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  #1  
Old Apr 10, '07, 8:02 am
bluerose bluerose is offline
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Default Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

It's over a year away, but I'm trying to plan out our 20th anniversary Mass. Before I proceed, let me give you some idea of what kind of celebration we want.

First, we are not looking to re-enact our wedding! No attendants (best man or maid/matron of honor) or exchange of rings, although we will re-state (not "renew") our vows! Our son will serve (hence he will carry in the processional cross), we want three priests concelebrating (one is the priest who married us, one is a very good friend, and the third is my husband's brother), and my husband and I will walk in together.

We want the first reading to be from Sirach, about true friendship. The gospel we would like to be the wedding feast at Cana. The second reading and the responsorial psalm are still not decided, so we are open to ideas for them, as well as the entrance hymn and the recessional hymn. The offertory hymn and the communion hymn have been picked (and not easily, as we have several we like!) We considered "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother" for the entrance hymn (my in-laws used that for their wedding march 54 years ago!), but we're still considering others.

Over the years, our faith and our family have become even more important to us than they were 20 years ago. This is the reason why we're having a big celebration for our 20th, instead of waiting for the 25th or 50th (we'd like ALL our parents to be present to celebrate with us, and with our parents being in their 70s and 80s and in poor health, I don't want to wait too long!) So if anyone has any suggestions for the second reading, the responsorial psalm, the entrance and closing hymns, please let me know!

Like I said, it's over a year away, but time flies when you're having fun!
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  #2  
Old Apr 10, '07, 8:51 am
stbruno stbruno is offline
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Default Re: Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

If you are celebrating your anniversary mass at a regular Sunday mass, the Sunday mass readings will be read. If you are doing it at a weekday mass, you need to contact your parish to see if the readings can be selected. Rarely at our parish do people have the option of having selections for their anniversary mass, only at their wedding because it is a separate mass said only for them and their invited guests. So before you do lots of homework, check first with your parish if this is allowable. Congratulations early! Congratulations that you have selected to have it celebrated in church as well. God is certainly the major player in our marriage as well.
We celebrated our 25th on our actual wedding anniversary date which ended up on Tuesday. We renewed our vows but we did not choose our readings. It was wonderful! Afterwards, we took the family out for breakfast. May God always bless you!
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  #3  
Old Apr 10, '07, 9:02 am
MarthaMartha MarthaMartha is offline
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Default Re: Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

Hymn -- "Love Is His Word, Love Is His Way."
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  #4  
Old Apr 10, '07, 9:06 am
jbuck919 jbuck919 is offline
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Default Re: Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

Very, very difficult. I'm a life-long professional organist and have played for hundreds of weddings, and if you are not getting huge numbers of responses here, it is because it is so difficult.

Very obviously, you are trying to avoid sentimentality and favor very sensible realities such as what your marriage has meant to you for 20 years. That does not make things easier, does it?

I honestly can't do better than this for the time being, and I would much appreciate if you would post again so that this could be an exchange, for I am deeply on your side, but I have always recommend to couples that they use as a hymn "Now Thank We All Our God." It is not particularly Catholic and it is commonplace. It is also commonly used in Catholic worship, well known by anyone who has ever attended Christian services at all, and totally appropriate to the celebration of an anniversary. If you happen to be engaging a superior organist, there is a setting by Virgil Thompson from a cantata by Bach which is impeccable and very impressive for any point at which you would require something instrumental. Contact me by pm if you have more that could help me advise you.
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  #5  
Old Apr 10, '07, 10:25 am
bluerose bluerose is offline
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Default Re: Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

Actually, our anniversary Mass will not be on the actual date (which will be in the middle of the week prior to July 4th weekend), but will be on the previous Saturday at around noon (trying to accommodate the priests who have Saturday vigil Masses at their own parishes) and it will be held at a small chapel (my old high school chapel, which is a beautiful little Gothic-style chapel, and will probably include all the nuns--in full habits!--at the convent!) The celebration is taking place in the city where we got married, which is where my parents live, and makes it easier for them since traveling is problematic for them. We decided against the church where we got married because 1) it's huge and we don't really need that much space and 2) it is in great demand for weddings during the summer (I got married there because it was the church in which I received all my sacraments, though it was not my parish church... sorry if that sounds confusing!)

When we celebrated my in-laws' and parents' 50th anniversaries, they were able to choose their readings, so I don't see a problem with us choosing ours, but I will double check with my BIL (who will probably be the principal celebrant--if he'd been ordained 20 years ago, he would have celebrated our nuptial Mass!)

As for the music, I don't think the chapel even has an organ (I'll have to check with the sisters). We had considered "Ode to Joy" for the recessional (as an alternative to "Now Thank We All Our God" as a matter of fact!) The two hymns we have decided upon for the offertory ("You Are Near") and communion ("Pescador de Hombres") easily lend themselves to guitar accompaniment and we're hoping my husband's sister will play and sing for the Mass, but I'm not sure "Ode to Joy" can be played well on a guitar!

Sorry if I sound so "picky", but I've often joked that we had my mother's wedding (or maybe my sister's) 20 years ago... now it's OUR turn to have our wedding!
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  #6  
Old Apr 10, '07, 10:35 am
bluerose bluerose is offline
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Default Re: Suggestions for readings and hymns for anniversary Mass

Just an addendum... we're thinking about St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 5, for the epistle. You know, the one where he says, "Wives, be submissive to your husbands." Twenty years ago, I was naive enough to believe that that was "offensive" (which was what the couple doing our pre-Cana counseling hinted at) so I chose 1 Corinthians instead ("Love is patient, love is kind, etc.--which it seems like EVERYbody has read at their weddings!) I've always regretted it, because Ephesians is a truly beautiful reading... and I've come to appreciate it more through the years.
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