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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Catholic Church Ceremony

Hi all, I haven't been quite experienced yet with a Catholic church ceremony. As you know, there usually quite a few mass procession in it where the priest says something and repeated by the congregation, prayers, etc etc..

I just want to have some insight.. what do you guys usually include in the DVD for this type of ceremony? I suppose I will not need those complete procession.. just the selected highlights of the mass such as ring exchange, vow, unity candle, some prayers/sermons?

Any info would be appreciated.

Cheers,


John
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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Johannes, I'm not a catholic but I think you'll find that the mass is a separate part of the service (in the UK at least) to the wedding ceremony. Thus the rings, vows etc will be much the same as in a normal church (catholic or protestant) ceremony and you can plan those as normal. If the couple choose a nuptial mass it will be a mass that starts at the end of the wedding ceremony.

My personal advice would be to contact the church and talk to the priest. I've always found them more than happy to explain and advise- and most will be impressed with your willingness to ask rather than blunder in and upset things on the day. They may also feel that the sanctity of the mass is something they'd want video recorded in a particularly non-intrusive way.

Finally, as far as what you include in the programme, I'd always ask the client.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 12:13 AM   #3
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Here in my neck of the woods this is how it usually is done.

The entrance etc.
Then the Mass itself begins.
The ceremony is wound into the Mass, becoming an integral part.
The readings, are all part of the Mass, as is the gospel and homily. The homily is typcially addressed to the bride and groom, but often will be written for all to take something from it.
Then the actual exchange of the vows and rings. The "paperwork" may be done then, but is often held to after the Mass portion has concluded.
Somewhere in this mix, they will light the candle together as well. Assume shortly after the vows.
Presentation of the gifts, this is typically done by people selected by the bride and groom, if not done themselves.
Then the Consecration and Communion.
Finally the introduction of the couple and Mass is ended, go in peace.

Some pointers. The "sanctuary" is sacred ground, that is the area around the altar, typically elevated from the main floor. The altar itself, don't even THINK about setting something on it !!! Best advice, don't go any where near the sanctuary, use zoom if you have to get in tight.

I would record it all, and then cut what the couple wants. If they are devout, they probably want from start to finish. Their receiving of communion, the readings and homily, I would guess would be what most might want, along with the typical "ceremony" stuff.

I wouldn't be afraid to send the priest a copy of him giving his homily, might get you some points for next time you may have to shoot there. As always, when you introduce yourself, the next thing out of your mouth should be "Father, what are YOUR rules for videoing a wedding" and you will be off to a good start.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 01:24 AM   #4
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Hi guys, thanks for the tips! Really useful. There's a planned rehearsal tomorrow so I will try introduce myself to the Priest and ask him. I think I'll record everything (I can always delete eventually).. and I will stay well away from the sanctuary!!
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Old October 21st, 2010, 06:26 AM   #5
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I always record the complete ceremony, that's what the couple chose - who am I to decide what to leave in and out.

Definitely talk to the priest, most are pretty good and they'll tell you where not to go.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Thanks Paul. Yes I was just wondering what is usually included in the DVD. The client have let me decide what to include and what not to.

I've met with the priest, and he seemed very lenient. He even invited me to get up the altar to take close up during certificate signing, etc. He didn't even tell me what not to do.. he just told me to avoid blocking people's view.. that's all. :)
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 03:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
the next thing out of your mouth should be "Father, what are YOUR rules for videoing a wedding" and you will be off to a good start.
amen to that

it always worth letting them know you respect the sanctity of the place & the ceremony, I always tell them the most important part of my job is to record what the priest says to the couple and what they say to each other.

I guess we're lucky over here but it only takes a couple of prats who do the wrong thing to make life hard for the rest of us.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 11:54 AM   #8
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1.) ask priest about ground rules. They can vary. I had one priest that requested no movement at all once the ceremony started. Most have been flexible - just stay off the alter
2.) don't move around or cause any distractions during prayers.
3.) You may need to move your cameras for congregation to get up and receive communion.
4.) I like to have my main camera front and center for the bride entrance. I hold the shot as long as possible then move to the side as the bride approaches the alter. I've had a few priests give me the eye (move now!)
5.) If you'll be using a stationary 2nd camera, find out where exactly they'll be on the alter so you can frame it up.
6.) Get lots of b footage for cutaways. Catholic churches usually have a lot interesting things to shoot.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
Thanks Paul. Yes I was just wondering what is usually included in the DVD. The client have let me decide what to include and what not to.

I've met with the priest, and he seemed very lenient. He even invited me to get up the altar to take close up during certificate signing, etc. He didn't even tell me what not to do.. he just told me to avoid blocking people's view.. that's all. :)
Here, I ask the couple to tell me how much of the mass they want on their disk, but I shoot everything so I do not have to resynch my cameras. (I do multi-cam shoots and use a flash as a synch point but most of the churches in my area prohibit flashes during the ceremony). Usually, they want the parts of the ceremony that relate to them and we cut out the communion,.

I second the recommendations about talking to the priest about what will be done because ceremonies vary in length. Things that affect the length of the ceremony are: (a) whether they are doing a simple wedding ceremony or a full mass; (b) find out how many guests will be coming and whether there will be communion because communion with a large number of guests can take a fair bit of time; and (c) find out how many songs and musical interludes they will have and how many verses of songs will be sung. I videoed one ceremony that ran 1 hour and 40 minutes because they did a full mass with a huge number of guests who took communion and where they had a soloist sing every verse of every song. (Who knew there can be 17 verses to Ave Maria?) You want to know about that beforehand, especially if you are using tape or 16gb media that you'll have to swap out. Mostly, the services with communion here (full mass) here run between 45 minutes and an hour from procession to recession, depending on the number of guests. I've had a few that were only the sacrament of marriage and those ceremonies ran about 25 minutes.

When I can, I go to the rehearsal. I try to do this because most of the Catholic churches here are enormous rooms with acoustics and house sound systems that run the gamut from splendid to awful. Also, virtually all of the newer Catholic churches in this area are designed almost like ampitheaters with seating that wraps around the sides of a large platform. The altar will be front and center with a large area behind it and to the sides for readers and musicians. You definitely stay away from the altar during any kind of service. Simple courtesy says you never put anything on it, either. But, when I need to stash a microphone, there are usually flower vases to either side and it is no problem stashing a mic in there.

I've never had a problem putting a locked-down camera and/or mikes in the areas back and to the sides (by the musicians and readers for example). I always ask permission, though. I take reasonable steps to try to make cameras as unobtrusive as I can.

Otherwise, I put cameras in the back of church and stay back there for the service. That's pretty much standard for all wedding venues here. One nice thing about the amphitheater layout is the wide swath of the "back of the church" gives you a lot of flexibility in camera placement and views.
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