A Traditional Latin Mass wedding at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church  in Pittsburg
Photo from Laura and Matthew Photography

Latin Mass weddings are rich in tradition and deep in beauty! While the sacrament they celebrate is the same, there are a few key differences between Ordinary Form and Latin Mass weddings. Here is everything you need to know about Traditional Latin Mass weddings, and the differences between a Traditional Latin and Ordinary Form wedding.

The Vows take place at the beginning of The Mass

In an Ordinary Form Mass, the vows and exchange of rings are done in the middle of Mass, shortly after the conclusion of the priest’s homily. However, at a Traditional Latin wedding, the vows are exchanged at the beginning of the Mass, right after the bride (or couple) processes into the church. When the vows are complete, Mass continues on as a regular Latin Mass would. It’s so beautiful that the first act they do as a married couple is attend Mass together!

The Words of Consent During The Vows Differ from The Ordinary Rite

Read the beautiful Rite of Holy Matrimony from a Traditional Latin Wedding Mass here

Readings for A Traditional Latin Wedding Mass are Already Selected.

In a Traditional Latin Mass wedding, the readings are pre-set. Unlike the Ordinary Form weddings where you often get to pick from a selection provided by the church, couples getting married in a Traditional Latin Wedding Mass must use the readings prescribed by the liturgy.

Priest & Church availability for Latin Mass is much more limited than Ordinary Form.

While every priest can and does say Ordinary Form Masses, options for the Traditional Latin Mass may be harder to come by. Many priests may not be familiar with the Traditional Latin Mass, or willing to perform it. Additionally, some dioceses have limitations on when Latin Masses or Latin Mass weddings can be said. If your church regularly hosts a Latin Mass, you will likely have a much easier time. However, if you are drawn to the Latin Mass and it is not already established in your area, prepare to do some research.

Lector and Server Choices May be Limited

While there are many things that may not have firm set guidelines like the liturgy, the choice of a Traditional Latin Mass wedding will restrict you on many of your other Mass options as well. You may not be able to bring your own servers, as servers will need to have experience with the Traditional Latin Mass. Other roles in the Mass, such as lectors (readers) may also be different as the readings and gospel are often chanted.

* Please note that so many things for a wedding Mass, Latin or otherwise, will vary from parish to parish and diocese to diocese! Many Latin Mass churches will have the bride and groom process down the aisle together while others may allow the bride to be escorted by her father or other family member. Some may allow you to choose your Mass music, while some will have a very exclusive list. Be sure to read over the wedding policies closely and check all questions with your priest!

Our tips for a Smooth Latin Mass wedding!

1. Prepare and Educate your Guests. 

A Traditional Latin Mass wedding is a glorious experience, but may be a bit overwhelming for guests who are not familiar with it. Spread the word about the length of the Mass among your guests so that they will know what to expect. Provide programs with detailed information about the ceremony so guests can feel comfortable. Many Latin Mass parishes will already have booklets that detail the Mass so inquire if those can be available in the pews.

2. Adjust Your Timeline for a Longer Mass

With the length of a Latin Mass wedding running anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours, be sure to inform your guests and vendors about the length of the ceremony. There are many wedding vendors who may be familiar with the length of an Ordinary Form Catholic wedding Mass, but they may not know what to expect from a Traditional Latin Mass. Additionally, the extra length may put you closer to Saturday evening Mass so don’t be surprised if your photo time is limited in church. 

3. Hire a Photographer Familiar with the Latin Mass (or prepare to educate your photographer)

Make sure your photographer is aware of the structure and length of the Mass so that they can prepare for when the vows will take place. We highly recommend our talented TCBC photographers! If your photographer is not Catholic, we recommend inviting them to the rehearsal the night before along with sharing full length wedding Masses with them. Struggling to find a good reference for them? Check out 3 full length Traditional Latin Mass Wedding videos below! Time stamp parts of special significance such as the vows, consecration, or nuptial blessing to prepare your photo and video team. This will help ensure they don’t miss documenting the moment.

Watch a Full Latin Wedding Masses Here:

The Rite of Marriage and The Nuptial Mass

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