Music in the the WEdding Liturgy
Music for Weddings in the Catholic Church
- Wedding Music must conform to guidelines for liturgical sacramental celebrations. It is an integral part of the Liturgy and should promote an atmosphere of prayer. Sacred music is always the proper setting for the Wedding Liturgy. Arrangements for your music must be made with the Director of Music, to ensure proper selections.
- Each couple is required to attend planning sessions with the Director of Music.
- The Director of Music Ministries will complete with the couple a Wedding Liturgy Planning Sheet.
- It is the church’s policy that a parish musician must be present at all wedding liturgies. There is a fee charged for that service. The check should be made out to the musician, who will be assigned by the Director of Music. Outside musicians may perform only with the Director’s knowledge and approval, and must contact him at least one month in advance of the Wedding date.
- It is helpful if the cantor (vocalist) and/or accompanist is of the Catholic faith and is experienced at leading a Catholic liturgy.
Selecting Music for your Wedding Liturgy
- The music must be sacred and have lyrics which express a Christian view of love and life, i.e., not only the human love of one person for another but also God’s love for all people.
- The music should fit the part of the ceremony in which it is used and should not cause delays in the ceremony.
- Secular music (non-sacred or popular) should be kept for use at the reception only.
Guidelines for Music for the Wedding Liturgy
- Congregational singing is strongly encouraged.
- Specific parts of the Mass should be sung by the cantor and congregation: Psalm Response, Gospel Acclamation (“Alleluia”); Holy, Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen and Lamb of God.
- The Lord’s Prayer can only be sung as a solo if the Eucharist is not included in the ceremony.
- Recorded music of any kind is not allowed in the church.
Placement of Music at your Wedding Liturgy
- Preludes are appropriate as the guests are gathering and being seated to help them prepare for the communal celebration of the Wedding Liturgy. Instrumental music is encouraged (solo or ensemble) or suitable songs can be sung by a solo vocalist or a choir.
- If your Marriage is celebrated as a Wedding Liturgy of the Word (without communion), then after the Exchange of Vows and Rings, the Liturgy is concluded with the General Intercessions, Nuptial Blessing, Lord’s Prayer, Final Blessing and Recessional. If your Marriage is celebrated within the context of Mass, then your Wedding Liturgy continues with the Preparation of the Gifts and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
- Postludes are appropriate directly following the Recessional for a short period of time only to accompany guests leaving the church with a spirit of rejoicing in praise of God’s Blessing. Instrumental music is encouraged (solo or ensemble) or suitable songs can be sung by a solo vocalist or a choir.
Music during a Special Liturgical Season
The seasons of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) and Lent (the 40 days from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week) are penitential seasons in the worship calendar of the Catholic Church. Weddings are permitted, but discouraged during Advent and Lent due to the penitential nature of musical texts. The Alleluia is not sung during Lent.
- Church policy requires that a parish Audio/Visual Technician be present at all events in the church. $75.00 is the fee charged for this service.