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How to use your wedding to evangelize

When my husband and I were preparing for our wedding in 2017, I was definitely what you'd call a DIY bride. Everything I could make myself, I did. Centerpieces, place cards, invitations, even the ice cream sundae bar.

So when I got to our wedding programs, it wasn't going to be any different. I have a design background and love to write, so how hard could it be?

Then I got to the "who can receive Communion" part of the program. I felt it was important to address this, as we'd have some family members who were not Catholic in attendance, but I had also seen programs where this language seemed to go a bit far, to the point of being uninviting to those who were not practicing their faith. I wanted to strike a balance between preachy and reverent, and I was coming up blank.

As I was debating the language to use, however, I realized that the problem wasn't really saying the Communion procedure, but rather finding a succinct way to explain how much it means to us. It was at that point that I realized this may be the one opportunity I had to evangelize to our family and friends, especially those who would only ever enter a church for our wedding. Thus, I began to realize that it wasn't just the Eucharist that needed explaining, but the background of the entire Mass and the sacrament.

With that in mind, I took off writing, and created program inserts that talked about the entire Mass. I of course addressed the issue of receiving Communion, but I also took the time to explain why we picked the readings we did, why we got married in a church instead of outside, and the meaning behind our vows, in addition to explaining the reason behind the rules for reception of the Eucharist.

I tried to do it all in a fun, light tone, telling people it was something for them to read while they waited for the wedding to start and throwing in some inside jokes.

The response was epic.