Posts filed under ‘Faith’

Twisted Together: The Concluding Rites

After receiving communion we were almost finished.  One element that Mr P and I wanted to include in our wedding was presentation of flowers to the Holy Family.  This tradition is an added element, not part of the normal Wedding Mass.  Traditionally the couple will bring the bride’s bouquet or a smaller special bouquet and lay it at the feet of a Statue of Mary.  Mr P and I chose to honor the Holy Family because we see the love of Mary and Joseph as a wonderful example of living God’s love.

*All photos are by Amore Studios unless otherwise noted.

As we left our seats and made our way across the church, Jeannette sang a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria.

Source: Sarah Brightman- Ave Maria-HQ

Our florist made us a small version of my bouquet for this tradition.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

We lit a candle in prayer.  We asked the Lord to bless us and form us together in marriage and to send the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us as we started our lives together. We asked that we might follow in the example of Mary and Joseph and bring honor to the Lord through our marriage.  We prayed for the souls of our loved ones who had passed on. I find praying with Mr P incredibly unitive and I am glad that we included this tradition in our wedding.

We returned to in front of the altar where our wedding party joined us.


We who have shared the food or your table
Pray for our friends Matthew and Amy
whom you have joined together in marriage.
Keep them close to you always.
May their love for each other
proclaim to all the world
their faith in you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord


Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing.

May almighty God, with his Word of blessing, unite your hearts in the never ending bond of pure love, AMEN.

May your children bring you happiness, and may your generous love for them be returned to you many times over AMEN.

May the peace of Christ live always in your hearts and in your home.
May you have true friends to stand by you in both joy and in sorrow.
May you be ready and willing to help and comfort all who come to you in need,
and may the blessings promised to the compassionate
be yours in abundance. AMEN

May you find happiness and satisfaction in your work, may daily problems never cause you undue anxiety,
nor the desire for earthly possessions dominate your lives.
But may your hearts’ first desire always be the good things waiting for you in the life of heaven. AMEN

May the Lord bless you with many happy years together, so that you may enjoy the rewards of a good life,
And after you have served him loyally in his kingdom on earth,
May he welcome you to his eternal kingdom in heaven. AMEN

And may almighty God bless you all,
the Father, and the Son,  and the Holy Spirit. AMEN

Fr Jim then indicated that Mr Pretzel could kiss his bride. WOOT!

As we kissed, a trumpet sounded out as BIL M played our recessional, Rondeau.  Fun fact, public television fans will recognize the tune as the theme from Masterpiece Theatre.

Source: Trompete und Orgel: Jean Joseph Mouret, Rondeau aus der Premiere Suite de Fanfares

Together we exited as husband and wife, or Hu’bin” and “Wiff” as we like to call each other.

Because BIL M was playing trumpet, the remaining three Groomsmen had to take a bridesmaid on each arm.  Best Man M escorted SIL Tig and “the girl”.

Groomsman B escorted Bridesmaid H and Bridesmaid R.

Groomsman V escorted SILs S and M.

As our guests filed out of the church we were off in a side room making it legal!

This past weekend Mr P and I were at a wedding where the minister forgot to sign the marriage certificate. EEK!  Fr Jim didn’t leave us hanging, no sir, he signed that bad boy right away.

While we were signing our guests were enjoying a little snack in the narthex.  Come on, we had to reward them for sitting through a long Catholic wedding.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

The weather was much warmer than normal so our guests really appreciated the personalized water bottles.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

The chocolate covered pretzels were snatched up in an instant by the time we were getting ready to exit the church I was disappointed to see that they were all gone.  Our photographer managed to grab one to photograph later.

Our guests were properly hydrated and sugared by the time we made our exit. They had their Yay flags in hand and we were greeted with hoots and hollers.

YAY! As we neared the end of the walkway we were surrounded by friends and family.  Lots of hugs, kisses and congratulations were exchanged.  Our guest’s response to our wedding Mass was amazing.  Catholics and non-Catholics alike remarked on how personal and special the Mass was, how fun and festive it was, and how our personalities had shone through in all the elements.  The gentleman in the orange shirt above, a friend from work, remarked on how musical it all was.  “On sale in the lobby after the wedding, Mr & Mrs Pretzel the musical.”  We had a good chuckle about that and consider it all evidence of mission accomplished!

