A revision of the Rite of Matrimony was recently promulgated and this will affect the way the sacrament is celebrated at St. Thomas More. The Church is encouraging a more liturgical celebration that would be similar to the way other sacraments are celebrated. It would be hard to imagine First Communion or Confirmation without an Opening Song or a Gloria. The Church values Marriage as much as she values Holy Orders, yet weddings have been celebrated without a liturgical procession and with minimal congregational singing.
The new Rite envisions a liturgical procession, with cross bearer, servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, and priest, accompanied by the Opening Song. Not everyone will be comfortable with this at first, so the Church will still allow the more secular procession to instrumental music. However, once everyone is in place, every wedding must begin with an Opening Song. If there is a Mass, the Gloria must always be either said or sung.
Liturgy always involves the assembly. The new Rite includes a couple of things for the assembly to say or sing. After the vows the priest says: “Let us bless the Lord.” The assembly responds: “Thanks be to God.” After the giving of rings the assembly sings a hymn of thanksgiving. Then everyone joins in the Universal Prayer.
These are not huge changes, and most Catholic guests will just assume that the wedding will feel a lot like a Sunday Mass. However, Catholics being as minimalist as everyone else, in the past the wedding ceremony was paired back to where it looked almost like a secular event.