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The Sacrament of Marriage

There follows a selection of readings, psalms and prayers of the faithful,from which you are invited to choose and include in your wedding liturgy.
The readings etc. are presented in the following order:
1. Old Testament Readings
2. Responsorial Psalms
3. New Testament Readings
4. Gospel Acclamations
5. Prayers of the Faithful
Please choose one reading from the Old Testament, a Responsorial Psalm, one reading from the New Testament and a Gospel Acclamation. Couples are encouraged to include their guests in the liturgy in areas such as readings, prayers of the faithful, the offertory procession, singing and music as well as ushers. Attendance at the rehearsal would be beneficial to those who are not used to participating in or attending at church liturgies.Care must be taken so that no singular movement, action, decoration etc. detracts from the attention that rightfully belongs to the sacrament and the couple involved.A couple wishing to receive a papal blessing must apply at least 12 weeks in advance.

Old Testament Readings

A Reading from the book of Tobit    8:4-8
Tobias said to Sarah,"You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection."She stood up and began praying for protection, and this was how she began:You are blessed, O God our Father;Blessed, too, is your name, forever and ever.Let the heavens bless you and all the things you have made for evermore.It was you who created Adam,You who created Eve his wife to be his help and support;And from these two the human race was born.It was you who said,"It is not good that the man should be alone;Let us make him a helpmate like himself," therefore I do it in singleness of heart.Be kind enough to have pity on her and on meAnd bring us to old age together,"And together they said, Amen, Amen.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A Reading from the book of Genesis    1:26-28.31
God said, "Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves,and let them be masters of the fish in the sea, the birds of heaven,the cattle, all the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth."God created man in the image of himself.In the image of God he created him,male and female he created them.God blessed them, saying to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living animals on the earth." God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the book of Genesis    2:18-24
The Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate." So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:"This at last is bone from my bones,and flesh from my flesh.this is to be called woman,for this was taken from man."This is why a man leaves his father and his mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the book of Ruth    1:16-17
Ruth said, "Do not press me to leave and to stop going with you, forWherever you go, I shall go,Wherever you live, I shall live.Your people will be my people,And your God will be my God.Where you die I shall dieAnd there I shall be buried,Let Yahweh bring unnameable ills on me,And worse ills still,If anything but deathShould part me from you.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalms

Response: How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
Slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
Compassionate to all his creatures. R
All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
The eyes of all creatures look to you
And you give them their food in good time. R
The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
Who call on him from their hearts. R
Response: The Lord fills the Earth with his love
They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
The people he has chosen as his own.
The Lord looks on those who revere him,
On those who hope in his love. R
Our soul is waiting for the Lord
The Lord is our help and our shield.
In him do our hearts find joy.
We trust in his holy name. R
May your love be upon us, O Lord
As we place all our hope in you. R
Response: I will bless the Lord at all times
I will bless the Lord at all times,
His praise always on my lips;
In the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad. R
Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
From all my terrors he set me free. R
The angel of the Lord is encamped
Around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him. R
Response: O blessed are those who fear the Lord!!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord
And walk in his way!
By the labour of your hand you shall eat.
You shall be happy and prosper. R
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
In the heart of your house;
Your children like shoots of the olive
Around your table. R
Indeed thus shall be blessed
The man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
All the days of your life. R

New Testament Readings

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 8;31-35.37-39
With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his only son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No!! He not only died for us - he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us. 
Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ.Even if we are troubled or worried or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or even attacked. These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.
For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any creature, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:1-2 9-18
Think of God's mercy, my brothers, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you, but let your behaviour change, modelled by your new mind.This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good,what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.
Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as much as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other. Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit. If you have hope, this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come, and keep on praying. If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Collossians 3:12-17
You are God's chosen race, his saints, he loves you and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with one another, forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins.The Lord has forgiven you, now you must do the same.
Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as part of one body.
Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom.With gratitude in your heart sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 5;2.25-32
Follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy.
He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words,so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless.
In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies, for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself.
A man never hates his own body, but feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body - and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body.
This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Second Reading
A reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 12:31 - 13-8
Be ambitious for the higher gifts. I am going to show you a way that is better than any. If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love,I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all.
If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited, it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.Love does not come to an end.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
A reading from the first letter of St. John 4;7-12
My dear people,
Let us love one another
Since love comes from God
And everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God's love for us was revealed
When God sent into the world his only son
So that we could have life through him;
This is the love I mean,
Not our love for God,
But God's love for us when he sent his son
To be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people,
Since God has loved us so much,
We too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
But as long as we love one another
God will live in us
And his love will be complete in us.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Gospel Acclamation