I was now a Mrs and couldn’t stop grinning like a fool.  My husband held my hand and we marveled how surrounded by love we felt.

What were your first feelings after your wedding ceremony?

Up next: Hop in the back of my truck!

Need to catch up?

Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps:

May 15, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Twisted Together: Liturgy of the Eucharist

In the most recent Pretzel recap we exchanged vows.  For catholics who chose not to have a full Mass, the wedding ceremony ends soon after vows are exchanged.  However, if you are celebrating Mass you proceed to the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the presentation of gifts.

Preparation of the gifts

Big Bro Pretzel and Pretzel nephew “the boy” brought up the gifts of bread and wine to the Priest while we sang my favorite hymn, The Summons.

I was really glad to have my brother and nephew bring up the gifts.  At their home church my nephew and niece are frequently asked to bring up the gifts at Mass and I had no worries that “the boy” would do an awesome job.

Source: The Summons Written by John Bell of the Iona Community, and sung by Robert Kochis.

Our song choice here makes Mr P tear up every time he hears it because he knows that the song holds special meaning to me.  Our Wedding day was no exception and I get misty eyed just remembering how beautiful the song sounded.

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide
If I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside
And never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found
To reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound
In you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true
When you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you
And never be the same.
In your company I’ll go
Where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow
In you and you in me.

Words: John L. Bell & Graham Maule, copyright © 1987 Wild Goose Resource Group/ WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland.

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

You created man in love to share your divine life. We see his high destiny in the love of husband and wife, which bears  the imprint of your own divine love.

Love is man’s origin, love is his constant calling, love is his fulfillment in heaven.

The love of man and woman is made holy in the sacrament of marriage, and becomes the mirror of your everlasting love.

Through Christ the choirs of angels and all the saints praise and worship your glory. May our voices blend with theirs as we join in their unending hymn:

Source: Lucia Palmieri Sings “The Mass of Creation” Holy Holy

Eucharistic Prayer

We knelt for the eucharistic prayer which Fr Jim sang.  HE SANG!  Fr Jim is an accomplished vocalist and his voice never fails to bring shivers to my spine.  Yeah, he’s my favorite singing, blogging, all around techy Priest!  I cannot put into words how beautiful the eucharistic prayer is when he sings it.  Usually the eucharistic prayer is sung at special occasions, and during our marriage preparation meetings with him we asked if he would be willing to sign it at our wedding.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

I was amazed that Mr P and I, who are both know for wearing our emotions on our sleeves, managed to keep a dry eye until the Eucharistic prayer.  During this prayerful moment the emotions and joy of the day overtook both of us.

Through him,
with him,
in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

Together we said the Lords Prayer…

… then received the nuptial blessing.

Nuptial Blessing

Let us pray to our Loving God for Matthew and Amy
who come to God’s altar at the beginning of their married life
so that they may always be united in love for each other
as now they share in the body and blood of Christ.

Holy Father, you created humanity in your own image
and made man and woman to be joined as husband and wife
in union of body and heart and so fulfill their mission in this world.
To reveal the plan of your love,
you made the union of husband and wife
an image of the covenant between you and your people.

In the fulfillment of this sacrament,
the marriage of Christian man and woman
is a sign of the marriage between Christ and the church.
Gracious God, stretch out your hand, Matthew and Amy.

Loving God, grant they as they begin to live this sacrament
they may share with each other the gifts of your love
and become one in heart and mind
as witnesses to your presence in their marriage.
Help them to create a home together
and give them children to be formed by the gospel
and to have a place in your family.

Give your blessings to Amy, your daughter,
so that she may be a good wife and mother,
caring for the home,
faithful in love for her husband,
generous and kind.

Give your blessings to Matthew, your son,
so that he may be a faithful husband and a good father,
caring for the home,
generous and kind.

Gracious God,
grant that as they come together to your table on earth,
so they may one day have the joy of sharing your feast in heaven.
We ask this Christ our Lord.


Sign of Peace

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles,
“Peace I give you; my peace I leave you.”
Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your church,
and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom
where you live for ever and ever.


