The music played during a Catholic wedding holds great significance, with the right music selections adding incredible reverence and beauty to the sacred ceremony. Whether you’re planning a grand church wedding with a high Mass or an intimate celebration, in this article, we will guide you through selecting the best Catholic wedding songs that align with the solemnity and joy of the occasion as well as your musical preferences as a couple.
Understanding the Importance of Catholic Wedding Music
Before diving into song suggestions, it’s essential to grasp the significance of music in a Catholic wedding. The melodies chosen should reflect the sacredness of the Sacrament of Matrimony and contribute to the worship of Our Lord. From the processional to the recessional, each musical piece should harmonize with the liturgy and enhance the couple’s vows–not distract from it.
Many Catholic Churches and diocese have specific requirements for Catholic wedding music, so be sure to check your selections with your priest, wedding coordinator, or music director as soon as possible.
Traditional Catholic Wedding Songs
Traditional Catholic hymns have stood the test of time and continue to be cherished choices for wedding Masses. Songs like “Ave Maria,” “Panis Angelicus,” and “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” evoke classic devotion to Jesus as well as treasured memories for many of your wedding guests!
Here is an excellent example of classic Catholic wedding songs in order for the wedding Mass:
Prelude: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
Seating/Parents/Wedding Party: “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”
Bride’s Entrance: “Canon in D”
Gloria/Mass Setting: “Mass of Renewal”
Psalm: Psalm 128 (Haugen)
Gospel Acclamation: “Celtic Alleluia”
Offertory: “Be Thou My Vision”
Communion: “Panis Angelicus”
Flowers to Mary: “Hail Mary: Gentle Woman” or “Ave Maria”
Recessional: “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
Check in your parish’s hymnal to see if your desired Mass parts and wedding hymns are included. If not, you might want to print the words/music in your wedding program for the congregation to sing along!
Contemporary Catholic Wedding Songs
For couples who prefer a more modern touch, there are beautiful contemporary songs that maintain the Catholic spirit. These songs capture the essence of love, faith, and commitment and can add a personal touch to your wedding mass.
We highly recommend checking with your parish’s music director for specific requirements for more contemporary hymns or music. Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and secular songs like “A Thousand Years” are not generally permitted at a Catholic wedding Mass.
Tips for a Smooth Music Planning Process
Selecting the perfect music for your Catholic wedding can be an exciting but challenging task.
Step one is deciding what musicians / singers you want at your wedding ceremony and how many you can afford. A string quartet versus a solo cantor can vary greatly in pricing. Some parish choirs are willing to sing at wedding Masses on a volunteer basis.
Step two is learning your parish’s rules and guidelines for wedding Mass music selection. Your parish’s music director or priest will know where to find these guidelines.
Step three is the fun part: selecting the best Catholic wedding music for your ceremony! There are plenty of lists online (including the one above in this post). You can also skim through your parish hymnal for hymns on the topics of love, trust, sacrifice, and specific saints / liturgical seasons.
Choosing the right music for your Catholic wedding can elevate the entire experience, creating an atmosphere that is reverent, joyous, and deeply meaningful. By carefully selecting a combination of traditional and contemporary songs that align with the liturgy and reflect your personal journey as a couple, you can create a soundtrack that will be remembered and cherished for years to come. So, explore the timeless classics and contemporary gems, consult with your priest or music director, and let the power of music enhance your Catholic wedding celebration.
If you need further assistance planning your Catholic wedding music and making sure it goes off without a hitch on the big day, reach out to Marie here at White Lily Weddings!