This should be sung at Mass rather than recited. If it is sung it is necessary to have some form of verse included before which and after which 'Alleliua' is sung. An Alleluia verse is not just the word Alleluia sung repeatedly.
Gospel Acclamations:
Gospel Acclamation 1 Jn 4:8. 11
Alleluia, alleluia!
God is love;
let us love one another
as God has loved us.
Gospel Acclamation 1 Jn 4:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
As long as we love one another
God will live in us,
and his love will be complete in us.
Gospel Acclamation 1 Jn 4:16
Alleluia, alleluia!
Anyone who lives in love
lives in God,
and God lives in him.
Gospel Acclamation 1 Jn 4:7
Alleluia, alleluia!
Everyone who loves
is begotten by God
,and knows God.
Gospel Readings:
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-12
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
'How happy are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle;
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn;
they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right;
they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful;
they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart;
they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers;
they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven'.'
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:13-16
You are the light of the world.
Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven."
The Gospel of the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 7:21. 24-29
He builds his house on rock.
Jesus said to his disciples:"
It is not those who say to me, "Lord, Lord", who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my father in heaven.
Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who builds his house on rock.Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against the house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand.Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck his house, and it fell;and what a fall it had!"
Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority, and not like their own scribes.
The Gospel of the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 15:9-12
Remain in my love
Jesus said to his disciples:"
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment:
love one another, as I loved you."
The Gospel of the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 15:12-16
What I command you is to love one another.
Jesus said to his disciples:"
This is my commandment:
love one another, as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master's business;
I call you friends, because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me,
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name."
The Gospel of the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 17:20-23
May they be completely one.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:'
Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realise that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.'
The Gospel of the Lord.

Prayers of the Faithful

Usually between four and six prayers are chosen. It is not a requirement that each prayer is read by a separate person as the involvement of too many can be a distraction, normally 2 people for four prayers and 2 or 3 people for six prayers. The prayers chosen should reflect the needs of the couple, the wider community and the world.The prayers are always led by the Priest and concluded by him and those reading the prayers should be in place before the opening prayer and should not return to their places until the Priest has concluded his prayer.
PRIEST: Opening Prayer:
God our Father all love comes from you.
In this holy sacrament of marriage you give yourself to this newly married couple who make their prayers in faith to you.
1. For ____ and ____ that their love for each other may continue to grow in the peace of Christ.
Lord hear us
2. For ____ and ____ who now celebrate with us their joy and gratitude in receiving God's gift of love in the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony; that they may grow old together by sharing life's joy, struggles and challenges in order to become better persons and Christians. May the blessings of the Lord guide them through their life as husband and wife.
Lord hear us
3. For all married couples here today, that, witnessing ____ and ____ making their commitment of love, they renew their love for each other.
Lord hear us
4. For the parents of ____ and ____ that they may be an example of love to their children.
Lord hear us
5. For the parents of ____ and ____ who have given much of themselves to raise their children in the way God had intended,that he may bless them with good health and peace of mind.
Lord hear us
6. For the family, relatives and friends of ____ and ____ who have been there to support them through the years. Bless them with God's love and peace always. We pray that God may grant them the happiness that they seek.
Lord hear us
7. For all that are gathered here today to celebrate with ____ and ____ especially those who have travelled a great distance;that God will bless them and watch over them.
Lord hear us
8. For all gathered for this celebration: may the joy of this day inspire our loving efforts and enrich the lives of our own family and friends.
Lord hear us
9. For the deceased relative and friends of ____ and ____ that God may shower them with eternal love.
Lord hear us
10. For our loved ones who have gone ahead of us, that they may find eternal rest and happiness in the heavenly kingdom.
Lord hear us
11. For the Holy Church and her leaders, Pope Francis, our Bishop Seamus, and all our bishops, clergy and religious, that by their words and witness, they may continue to build God's kingdom of justice, peace and unity.
Lord hear us
12. For the leaders of the Church: may the Pope and bishops so build up our Church that it will become the living sacrament of God's transforming presence in the world.
Lord hear us
PRIEST: Concluding Prayer:
Heavenly Father your love for us has no end. May the married love of this couple always reflect your love for them and for your Church.We ask this through Christ who is Lord forever and ever.
Wedding Blessings/Reflections
Irish Marriage Blessing
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
And rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
Traditional Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
A Wedding Wish
All earthly goods I wish thee
All that's good for thee and thine.
And still, not only earthly
But all we know to be divine.
May earth and heaven mingle
May earth and heaven be one.
All through your earthly journey
Till sets your earthly sun.
In sunshine and in shadow
Through dancing and in song,
May heaven bless your union
Throughout your whole life long.
A Marriage Prayer
Bless this marriage, as ____ and ____ begin their journey down the road of life together.
May they respect each other's likes and dislikes, opinions and beliefs, hopes and dreams and fears, even though they may not always understand each other.
May they rest in the knowledge that no matter what happens, by holding on to each other, things will work out for the best. Most of all, dear God, help them to keep the torch of love burning with the fire that they now share in their hearts.
The Way
The way is long - let us go together.
The way is difficult - let us help each other.
The way is joyful - let us share it.
The way is ours alone - let us go in love.
The way grows before us - let us begin.
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