The opening of the Eucharistic Prayer is referred to as the “Preface.” The Catholic mass preface is a prayer of thanksgiving and praise that changes throughout the year in order to highlight the particular cause for joy and celebration that day. There are prefaces for all of the various feasts and seasons in the liturgical calendar, but there are also prefaces for special occasions.
Catholic Wedding Mass Prefaces
There are three prefaces designed especially for weddings, each of which lifts up a different aspect of the Church’s understanding of marriage.
- The first option is based on an ancient Roman prayer first written around the time of Charlemagne in the eighth century A.D. It emphasizes the relationship between marriage and baptism, considering how marriage and childbearing enrich the human family and baptism enriches the Church family.
- The second option, which can be traced back to the preaching of Leo the Great in the fifth century, highlights the covenantal nature of marriage, as a reflection of the unbreakable covenant Christ has made with us.
- The third option, composed after the Second Vatican Council, lifts up the theme of love: marriage is a sign of the eternal love that enfolds us from our origin to our end.
All three prefaces conclude by calling upon the angels and saints of heaven to join us in praising God with the Sanctus or “Holy, Holy, Holy.”