Preparation aid for Catholic weddings

New Orders for the celebration of Confirmation and Matrimony have been published and their use is mandatory from Easter of this year.

Promoting sales of one’s book in Holy Week is probably not a good idea, so let me give it a mention now…

Celebrating your Marriage

I have prepared Celebrating Your Marriage in the Catholic Church (published by McCrimmons – details here) to help couples make the most of the new and richer Order of Celebrating Matrimony now available to them.

Choosing to marry is one of the most important decisions someone makes.

The Church urges careful preparation for marriage, both for married life and for the wedding service itself. In the new edition of the Catholic Order of Celebrating Matrimony, published in January and to be used from Easter 2016, it is made clear that the couple themselves should have an active part in the preparation of their wedding service, choosing for example readings, prayers and music.

Not every couple is familiar with the Church’s Liturgy and its requirements and can find themselves unequal to the task.

Celebrating Your Marriage in the Catholic Church has been prepared to assist them with that preparation. It describes the various forms of the Order of Matrimony, (within and without Mass, forms for Catholics marrying or Catholics marrying another Christian or an unbaptised person, or the convalidation of a civil marriage) and provides a sure guide to the various options which the revised Marriage Rite provides for each part of the Liturgy including all the readings and examples of bidding prayers (Universal Prayer).

  • Guidance is provided also regarding the impact of the Liturgical Year on how marriage is celebrated in the Catholic Church, and on the selection of music and song.
  • A key element of any celebration of Marriage is the Liturgy of the Word. The new edition of the Rite has a revised Lectionary, and requires that the couple choose at least one reading that speaks explicitly of marriage. These readings are clearly identified, and a way in which the couple might use the full selection of readings as a help to a spiritual preparation for their marriage service and for married life.
  • The book contains Planning Grids that the couple can use when meeting with their Priest or Deacon to firm up on the details of their wedding. At all points in the book the importance is noted that the Priest/Deacon will need to be involved in making the final decisions regarding their wedding ceremony.

Celebrating Your Marriage in the Catholic Church will help any couple prepare a celebration that will be personal and fitting for them, and in accord with the expectations of the Church.

Sales pitch over! Have a fruitful Holy Week and a joyful Easter.

Fr Allen Morris


Praying the Year of Mercy

Jubilee Year of Mercy- Final CoverA number of resources have been prepared for the Year of Mercy.

I’m sort of pleased to say that one of them remains somewhat distinctive.

It offers an oversight of the principal features of the year as can be seen from the contents page below. It will therefore serve as a useful companion to the Year, reminding of its key elements.


Most importantly though, the book especially focuses on the opportunity the Year offers for leading people into prayerful reflection on the Lord’s active and merciful presence in Scripture and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Year of Mercy  is an invitation for the Church and the world to know afresh the mercy of God. Prayer – especially in response to the word of God, and in the celebration of the Sacraments – leads us into a deeper knowledge of the God of Mercy and Truth. They also help us to a more faithful and fruitful living, strong in love for God, strong in love for neighbour.

‘A Prayer Book’ seeks to sustain and encourage that process of renewal.

The book comes with a Foreword from Archbishop Bernard Longley, the Archbishop of Birmingham

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is rich with promise for the Church and for the world.

Pope Francis has reminded the Church that ‘We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it.’

This mercy, made known in Jesus Christ, is the source of our Christian identity. It is also the gift we are asked to share with the whole world. Pope Francis urges us to this also, to be effective signs of the Father’s action in our lives, living witnesses to others of the love God has for everyone.

This booklet helps us make the most of the Jubilee Year. It provides food for our private prayer, and support for times when we come together to pray with others. Used well, it will deepen our experience of God’s mercy, so that the Lord can make us more fit for mission, and strengthen our desire to share the good news of the mercy of God with our families and our neighbours.

+ Bernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

Hopefully the book will be available from all good Catholic bookshops. Big discounts, however, are available if you go direct to the publisher…