Use of the Proper Introit during an OF Nuptial Mass
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,117
    I have two weddings in the OF coming up, both of which the couples have requested the use of Propers.

    In doing research, I discovered that in the EF the nuptial rites occur before the Introit. So far as I can tell, the couple and the attending witnesses process in to instrumental music, meeting the priest/celebrant (in cope) at the altar rail where the consent and vows are pronounced, and rings blessed and exchanged. Afterward, the priest returns to a table near the sedilla where he changes into chasuble and maniple and then moves with the other sacred ministers and altar boys to the foot of the altar and the Mass begins with the Introit and the prayers at the foot of the altar.

    From what I can tell, there really is no provision for the use of the Proper Introit chant in an OF Nuptial Mass, unless the couple are willing to give up the use of an instrumental procession in favor of the Introit. Even the most traditional-minded brides (as is the case with one of these weddings) are not likely to give up the opportunity to hear the organ roar out some grand processional in favor of a chant, or even a polyphonic choral piece, let alone a hymn (the notorious "fourth option").

    So, the questions are: 1) has anyone employed the use of the Introit in a nuptial Mass (either in lieu of an instrumental processional or together with one), and 2) if so, how was the ceremonial executed (procession order, use of incense, etc.)?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 2,344
    The first thing that comes to mind: Is there any way to use the organ in a style they want AND sing the proper text? IDK, just an idea...

    Or could you play the processional, then sing the introit as the priest reverences and incenses the altar?
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    I really like Ben Yanke's format, which I have heard of before. I have great difficulty getting anybody to use incense at my church (even on Easter!), so it's not likely we will go that route soon.

    Here is what we have done sometimes; whether it's a good idea or not is subject to debate:
    (1) Priests and servers process in to the introit
    (2) Bridal party processes in to a hymn (we don't do instrumental processionals)

    I've never been to a wedding that was done according to the rubrics! The OF arrangement is something of a novelty, historically speaking, as far as I understand.

    From what I can tell, there really is no provision for the use of the Proper Introit chant in an OF Nuptial Mass, unless the couple are willing to give up the use of an instrumental procession in favor of the Introit.

    The official books wouldn't have nuptial introit chants if they weren't intended to be used, SOMEhow.
    I would refer you to one of these discussions:
    HELP - Planning Nuptial Music
    OF Nuptial Mass Introit: Logistics
    Wedding Procession Questions
  • Heath
    Posts: 563
    I've had about 3 or so weddings in the past few years to do things "by the book" for the entrance (i.e. proper chant, norative processional). These were exceptional couples, however . . .
  • I would assume that the introit would be sung while the priest changes into the chasuble and during the prayers at the foot of the altar.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 314
    "1) has anyone employed the use of the Introit in a nuptial Mass (either in lieu of an instrumental processional or together with one), and
    2) if so, how was the ceremonial executed (procession order, use of incense, etc.)?"

    Our schola has sung the introit at three weddings over the past year, one EF and two OF.

    For the EF Mass, if I recall correctly, the introit did not begin until after the priest vested and went to the foot of the altar with the servers. This was after the exchange of vows of course, which was preceded and followed by organ instrumentals. I think that there was an incensation.

    For both OF Masses, the procession to the altar was accompanied by an organ instrumental. The introit started as soon as everyone including priest was at their places. There was no incense. The introit therefore did not accompany any procession or ritual action, which is a bit awkward I suppose, but it did not seem as awkward in the context of a wedding as it might at a normal Sunday Mass.
  • In the OF, the Rite of Marriage envisions the Priest greeting the couple at the door of the church or, if it is more suitable, at the altar. In the first case the procession to altar is led by the ministers followed the Priest and then the couple, escorted by at least their parents and the two witnesses while the Entrance Song is sung. This would be the ideal place for the Introit. As the second procedure is most often followed, at least in the US, the Introit would have to be sung after the arrival of the bride and groom at the altar and welcome by the celebrant. Note that this "rite of welcome" is seen as a prelude to the Nuptial Mass and is optional. After this welcome the Mass begins, presumably with the veneration (and incensation) of the altar. At the very least the Priest needs to walk from the foot of the altar to the altar itself, kiss the altar and go to the chair for the beginning of Mass. That would provide a few moments for the singing of the Introit chant.

    In the EF the Priest wears the Mass vestments (save the maniple) from the beginning of the ceremony when Mass follows. The Introit may begin when the Priest is putting on the maniple at the sedilia, but if he retires to the sacristy to change one waits for him to return to the altar to begin the Introit. I have never seen the use of the cope in the EF when the Missa pro Sponsis follows the marriage ceremony immediately.
  • JDE
    Posts: 532
    I did one last summer where we sang the Introit for the Priest, servers, bridesmaids and groomsmen, then played an instrumental processional for the bride and her (ancient) father. He was not willing to forgo the Walk Down the Aisle with his "little girl." The bride and groom wanted it to be by the book, but the FOB stopped.

    I gave them what they requested because it's a lot closer than the standard practice ("Livestock Parade," as I like to call it) to what the Church asks for, and half a loaf is better than crumbs.

    BTW we sang the Propers for everything else, plus a couple of pretty cool motets, and Mozart's Regina Coeli for the recessional (it was during Easter).
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 4,779
    the couple, escorted by at least their parents and the two witnesses while the Entrance Song is sung.


    Not quite.

    I don't remember the exact wording, but "AT MOST" their parents and witnesses would be more accurate.
    The Roman Rite does not really envisage parental or bridal-party involvement.
  • Adam,

    The reference to the witnesses and parents of the couple escorting them to the altar comes almost word for word from the Rite of Marriage. Since witnesses are required by the Church I don't see how you can assert that "The Roman Rite does not really envisage parental or bridal-party involvement."
  • BruceL
    Posts: 599
    Everything Pedro states is my experience with the OF done as closely to the book as possible. The OF Nuptial Mass I did where the introit was chanted was a Mass with incense. It was quite easy to go from the usual processionals (which continued until the couple was at the altar rail with the ministers) to the introit (done while the altar was incensed and the priest proceeded to the chair.)

    Pedro, question: is there a rubric for the chasuble thing you mention in the EF nuptial Mass? I only ask because the EF nuptial Mass I was a part of had a different priest doing the vows from the one who celebrated Mass. Therefore, the priest doing the vows was in cope...sound right to you? I assume this was the case because there were two priests.
  • BruceL,

    That sounds right to me. When the priest who assists at the marriage celebrates the Mass immediately following the ceremony, he wears the Mass vestments, the maniple being placed beforehand on the credence table. When a priest other than the celebrant of the Mass assists at the marriage rite, he wears a surplice and white stole and, in the United States, he may wear a white cope. Outside the US the use of the cope for marriage ceremonies apart from Mass is considered a pontifical privilege. Of course this applies only to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.