Litany of Saints at Wedding
  • nJamesD
    Posts: 2
    Hello, I am helping to plan a friend's wedding, and she was interested in having the Litany of Saints sung. Is there any written guidance on whether or not it is encouraged to sing the Litany of Saints at a wedding mass, specifically during the short offertory time? For OF mass.
    -nJamesD
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,032
    It appears the USCCB asked for optional inclusion of a litany, and CDWDS turned them down, see the last paragraph here . The litany proposed was quite short, and can be found among the last comments on that post. ;)
    [ADDED]It is said that - The Italian wedding ceremony includes the litany of the saints within the prayer of the faithful.
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  • Bobby Bolin
    Posts: 389
    Not sure how licit it is but my wife wanted it at our wedding and got her way.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 284
    One could certainly sing it at the procession in, prior to the introit, with servers, priest, wedding party, bride and groom all coming in. To me that’d be a fine, fine moment, vastly preferable to the usual Hallmark-knockoff way of doing things.
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  • nJamesD
    Posts: 2
    Thank you for your input!
  • I've had good success in using it as a prelude to the wedding, especially if people are chatty. The nature of it makes clear that one either sings along or listens, but one doesn't talk over it.
  • Would it be licit to use a Litany like this as the whole of, or part of, the prayer of the faithful?
  • SuscipemeDomine,

    It depends what you mean. The General Intercessions (as I think they're officially called) are supposed to be well-defined in structure, and should not include free-wheeling recaps of the sermon Father just preached, nor should they be axe-grinding opportunities, but the Litany (in itself) is neither of these, so at that level I can't see an objection. On the other hand, Litanies (nowadays) have an annoying habit of including the names of saints other than those in the prescribed litany -- to include the names of those just baptised or married or (presumptiously canonized and recently) deceased. This habit, where it exists, should be avoided because it makes bad liturgy and distracts us from the worship of God by making that moment anthropocentric.

    If the American bishops got the thumbs-down from Rome when they requested this a few years back, it might be worth tracking down the dubium and its response, so you can see the part which explains the reasoning.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,032
    A litany doesn't fit the description in GIRM:
    71. It is for the Priest Celebrant to regulate this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he calls upon the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with an oration. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed with a wise liberty and in few words, and they should be expressive of the prayer of the entire community.
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  • "Oration" is an awkward translation of "orationem", since it's supposed to be a prayer, not a long speech.

    Notice, Hawkins, that it doesn't request or require a "response" in #71.

    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,032
    CGZ - it would derail the thread if I were to list all the things that I have seen go wrong with the Intercessions. It needs to be better defined, note that (in England) they have changed the name at least three times. Utterly wrong is to have a lay person standing at the ambo saying prayers rather than announcing intentions.
  • Hawkins,

    Would you consider the singing of the Litany of the Saints (which our OP proposed) to be appropriate or is it something which goes wrong with the intercessions? Perhaps it depends on the form of the music to which it is sung. (Think, for reference points, two chanted versions of the Paternoster and that operatic one whose composer I can't remember.)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,032
    I would consider a Litany appropriate at a nuptial Mass after the readings, but CDWDS do not. CDWDS interpret the rules, but rather poorly IMHO. I have no responsibility for liturgy, and if asked I would happily chant a litany.
    The Roman Missal gives models for the Intercessions in Appendix 5. If asked to read those in the book my parish uses, I would refuse.