At the sign of peace you turn to the people around you, extend a handshake (or hug) and wish them “peace be with you”.  Mr P and I took that opportunity to slip in a kiss too!  We then went out to the pews to embrace our family and friends.

Papa Pretzel gave me a kiss on the cheek and FIL Pretzel hugged Mr P tight.

Previous two images courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

I got hugs from Bridesmaid R and Mr P was welcomed to the family by SIL Tig.


As we received communion for the first time as husband and wife, we sang Hail Mary: Gentle woman.

Source: Hail Mary Gentle Woman sung by Angelina (EWTN)

Our friends Annie and Jay served as Eucharistic Ministers.  It was very special to have friends participate in our Mass.

We’re almost done. Woot Woot! Up next the Concluding Rites.

Need to catch up?

Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps:

May 13, 2011 at 6:46 am Leave a comment

Twisted Together: Rite of Marriage

In an earlier post I walked down the aisle to my Groom, and  then we celebrated a very personal Liturgy of the Word.  Now it was time to stand up before our family and friends and state our intentions and receive the Sacrament of Marriage.  If you celebrate the Rites of Marriage inside Mass or outside Mass, in the Catholic Church the Rite of Marriage are the same in either situation.  I like that Mr P and I said the same words to each other that our parents said in their vows, our grandparents said in their vows, and that generations upon generations have vowed before us.

*All images courtesy of Amore Studios unless otherwise noted.


 My dear friends, you have come together in this church so that God may seal and strengthen your love in the presence of the Church’s minister and this community gathered in faith.

In this way you will be strengthened to keep mutual and lasting faith with each other and to carry out the other duties of marriage.

And so, in the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions.

Matthew and Amy, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?

“We will”

Will you love and honor each other as wife and husband for the rest of your lives?

“We will”

Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his church?

“We will”

Exchange Of Vows

Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your right hands, and declare your consent before God and this community.

Matthew, do you take Amy to be your wife? Do you promise to be true to her in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love her and honor her all the days of your life?

“I do.”

Amy, do you take Matthew to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honor him all the days of your life?

“I do.”

You have declared your consent before the Church. May God’s goodness strengthen your consent and fill you both with many blessings. What God has joined, let no one divide.


Blessing of Rings


Bless and consecrate Amy and Matt. In their love for each other, may these rings be a symbol of true faith in each other, and always remind them of their love.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

“Amy, take this ring as a symbol of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Poor Mr P, I’m smirking because my fingers had swelled up to sausage like proportions on our wedding day. It was particularly warm and Mr Pretzel had the hardest time getting my ring on my finger.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

“Matt, take this ring as a symbol of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Mr P’s ring went on much easier. Phew!


God has given us promises in the word of Scripture. Matthew and Amy have given their promises to each other in marriage. This hour of promise is also a time of prayer. We turn to God and make our response by singing: “Lord, hear our prayer.”

For the general intercessions usually an intention is read.  The reader then says “We pray to the Lord” and the congregation responds “Lord hear our prayer”. This is repeated for multiple prayer intentions. Our friend J read our intercessions but sang the “We pray to the Lord”  and the congregation chimes in on the word “Lord” and sings “Lord hear our prayer”.  It is Mr P and my favorite way to do the general intercessions.

For the church, those who serve the church, and for all who preach and practice the Gospel of Christ, we pray to the Lord.

For our nation and this city, and for all those who serve in government, we pray to the Lord.

For the outcasts and downtrodden of our city and our nation, and for the churches and families who offer them refuge and compassion, we pray to the Lord.

For Matthew and Amy and all married couples, for their faithfulness to each other and for their loving service of the Gospel, we pray to the Lord.

For the parents and families of Matthew and Amy, for their godparents, we pray to the Lord.

For family members who have gone before us marked with the sign of Faith, especially Mrs Pretzel’s Paternal Grandparents and Maternal Grandfather and Mr Pretzel’s Paternal Grandfather,  we pray to the Lord.

For our own needs in a moment of silence… we pray to the Lord.

