts about one hour. The Mass portion includes a celebration of the Eucharist, the singing of hymns and readings from the Bible.
Upon entering the church, Catholics will bless themselves by dipping their fingers into the font and making the Sign of the Cross. A non-Catholic attending is not required to perform the gesture. Ushers may seat guests and before taking their seat in the pew, a Catholic should make the Sign of the Cross and bend down on one knee. Once all have arrived in the Church and the ceremony begins, the Priest will greet the bride, groom and guests. He will open with prayer and the guests as well as the bridal couple will alternate standing and bowing at appropriate times.
The homily of a Catholic wedding ceremony should focus on marriage and if the couple is well known to the priest, he may offer his own personal observations and relations to them in the homily. The vows will be taken after the homily and the Prayer of the Faithful follows. The Catholic wedding ceremony is a beautiful symbiosis of uniting the marriage with the mass. This is the beauty of celebrating religion, faith and love in one ceremony.
Before communion is served, the priest will ask for there to be a Sign of Peace. When he calls for this, he means for people to turn to hose that are next to them and shake their hands and offer peace be with them. Family and loved ones will often kiss and hug as well during this part. When the Communion is offered during a Catholic wedding ceremony, it's important to remember that it is for baptized Catholics only. Following communion, the priest will introduce the new couple to the guests.