Preparation of the Altar and Gifts

The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with a simple procession and the preparation of the altar and gifts. The Order of Celebrating Matrimony indicates that the gifts include bread and wine for the Eucharistic meal, but can also include “other gifts for the needs of the Church or the poor.”

These gifts can be brought to the altar by you, or by chosen friends or family members. Inform gift bearers in advance about where the gifts will be found and if there are any special instructions about their placement.

A Wedding Collection?

Because couples generally receive gifts as part of their wedding festivities, many opt not to take up a collection during the wedding Mass, but you may wish to be creative about ways in which you could share the bounty of your wedding joy to help support the Church’s mission and to assist those who have less.

Would it be possible for you to invite wedding guests to bring a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry?  These might be collected at the church entrance or at the reception. Would it make sense to include charitable organizations on your wedding registry?

Prayer Over the Gifts

After the priest receives the bread and wine, he will say a silent prayer of blessing over them and then pray aloud over the gifts using one of three short prayers connecting the Eucharist to the Sacrament of Marriage.

Similar to the Collect prayers at the beginning of the wedding celebration, the first of these prayers comes from a much older church text of the sixteenth century. The other two are more recently written prayers, prepared after the Second Vatican Council.

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