God our Creator, guardian of our homes and source of all blessings, you delight in the happiness of your people. Hear the prayers this Church offers for Matthew and Amy for all your people and for all the world. Fulfill our needs and guide our actions towards the building up of your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


EEEE! We’re married yo! Mr Pretzel and I took our seats, admired our rings and grinned like fools at each other.

Coming up: We celebrate the Eucharist for the first time as husband and wife!

Need to catch up?

Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps:

May 12, 2011 at 9:39 am Leave a comment

Twisted Together: Liturgy of the Word

After months of planning and preparation I was standing next to Mr Pretzel and ready to begin our Nuptial Mass.  If you ask either of us what our favorite part of planning was you might be surprised to hear that it was planning our Mass together.  For us the  celebrating our marriage with Mass was the highest part of our day and the real purpose of all of our preparations.

I frequently get comments and questions from other Catholic brides looking to personalize their Mass. At some point I will try to pull a list of tips.  This post details exactly how our Nuptial Mass flowed and some commentary to why we selected each piece. In hindsight, I really wish that we had a video or audio recording of our Mass.  I would be happy if we had just made an audio recording.  Where possible I have found YouTube videos of some of the songs and Mass parts.  All images by Amore Studios unless otherwise indicated.

Introductory Rites

“The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Gathering Song

“Sing a New Song”

Source: Sing a New Song by Filipino Ministry of St Mary (Huntley)

Just like a regular Mass we start off with a gathering song that brings everyone together. To help set the tone for the Mass we chose a joyful and upbeat standard song that most Catholics know the words to.  

Penitential Rite

Called together in God’s love for us and our love for God, let us ask God for peace and forgiveness…

You showed us the power of God’s love through your obedient death on the cross, Lord have mercy.
ALL: Lord have mercy.

You reveal your love for the Church in the union of husband and wife, Christ have mercy.
ALL: Christ have mercy.

You call us to love one another as you have loved us, Lord, have mercy.
ALL: Lord have mercy.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting live. Amen.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray….

Gracious God, you have made the bond of marriage a holy mystery, a symbol of Christ’s love for his church. Hear our prayers for Matthew and Amy. With faith in you and in each other they pledge their love today. May their lives always bear witness to the reality of that love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and your Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Our first reading  lectured by my Aunt Sue 

The First Reading

We selected his reading because it speaks both to human love and the passionate love that God has for his people. 

Song of Songs: 2:8-10, 14, 16a;8:6-7a

A reading from the Song of Songs
Hark! my lover – here he comes
springing across the mountains,
leaping across the hills.

My Lover is like a gazelle
or a young stag.

Here he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
peering through the lattices.

My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come!

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,

Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,

For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”

My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He says to me:

“Set me a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;

For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether-world is devotion;
its flames are a blazing fire.

Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.”

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Our dear friend J helped us arrange the music for our Mass and performed as a soloist. Her voice is magnificent.

Loving and Forgiving are you, O Lord
Slow to anger, rich in kindness,
Loving and forgiving are You

Source:Loving and Forgiving Are You by GabrielleSings

Mr P’s Aunt Susan read our second reading

The Second Reading

We selected this meeting because it summed up nicely our perspective not only on how to live a christian life but also how to live a christian marriage.  Hospitality became a theme of sorts for our wedding day and one that we try to live out in our marriage.

Hebrews 13:1-4a, 5-6b

A reading from the letter to the Hebrews

Brothers and sisters: Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body. Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled. Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you. Thus we may say with confidence:

The Lord is my helper,
and I will not be afraid.

The word of the Lord.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

Gospel Acclamation

“Alleluia Give the Glory”

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!

Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them; there I’ll be.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!

We love this version of the Alleluia, especially because it contains the verse about where two or three are gathered in my name.  When Mr P and I were on our Engaged Encounter he and I discussed this verse and how it applies to marriage.  We both felt it is beautiful because in a christian marriage there two are gathered in His name.  Whenever I hear this version of the Alleluia my mind always goes to that thought.

Source: Give the Glory- Bob Hurd and Ken Canedo

We sang the first 1:50 of this recording.

The Gospel

The Beatitudes reading was a favorite of ours.  The reading on our wedding day is a reminder to foster these habits within our marriage.

Matthew 5:1-12a

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began teaching them saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.

Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

 The Homely

I really wish I could tell you exactly what Father Jim said when addressing us and our guests.  I remember that he remarked that this was the first wedding that he had performed where the wedding party was wearing brightly colored Chuck Taylors.  In reflection on our readings he focused on our second reading.  He remarked that this isn’t often a reading chosen for weddings and if he had to venture a guess why we selected it he would guess that it was because of the message of hospitality.  Fr Jim knows both of us well and it was wonderful to hear him speak so personally about both of us.

Next Up: The Rites of Marriage- we get married yo!

Need to catch up?

Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps:

April 26, 2011 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Playing Against Type

Mr Pretzel and I made a lot of choices during our courtship and our engagement that people had difficulty wrapping their heads around.  It’s not that our choices were off the wall or nontraditional in fact, it was how TRADITIONAL our choices were that made them uncommon.

Early in our relationship we had a somewhat awkward (although reassuring) conversation when we discussed sex before marriage.  I remember the feeling of terror when I told Mr P that I didn’t want to have sex before marriage.  I didn’t know if Mr P was the man I would marry but I knew if I did, I wanted to wait.  I was completely unsure of how he would react. It’s not like I had much practice with this type of conversation.  I wasn’t a virgin saving myself for marriage, but I had come to realize (in my late 20’s) that in fact, waiting is what I wanted.  What a relief it was when he said he was not only OK with that but that he was fully supportive of that decision.   As we dated we wrestled with this decision and grew through it.  I don’t frequently bust out and tell folks that Mr P and I were waiting, but our friends could piece it together.  In some cases I think it made them think differently of us, as if this choice somehow made us prudish.

Engagement Photo by Amore Studios

More noticeable was people’s inability to understand why we would purchase a house together before the wedding but not live together.  I can’t tell you how many times we heard ” Let me get this straight you (Mrs Pretzel) own the house with Mr Pretzel. He lives there and you pay rent to live somewhere else?”   I am sure people felt that this was flushing money down the drain but if they couldn’t understand our first choice neither of us really expected them to understand this choice.

“But lots of people make these choices!” I found myself wanting to scream.  Why does it seem so novel (the word “quaint” was used a time or two) for us to make these choices?  Mr Pretzel finally shed some light on the subject for me.  “We’re weird,” he said. “We don’t fit the archetype that most people have in their brains for the type of people who wait until marriage to have sex and cohabitate. We are playing against type.”

So true.  On the outside people see a young, goofy, cosmopolitan couple. We’re a couple of eco-conscious nerds who love beer and music.  People assume that since we are like them in these ways that means we share political, religious, and moral beliefs.  What you don’t see on the outside is that we are practicing Catholics who believe in and try our best follow the teachings of the Church.  We tend to be conservative but are unsettled about what conservative politics in America means. We don’t fit the archetype of a conservative but nor do we fit into any other box.

I also was bothered that other people saw our choices as a judgment on them. We are grounded in our beliefs  but that doesn’t mean that we expect others to make the same choices, nor that we judge the choices of others. When a friend who hadn’t seen us in a while asked what we had been up to after the wedding, I told him “Moving me into our house.”  After a head cock to the side and a puzzled look I elaborated and explained that Matt and I didn’t live together before the wedding.  For me it was just a statement of fact .  Later his girlfriend was visibly uncomfortable telling us that he and she lived together.  Mr P told me later that when I state our choice, others might feel that means I am judging others.  I felt horrible and a wee bit misunderstood.

Why am I telling you this?  I think in blogging (and sometimes in real life) I have purposefully allow people to get to know me first before I give them a larger glimpse into who I am to avoid being typecast.  As I start to move closer to recaps I felt it was important to discuss the concept “Playing against type”.  The choices Mr Pretzel and I made in our courtship played a large role in the type of wedding that we had.  For example it was important to us that we craft an informal full nuptial Mass that was fully of joy and energy but still reverent.  And finally, I know there are a number of Bees out there who are making similar choices, I just wanted to wave my hand and say “Your not alone.”

In what way do you think you and your FI are “playing against type”?  Has this affected your wedding planning?

October 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

I am Mrs Pretzel

On Weddingbee