Catholic Wedding Music

Catholic weddings confer the sacrement of matrimony, which unites one man and one women so that no one and nothing can separate them. Jesus said, "what God has joined together, let no man put asunder." In the Catholic Church, a wedding ceremony is a holy occasion celebrated by a Eucharistic liturgy, a mass. For this reason, all Catholic weddings must take place inside the church or cathedral, not in an unholy venue such as the beach. Likewise, the music played at a Catholic wedding must accompany the decorum of the ceremony and allow the entire congregation to worship together.

Secular music may not be played inside churches or cathedrals. Believe it or not, this often includes the popular wedding tunes such as “Here Comes the Bride.” The reason for this is that many of those classical pieces were composed for operas, not for worship of the Lord. Therefore, they are considered secular. A cantor or organist is usually available through the church to counsel couples on the matters of Catholic wedding music.

Music is an important part of the Church tradition, and should encourage all the wedding participants, including guests, to worship together on the holy event of your marriage. A few parts of the ceremony will be required to be accompanied by music, such as a congregational song. A solo or two will be allowed, but not for every song because the assembly must also be allowed an opportunity to worship together.

Many Catholic Parishes do not allow outside musicians to perform any wedding ceremony music, although, exceptions may be made for special family members or close friends who desire to perform a single song. Typically, the Parish will offer a list of acceptable musicians for you to choose from. Also, additional rules may apply if your wedding date falls on one of the forty days of Lent.

A very popular Catholic wedding song is "Ave Maria," which is “Hail Mary” prayer set to music and sung in Latin. If the words of a song you like are all only available in Latin, type them into a translation website so you will know what you will be singing Catholic wedding music. The unity candle is not included in the Rite of Marriage in the Catholic Church. If this is something you want included on your special day, then consider having it at your reception.

Sterling silver Catholic rosary.

The lyrics of the songs chosen should focus on the mystery of the sacrement of matrimony and becoming one flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ, not just on silly romantic notions. Catholics believe that it is God’s love for us that leads us to love Him, and each other, in return. Now that’s romantic!

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