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How many readings at a church wedding?

Your wedding day is likely to be one of the most important and memorable days of your life. There is so much planning and preparation that goes into making a perfect ceremony, and decisions that you need to make. One decision that couples have to make when planning a church wedding is how many readings they want to include in the ceremony.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting how many readings you should include in your ceremony, as it comes down to personal preference. However, it is essential to keep in mind that while some readings might sound great on paper, they might not be the best fit for your wedding ceremony.

The Tradition of Readings

During a traditional church wedding, a couple might include between two to three readings. These readings are typically read by family members and friends tasked with the responsibility and honour of participating in the ceremony. The readings you select should reflect your story and personalities, while at the same time remaining relevant to your faith.

The Verses at a church wedding also have a rich history, as they have been a central part of religious ceremonies for hundreds of years. The passages from the Bible can provide a deeper meaning, grace and strength, which is ideal for the couples that will continue to seek each other’s help and guidance in years to come.

Choosing Your Readings

One of the biggest considerations when selecting readings for your church wedding is whether they are suitable, as well as meaningful, to you. The readings should be an expression of love, support, and good wishes for you, your spouse, families, and friends. To do that effectively, consider consulting with the religious leader that will be presiding over your ceremony.

Number of Readings

Traditionally, most church weddings will have two readings; the first reading will be from the Old Testament, and the second one will be from the New Testament. Including a gospel reading from one of the four Gospels – Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John is a common feature in Catholic weddings.

However, nowadays, couples are embracing individualism, to include more readings or less if that is what they want. It all comes down to what you and your partner want, as it is your wedding day.

Wedding Service Orders

Some couples will work with their religious leaders to come up with service orders that best reflect their tastes and preferences. For instance, you may opt for the traditional service that includes the usual two or three scripture readings, or you can choose to design your order, which, in some cases, may include writings, reflections, or poetry that are meaningful and inspirational to you.

The Role of Religious Leaders

In most cases, it is the role of the religious leader, be it a priest, pastor, or minister, to conduct the religious service. This includes selecting the scripture passages, hymns and prayers that will go into the ceremony. Once you communicate your preferences to the religious leader overseeing your wedding ceremony, they can make recommendations regarding suitable passages for your ceremony’s readings, and add other information such as the rituals and prayers that you should include.


In conclusion, selecting readings for your church wedding is all about choosing something that is relevant to you and your partner while remaining appropriate to your faith. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules, and as far as the number of readings is concerned, it all depends on what you and your partner want. Work with your religious leaders to ensure that the readings not only represent you but also inspire and comfort those who will be present at your wedding ceremony.


How many readings are in Sunday masses?

In the Roman Catholic Church, it is common practice to include readings during Mass, particularly on Sundays and solemnities. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, there should be three Scripture readings given on Sundays and solemnities, which include the first reading, the second reading, and the Gospel reading. On other days, there are only two readings, namely the first reading and the Gospel reading.

The three readings on Sunday masses are chosen based on their thematic connection so that they complement and build upon each other. The first reading is usually taken from the Old Testament, which is a term wider than Hebrew Scriptures, as it includes the Deuterocanonical Books. The reason for this is that it provides the congregation with a foundation and context for the Gospel message to follow. During the Easter season, it is customary to read from the Acts of the Apostles instead of the Old Testament. The second reading is usually taken from one of the letters of the New Testament and is selected for its relevance to the message in the Gospel reading. Lastly, the Gospel reading is usually taken from one of the four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, and is seen as the focal point of the Mass as it brings the message of Christ to the people.

The inclusion of the three readings during Sunday Masses is seen as a way to help worshippers develop a deeper understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church. It allows them to reflect on the Word of God and apply it to their lives. It also adds a great deal of depth to the celebration of Mass, making it a more profound and meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Can you have two readings at wedding?

Yes, you can definitely have two readings at a wedding ceremony. In fact, you can have as many readings and poems as you like to make the ceremony more special and personalized.

Having readings at a wedding ceremony is a beautiful way to add sentimental and meaningful touches to the occasion. It allows the couple to express their love and commitment to each other through the words of literature, poetry, or religious texts. Typically, couples opt for 1-3 readings or poems throughout their wedding ceremony to keep the flow and timing of the ceremony balanced.

However, if the couple wishes to have more than three readings or poems, they should inform their wedding officiant beforehand so they can adjust the ceremony timeline accordingly. Additionally, if the readings are to be given by different persons, it is important to ensure that each reader has enough time to recite their chosen piece and that all readings are coordinated with the ceremony proceedings.

One popular reading at weddings is the Blessing of the Hands, which is a poetic verse that highlights the significance of the wedding rings. It is usually recited by the officiant before the couple exchange their rings as a way of expressing the sanctity of the union, symbolizing the union of two hearts and the merging of two lives.

The number of readings at a wedding ceremony is entirely up to the preferences of the couple. As long as the readings are well thought-out and meaningful, it can contribute to making the wedding ceremony more special and memorable for both the couple and their guests.