The Catholic Rite of Marriage takes place within the Sacred Liturgy - the Church's praise of God. By its nature, Sacred Liturgy is a celebration of the universal church. The wedding liturgy reflects this aspect when a groom and bride profess their solemn vows to each other before God and His people assembled.
The Rite of Marriage may be celebrated during Mass or outside of Mass (Liturgy of the Word with no Holy Communion).*
At St. Paul the Apostle, an ordained deacon officiates at a Rite of Marriage outside of Mass (Liturgy of the Word with no Holy Communion).
To prepare for the Sacred Liturgy, we ask that you purchase a copy of the book, Together for Life; it is available for about $5 on Amazon. This handy resource contains all the readings (New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Gospels, etc.) That are most appropriate for wedding liturgies. Additionally, the readings have accompanying essays that explain their context and meaning to help you make the selections that are most appropriate for the two of you. When choosing lectors, please be careful to select people who are comfortable with reading in public. Practicing Catholics and/or practicing baptized, non-Catholics may read the first and second readings or a person of the Jewish faith may read the Old Testament reading.
With the Rite of Marriage during Mass, you are to choose two (2) practicing Catholics to present the gifts of bread and wine. Since we as Catholics believe these gifts will become the Body and Blood of Christ, it would be inappropriate to ask a non-Catholic to present these gifts when his/her faith tradition does not believe in the real presence of the Eucharist as we do.
* Since a non-Catholic bride/groom and guests do not receive Holy Communion, we celebrate what unites, and not what separates.